Etisalat employees helping youths break barriers in career choice

Deputy Director, Education District 3, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Ojikutu Mustafa (left); Teacher, Epe Senior Grammar School, Epe, Olusanya Ganiyu; prize winners of Epe Senior Grammar School, Denis Akpan and Seyi Awofiranye receiving their prizes from Director, Regulatory & CSR, Etisalat Nigeria, Ikenna Ikeme at the event Deputy Director, Education District 3, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Ojikutu Mustafa (left); Teacher, Epe Senior Grammar School, Epe, Olusanya Ganiyu; prize winners of Epe Senior Grammar School, Denis Akpan and Seyi Awofiranye receiving their prizes from Director, Regulatory & CSR, Etisalat Nigeria, Ikenna Ikeme at the event

Deputy Director, Education District 3, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Ojikutu Mustafa (left); Teacher, Epe Senior Grammar School, Epe, Olusanya Ganiyu; prize winners of Epe Senior Grammar School, Denis Akpan and Seyi Awofiranye receiving their prizes from Director, Regulatory & CSR, Etisalat Nigeria, Ikenna Ikeme at the event<br />Deputy Director, Education District 3, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Ojikutu Mustafa (left); Teacher, Epe Senior Grammar School, Epe,<br />Olusanya Ganiyu; prize winners of Epe Senior Grammar School, Denis Akpan and Seyi Awofiranye receiving their prizes from<br />Director, Regulatory & CSR, Etisalat Nigeria, Ikenna Ikeme at the event

Choosing the right career is one of the difficult decisions many young people in secondary school face. This is why in addition to their job schedule, employees of Etisalat Nigeria are volunteering their skills to help bridge the career choice knowledge gap among Nigerian youth population.

At 16, Michael Oyibo, a senior secondary student of Odo Oba Secondary School, Epe, Lagos State is already looking ahead into a great future with optimism. He wants to be a professional Insurance practitioner upon the completion of his tertiary education.

Monsurat Ibrahim, another student, was indecisive about the career path to toe. She wanted to be a medical doctor like most of her friends, but not really sure if her aspiration is compatible with her passion.

Most young persons in senior secondary school do not find career choice decision easy to make. At the senior secondary school level, they are expected to select subjects that are relevant to their future career, but many are not really sure of what to choose. Career choice is a life-long decision; this is why they need proper guidance and counseling to make the right decision because of the consequences of wrong choice.

Michael and Monsurat were lucky, however, recently when they attended a career counseling session that availed them the opportunity to have clearer understanding and deeper knowledge of things they needed to know in order to realise their dream career.

Most innovative and youth-friendly telecommunications network, Etisalat Nigeria is helping the likes of Michael and Monsurat by identifying career counseling as yet another intervention area that is pivotal to Nigeria’s socio-economic development. To this end, the telco in 2010 launched the Etisalat Career Counselling Programme, which runs in partnership with the Leadership Empowerment and Resource Centre (LEARN).

The initiative is part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives linked with its Employee Volunteering Scheme, a platform through which Etisalat staff impact students from different communities, by delivering career enhancing sessions and mentorship to students in secondary schools, based on the employees’ fields of expertise.

Recently, the company expanded the coverage of the scheme when it took the first leg of 2016 career counselling session to eight schools all within Epe town in Lagos State where several students including benefitted. The schools included Epe Junior and Senior Grammar Schools, Odo Obara Junior and Senior Schools, Alaro Junior and Senior Grammar Schools, and Odomola Junior and Senior Schools.

Speaking about the career-counseling programme, Director, Regulatory & CSR, Etisalat Nigeria, Ikenna Ikeme said, “Career counseling scheme brings fulfillment to us at Etisalat because it enables us to demonstrate our passion for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), through both internal and external platforms. We are aware that students need appropriate direction towards making compatible and fulfilling career choices, because a wrong career move will likely have serious negative long-term effects”.

After participating in this year’s counselling session, Michael Oyibo testified that he was more informed about those areas he must pay more attention to, in order to achieve his aspiration to become an Insurance professional. He said: “This Career Counseling Programme organised by Etisalat has given me a better footing in terms of access to adequate information on my subject selection, choice of course of study and the importance of right attitude.”

Senior Project Officer, Leadership Empowerment and Resource Network (LEARN), Tonne Saheed, commended Etisalat for the initiative, and said it is a significant contributor to national development, noting that the benefit of the programme will start to manifest in the nearest future.

Deputy Director, Lagos State Education District 3, Ojikutu Mustafa who represented the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Education, said career counseling is important because it helps students to understand career options and opportunities that are available in different career parts.

“On behalf of students, teachers and the ministry of education I commend Etisalat for this initiative,” he said.

Since its launch in 2010, over 7,000 students across Nigeria have benefited from the initiative. Education is one of Etisalat’s three core CSR pillars, the remaining two being Health and Environment.

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