So far, I am just thankful to God for the opportunity to showcase different stories on what it takes to make it after leaving school…the insight has been amazing and I am certain today’s episode will not be anything different. A pleasure to share the story of my ‘akumaa’ like I sometimes call her, Miriam Dela Agbada, who has been a dear friend for about 7 years now. Be inspired!
What is your name and what university did you attend?
My name is Miriam Dela Agbada and I attended University of Ghana, Legon.
What year did you graduate and what course did you offer?
I graduated in 2016 and I offered a degree in Psychology and Adults Education.
Briefly describe how your university life; any extracurricular activities you were involved, scholarships, awards/ honors etc.
I lived a normal life in the university and barely involved myself in any extracurricular activities except for one or two church programs I attended or Hall weeks…My routine in school on a normal weekday was more of waking up, go for lectures, back to my room, find something to eat, sleep then later in the evening I probably hang out with some friends or stay indoors.
Based on your experience in university, do you regret going to university or did you regret at a point? If so why?
Every semester came with its own challenges especially there were semesters where a particular course could drain you and fear grips you when it’s almost examination time but it was all part of the experience. I have no regrets at all.
Upon graduation, did you have any plans as to what your next move was? Could you please share?
Of course. Just like every university graduate in Ghana, the plan was to start my National Service then after completion, I would then work for a while. After working for a while, I will then consider the option of furthering my studies.
Based on the answer from the question above, did these plans materialize in the short term or even long term? If it did what was the process like? If not, what happened? Did you have any backup plans?
Yes, I was able to complete my National Service but it hasn’t been easy trying to get a job which I believe is common to most fresh graduates. I implemented my back up plan that is started my own juice business which is still in the planning stages.
In the case where you faced rejections especially in applying for jobs etc, what effect did it have on your person? Care to share any experiences if you had one?
I have faced soo many rejections as I have gone for quite a number of interviews yet no luck. In one case interviewer told me just a first degree cannot get me a job as a fresh graduate and that I should participate in sale storms or be involved in marketing so I could gain some experience.
If you were to be that 18/19 year old going back to university, knowing what you know now (irrespective of how many years after university) what advice will you give yourself? Any advice to others?
I would just say it is important to cultivate the habit of saving and also try and discover my talent/passion and the develop it whilst in school by engaging in extracurricular activities….worst case scenario if a job is not forthcoming in my the field of my degree subject, there is an option to fall back on using the talents unearthed to earn a living.
With the current state of the job market, do you think in like 10 years time, universities will still have value? Especially with the rate at which many graduates end up being unemployed or young people prefer to start their businesses or train in apprenticeships?
The University may not lose its value; after all, there are people who just have to go to school and have jobs waiting for them afterward. However, I think there will be an increasing rate of entrepreneurs just because that is the way forward; finding a problem and using your skills and initiative to provide solutions to them. I also think entrepreneurship should be encouraged more in our tertiary institutions so that students would start considering it even whilst they are still in school and support (funding, mentoring, etc) should be made available for them as well.
What do you do now in terms of work or any other thing you are involved, care to share your social media handles so people could connect with you?
After this series is done, I will give my observations and frustrations with this ‘system’ we find ourselves in, in today’s world…From Mimi’s story, what is actually considered enough to get your foot in the door? A Bachelors degree is considered not enough, in some cases, Masters isn’t, Ph.D.? Ah well… Who even determines what is enough and what isn’t?
Stay tuned for the last 5 set of episodes for this diaries…If you still want to be part, send me via firstname.lastname@example.org (female contributors only!)
Enjoy the rest of the week!