The first Annual JKUAT Career Fair got underway on Wednesday July 11, 2012 at the main campus grounds with an interactive ceremony bringing together students, university management and company executives.
The three day event themed Developing Careers in line with Vision 2030 has attracted exhibitors from over 20 companies drawn from telecommunications, ICT, manufacturing, energy, security, enterprise and banking sectors. Besides promoting their products and services, the companies are sensitizing students on various career opportunities they offer.
In a colourful opening ceremony graced by the indefatigable comedian and Kiss 100 Big Breakfast co-host Felix Odiwuor (Jalang’o), various company executives led by KenGen Human Resource Manager, Mr. John Maina advised the students on how to effectively prepare for the job market while pursuing their studies.
“A career is a journey. You therefore need to identify in good time where you want to go and initiate, strategies that will enable you to actualize the dream”, advised Mr. Maina. Mr. Maina lauded JKUAT for introducing the undergraduate programme in Mechatronic Engineering saying, “It is extremely relevant to the energy industry.” He equally called on the University to re-introduce the technician course in Geology due to the importance of its increased role in oil and gas industry in the country.
Addressing the students on how best to position themselves for the job market, Dr. Kimani Kairu of Edumentor Group underscored the need for students to proactively develop both their technical and soft skills to enhance their adaptability in gainful employment. “Besides the technical skills, you must equally hone your people skills including communication, collaboration, personal organization and critical thinking”, averred the orator to the packed audience. Dr. Kimani further urged students to professionally prepare their resumes and aggressively develop networks with key people in the prospective industries.
To gain requisite job skills, Ms. Eve Mungai of Voluntary Service Overseeing exhorted the students to take advantage of numerous opportunities available to them to volunteer their services and expertise while still in campus. This she said, formed the cornerstone of her success, landing her a job years ahead of her graduate classmates.
While officially opening the career fair on behalf of the Vice Chancellor, the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs, Prof. Romanus Odhiambo commended the organizing committee for the initiative, terming it progressive and timely. “This career fair provides the necessary platform to both the employer and employee where careers are demystified, allowing students to equip themselves with necessary skills, while employers get to scout for right talents”, said the Mathematics don.
And betwixt the speeches, Jalang’o sent the audience gasping for breath with hilarious contextualized anecdotes, tracing his roots from humble beginnings to acquire his current position and stature.
The Career Fair which will be conducted annually aims to equip students with relevant information on available career opportunities in the job market while creating an avenue for networking with the industry players.