Mr. Nahshon Okowa, the Chairman Association of Construction Managers of Kenya (ACMK) has urged students to join professional associations in the country in order to gain access to industry documents that may be unavailable in the public domain, get attachment and job placements, among others.
While addressing students during a mentorship talk at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Mr. Okowa underscored the importance of networking and proper use of social media while being mindful of the relationships in campus.
Emphasizing on the importance of networking, Mr. Okowa said their network was their worth, adding, “Build your stellar networks with professionals and other like-minded students from events organized by ACMK such as exhibitions, festivals, and others, so as to get the right mentors and boost your profile.”
This talk held Monday, June 21, 2021, was organized by the School of Architecture and Building Sciences (SABS) in conjunction with ACMK. The one-day event which targeted first-year students undertaking a Bachelor’s degree in Construction Management, aimed at enlightening the students on various issues related to the profession of Construction Management, key among them, membership to ACMK and its benefits, as well as demystifying the unfamiliar role of construction management which is often unclear to many people.
Other critical qualities that impact student’s ability to succeed, he said, included, confidence and time management, without which, he noted, one could not excel in the field given that the construction manager is the lead and is expected to guide all other experts at the construction site.
“This course is demanding. Identify where you fit in and begin your internship journey early. Project Managers represent the client and therefore it is a field that requires only the best,” said Mr. Okowa.
He urged the students to keep up with the technology trends of the industry as these, together with urbanization, were the drivers of the fourth industrial revolution. Construction Managers, he said, were required in the synthesis of the requisite infrastructure.
In his welcoming remarks, the Dean SABS, Prof. Gerryshom Munala urged the students to be keen with the interactions of the day and practice the lessons learnt in order to familiarize themselves with the demands of the industry.
“The nuggets of wisdom that will be delivered today by ACMK are invaluable so take notes and revisit them often. I would also urge you to join the professional body as early as possible so that you gain experience parallel to your studies,” asserted Prof. Munala.
Fiona Kemboi, a Project Manager with several firms called on the students to work hard and master the course content that includes components from other building sciences. The course enables the construction management graduates who ultimately lead construction projects, to synchronize with other building scientists and successfully deliver the final product.
“As a Project Manager, you must be confident, pay attention to minute details, and know your content because everyone working on a project looks up to you. Further, start your industrial practice early by visiting different construction sites and critiquing your everyday environment. I joined ACMK as a student, and through those networks getting a job was easy”, remarked Ms. Kemboi.