Be Creative, Expert Charges CST Graduands
A frontline Architect, Festus Adibe Njoku, has implored graduands in every Department of the College of Science and Technology (CST) of Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, to be creative if they must successfully navigate the murky waters of the labour market.
Njoku, who was the Guest Speaker at the 11th Convocation Hooding Ceremony of the college, said that coming out with a certificate is no longer enough for fresh graduates, as socio-economic realities in the country make it imperative for young graduates to have the cutting edge needed to beat their contemporaries to the few jobs available.
Delivering a paper on the topic, ‘Packaging the 21st Century Graduates for Global Relevance’, Njoku listed the inputs needed to become a graduate as availability of infrastructure, equipment and a conducive atmosphere at the institution where a graduate passed out; lecturers who imparted knowledge in the graduate through teachings, seminar and research; and the student who grasped the knowledge being imparted by the lecturers. He, however, said ‘creativity’ is the key word.
Specifically, he urged graduates of architecture to “create something new that people have never seen before. You can use the computer, but don’t allow computer to drive you”.
Narrating his personal experience to the graduands, Njoku, who revealed he got a job easily when he passed out of the university in 1974, said jobs are now very scarce and the implication is that half of the CST graduands may not get jobs. He therefore stressed the need for them to repackage.
“You need to repackage because things are no longer the same. In order to meet the demands of the labour market, inputs have to be added right into your training years to make you have an edge over your fellow competitors,” he emphasized.
The inputs, which he said would have to be powered from within the graduands, are vision, observation and exploration. The graduands, he explained, must have a vision of where they are going, have the ability to explore the maze in the tunnel and must have an inquisitive mind to probe each situation and find answers.
Also, Njoku, who is the 1st Vice-President, Nigerian Institute of Architects, urged the graduands to imbibe the attitude of the 21st Century graduate, which he highlighted as never be afraid of failure; be adaptable to obstacles; apply your knowledge correctly; and have entrepreneurial knowledge.
“The impossible is possible,” he said. “What you’ll do to turn things around, the power is within you; you have been equipped with knowledge to make a difference.
“You must identify a need nobody is feeling, key into the opportunity to fill that need and develop your skills to feed yourself.”
Earlier, while declaring the hooding ceremony open, the Dean, College of Science and Technology, Professor Nicholas Omoregbe, said the graduating students had gone through the production line in the college and sees them flying high by continuing to embrace the grace in their lives.
“You are starting a new phase in your life,” he said. “God will be with you. You must have imbibed good characters based on Covenant University’s core values, do not dump them. I congratulate you and do not fail us anywhere you are.”
The event was rounded off with the presentation of awards to the Guest Speaker, the Dean CST, the Sub-Dean, Heads of Departments, Lecturers, College and Administrative Officers, and students with distinguished academic performances.
Winner Deji-Folutile, the best graduating student in the Department of Architecture, the college and university, in his vote of thanks, expressed gratitude to the leadership of the university, the college and the various departments, including members of staff, for the wonderful training the graduands had received.
Also, he urged his colleagues to be good ambassadors of Covenant University.