Ewurabena Ewudziwa Hagan is my next feature on today’s episode of #lifeafteruniversity diaries. She is such a gracious young lady with an infectious smile….oh yeah and I have known her since secondary school days (A1 sister for life!). Get ready to enjoy her story as she takes a different turn too.
In June 2016, as I was driven out of the Ashesi University Campus I remember feeling a new surge of energy. I was free at last, to pursue my dreams. For many years, a lot of wishes were preceded by; “when I finish school…” little did I know that there were a lot of other conditions that needed to be met before I could achieve anything I wanted to.
Don’t get me wrong, I never really felt like a prisoner in school. I was one of those that barely put any effort into studying. I was more active in my co-curricular (or if you please, social life). In my first and second year, I was a part of the welfare committee; the welfare committee is the branch of the school’s student council that deals with student housing (and well, welfare) issues. In my final year, I served as the vice president of the student council and helped co-ordinate student-run clubs on campus. I was also an active member of the Kingdom Christian Fellowship and served in the Women in Christ wing and the secretariat departments. These (as well as many other) activities made academic work bearable for me. I’m pretty certain about this: had I been inactive outside the lecture hall, my output in grades would have been horrible.
I thoroughly enjoyed the four years I spent at Ashesi University, and I would relive those four years in (almost) exactly the same way if I could do it again. I think it was really fulfilling, knowing that I didn’t hinder my growth or shy away from new experiences. Even the mistakes I made have nurtured me so much, I don’t fully regret them all.
I studied Business Administration at Ashesi, though I had no real interest in accounting or financial management. I took extra courses in marketing, though- because that seemed to resemble what I would love to focus on, in the world of work. I wasn’t entirely wrong, because I am currently in that industry, but this is probably not the industry I will thrive most in.
After graduation, I don’t remember having any concrete laid out plans. I just knew I didn’t even want to think about a master’s degree. I assumed I would land a job from Ashesi’s wide network of companies and would figure out life one step at a time. I was eager to discover myself a little more and KNOW (for sure), what I would like to do for a long term.
Things weren’t as I expected, though. I have realized that in a lot of situations, I would need to pursue a master’s degree to increase my relevance in the world of work. So that is something I have been mulling over for the past two years. I also had to relinquish an opportunity to try out event management to fill a position in the family business. The last unexpected turn of events is, I’m getting married soon- that’s two years after graduating. I had assumed it would happen sooner than later, but not THIS soon. After just how much my plan has shifted, I have stopped focusing on making my life pan out my way. Rather, I have prepared my mind and heart to say “yes” to whatever God may bring my way.
Though I have not faced any rejections, I have faced a number of disappointments. There is a business idea I have been working hard at making a reality. There’s no money for it, and no time – seeing as I work an eight to five job in my family business.
From these few years after university, if I had the chance to give myself advice, I would say: ‘dream big; but know that everything has its times and seasons.’ I would say this because, (for example), though I had a business idea I could not start, I may be able to start it in a few years – so I shouldn’t shatter my dream yet – I should only hope it materializes as soon as possible.
In dealing with an HR recruitment firm very often, I have found that the job market (in Ghana) is a little saturated. The jobs that are in high demand are in low supply. Some university graduates have dreams of earning as much as Ghc3,000 on their first job. There may be that possibility, but that will be one-in-a-million! One thing I learned in the university was developing a mindset of solving problems with businesses. Universities should encourage students to solve these problems (even if it is within another firm,) rather than just falling into the paths that have been laid ahead of them.
I’m Ewurabena Hagan, a content editor at Focus Digital, an advertising agency. You can follow me on ewurabenawrites.com or @ewurabenawrites on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Please Follow Ewurabena’s blog too! Wishing you a happy married life in advance babe! Stay tuned for the last three episodes…