It was the first time for the students to organize a Career day, and the aim was to provide a platform for students to interact with their potential employers. And the event did not disappoint, at least going by the large number of students who for three days swarmed from booth to booth to talk to industry professionals invited by the University to help students to relate their academic programmes to their future careers.
The Career fair that ended, Friday July 13, 2012 brought over 35 companies to the University with their representatives who had a common message to the students; that career development was a lifelong process through which individuals come to understand themselves as they relate to the world of work and their role in it. At the end of the event attended by Mr. Mwatata Mwangala, CEO, Youth Development Fund, and Prof. Mabel Imbuga, Vice Chancellor , there was general consensus that students should recognize career development as part of their total life style that includes their occupation, education, social responsibilities and leisure time activities.
Mr. Mwatata Mwangala had very good news for the students. He urged them to come forward and take advantage of the Youth Development Fund that extended affordable loans to individual youths and youth groups at 8 and 5 percent interest. The fund he said that was established in 2007 to address the youth unemployment menace in the country had for the last five years – disbursed Kshs. 5.9 billion to 158, 000 youth enterprises, provided entrepreneurship training to over 200,000 youths and assisted 1800 youth to market their products and services.
Prof. Imbuga on her part castigated the concept of white collar jobs where students hoped to secure easy jobs in the public sector saying the notion was now outdated. Prof. Imbuga instead made a passionate appeal to student to employ their entrepreneurial creativity that was now the hallmark of JKUAT training to create their own enterprises that she said would help alleviate the country’s unemployment dilemma. Prof. Imbuga advised students, her administration had now put in place mechanisms to finance the development of student’s promising innovations ‘ to the stage of expanding the novelties to possible SME’s ‘ to support the culture of wealth creation in the country.
The vice chancellor used the occasion to warn students to be wary of the increased insecurity in the country urging them ‘to be always their brothers keepers’. The new ultra-modern Thika superhighway she cautioned had also come with a number of security challenges advising students to ensure they used available footbridges to avoid imminent accidents.