The Careers Festival took place between the 22nd and 26th of February. The weeklong activities was designed to get students to start thinking about their future career as well as enhance their employability skills. The weeklong event was organized by the Careers & Employability departments.
Day 1 – Corporate Grooming
The Career Festival kicked off on a light and humorous note. The day’s program was very engaging with the presence of Rami Baite, Corporate Affairs and Marketing Practitioner of over 28 years of work experience.
The speaker took the students on the topic: Corporate Grooming.
Major highlights of the presentation were on the keys of creating a lasting and positive impression in the corporate world remembering that first impression counts. He took time to go through some personal grooming tips that he believed when taken care of would go a long way to help one excel in the corporate world. As simple and basic as they sounded, the students could see its importance.
The over 90 minutes presentation full of laughter closed with a tagline YOU ARE THE BRAND. Students were encouraged practice the above tips to succeed in the corporate world or other environment they find themselves.
Day 2 – Interview skills (Branding yourself)
The very exciting Career Week continued on Tuesday, 23rd February 2016, with an Interviewing Skills Presentation delivered by Professor Cynthia Forson, Deputy Provost – Lancaster University Ghana. The presentation was centred on what an individual needs to do before going for an interview. She believes that one needs to know the importance of his or her brand to be able to stand out and excel in an interview and beyond.
Students were exposed to some interview questions most interviewers ask which basically answers the questions below, hence the need to know thyself:
1. Who are you?
2. Why do you want this job?
3. Why should we employ you?
The day’s speaker made mention of the fact that decision makers will base their selection decisions on factors such as the most popular, recognizable, familiar and emotional, and thus choose the strongest brand. She also left students with expensive tips on how to build themselves into strong brands:
Knowing your brand goes a long way to affect the decisions you make, even the jobs one applies to. When this realization is made, one will not fret when he/she is invited for an interview because all interviewers are looking for is someone/candidate who is aware of him/herself
Day 3 – Entrepreneurship Day
Yet another eye opening presentation was delivered to students of Lancaster University Ghana by Mr Ebenezer Saka, Managing Director of Saka Homes on the Wednesday session of the ongoing career festival. The day which was tagged “Entrepreneurship Day” was successfully conducted by the guest speaker in very interactive sessions. Mr Saka delivered his presentation with the use of his own business background history, bringing out vivid instances that made the program both interesting and true to life. He made the audience aware of the fact that now is always the best time to start up a business thereby eliminating any areas of procrastination.
He left students with certainty that the future belongs to those who don’t let setbacks keep them down and that entrepreneurship is the key to the future. As said earlier, before the final curtain call on the session, the numerous questions which were raised by the students were effectively answered by the speaker, thus bringing the day’s session to an eventful close.
Day 5 – Networking skills
The first part of the final day of an impactful career week held at Lancaster University Ghana was centered on Networking Skills. The day’s program was tagged “Network Right” and was delivered to the eager audience by Anthony Safo, Marketing Manager for English speaking West African countries, Kenyan Airways. The session was interacted and involved a number of role play exercises
He made the students understand that to be able to achieve the networking objectives, finding the right place and hitting the right nerves are of essence. He also stated that in the job market today, who one knows is getting more important than what he/she knows.
Anthony Safo highlighted some major skills that will facilitate easy networking, these skills were an eye-opener for the students because a lot of them asked questions. He encouraged them to adopt the following to improve on their networking skills considering the two main themes he earlier mentioned – finding the right place and hitting the right nerves:
There was an opportunity to share with the students what to do before and during the networking event. He encouraged them to research on the companies present at the event beforehand, prepared ice-breaker lines, call people by name, show genuine interest, listen and ask open-ended questions.
There were role plays to put most of the tips discussed into practice. Students found this exercise very interesting and educative and were tasked to continue with this exercise with their peers.
View pictures of the Career Festival here