We all want to grow up really fast; we can’t wait to finish high school with more than a little bit of excitement about getting into the university.
I remember my year book video and write up (BIO) ; where the interviewer asked me the following questions and how I replied:
Interviewer: what would you like to become ?
Me: I’d like to become a lawyer.
Interviewer: where would you like to study?
Me: University of Lagos.
Here I am , Immediately after high school, same year I finished, in the university studying a course I never thought I had a passion for . God’s doing? Or going with the flow of I have to start university immediately I leave high school? I say its God’s doing!
The name of the course you asked? Communication and Media Studies (Mass Communication). What University? Ajayi Crowther University Oyo State. When I got into a different university from my preferred university and studied a different course I realized that God has a way of stirring us towards what he knows is right for us. I successfully completed my programme within 4 years (God knows how long it would have taken in Unilag). In the hope that after these years there would be light at the end of the tunnel. Yes! there was light a lot more than I expected there to be. I immediately, went to pursue my master’s degree in Media and Communications Management at Middlesex University in London, United Kingdom.
In one year I had not only become a master’s degree holder at the age of twenty (20) but I also had a Diploma in Public Relations from London School of Public Relations ; I beat a record I had never even set for myself! Here, I advice that we learn to set our goals for future purposes.
After a year of masters degree programme I returned to Nigeria for my National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) . Remobilization was keen and I had been remobilized severally when I went for my master’s programme, but this one time that I needed to be remobilized it was unsuccessful.
Four months down the line and I finally started my NYSC programme. Spent 3 weeks in orientation camp; it was dreadful as I felt like I was in the military for a minute and imagine all that Jand freshness , all gone, lol.
Camp was finally over and I got my posting letter which was addressed to Wazobia Fm Abuja. Not excited about this at all because pidgin english is a language we are taught against at home and in school. My real job hunting experience had only just begun. On my arrival at my supposed Place of Primary Assignment (PPA), I had to wait two and a half hours to see the main boss who then selects those that can work at the organization.
The receptionist was so rude and hostile; her look towards me and the other corper was as though we probably didn’t deserve to have our graduate certificates (as if, after four years of educational struggle she wished the certificate was never going to pay off). She asked me to read an English newspaper, Vanguard precisely, select an article, not only write it in pidgin but do a voice over in pidgin English. In shock, I exclaimed immediately that I did not know how to speak pidgin let alone write in pidgin. I said if this was the criteria for selection I beg to be rejected. After a month I got rejected for a very flimsy reason. Yes! My mum and I were there for a purpose and my mum disagreed with their criteria too. Speaking to the Head of station was no use it was just filled with emptiness. Eventually, I started looking for a place to work; I got another radio station but I was not too keen to have experience there. I went to Channels Tv , NTA, Multichoice , several PR organizations but I still realized that I had to know somebody “Man must know Man Syndrome” is what I call it.
Finally, I got an opportunity in a military organization. Was it a “Man must know Man” situation? Keep Pondering; but your guess is as good as mine. The truth is the Nigerian system of employment is as corrupt as our leaders. Accepting the way things work around here is not voluntary but it’s something you would get used to. It was tough trying to get a PPA , but after 3 months since orientation camp ended here I am almost done with my NYSC in one month and a few weeks. Being excited that the programme will soon end is an understatement for me. Was it worthwhile you asked?Financially, Yes!
Here are the lessons I learnt and I think you should learn from my experiences too;
•Patience; I learnt to be patient that the global market there are all kinds of people from different backgrounds, some happy to meet you others start to worry that you might be a threat to their positions.
•Saving; I learnt that I needed to save money a little bit better than I usually did.
•I also realized how hard it is to wake up in the morning and go to work because I loved my bed so much.
After my NYSC I know I will face job hunting on another level, when everything happens I would share my experience with you all again. The truth is finding a job is not as easy or hard for everyone but I want us to find the inner passion we have, or allow God to stir you towards the right direction to finding your passion and every other thing will work together for your good.
Itoro Essien is an aspiring media personality. She can be reached on twitter and IG via @itorohottie.