Students tipped on beating job competitions

Students with some of the managers after the launch of the 2024 career fair at MUBS. The career fair will be held in nine universities this year. PHOTO | STEPHEN OTAGE

What you need to know:

  • Nsibirwa encouraged students to embrace digital skills as well as attend career expos in order to be equipped with the tools needed to navigate the complexities of the job market.

Experts from different fields of work have offered tips to university students on how to prepare themselves for the job market amid the growing challenge of unemployment in the country.

The 2021 Uganda National Labour Survey by Uganda Bureau of Statistics, indicated that 9.3 million youth aged between 18 and 30 are unemployed, presenting an increase of 12 percent from 9 percent in the 2019/2020 Uganda National Household Survey.

While delivering her speech at the NSSF-Daily Monitor expo at Makerere Business School (MUBS), Kampala on Wednesday, the managing director of Nation Media Group (Uganda), Susan Nsibirwa, told university students to define their purpose, which involves finding what they were created to be as well as building up their talents. 

“It is essential for us as individuals to find purpose because when you join a workforce without a purpose or leave university without a purpose, then literally anything goes. But if you are living a purpose-driven life, you will actually realise what your contribution to society will be,” Nsibirwa said.

During the career expo organised by National Social Security Fund (NSSF) in partnership with Nation Media Group and Absa Bank under the theme ‘Discover your purpose’, Nsibirwa also encouraged students to embrace digital skills as well as attend career expos in order to be equipped with the tools needed to navigate the complexities of the job market.

“It is also important as young people to understand the concept of saving, financial planning and financial management. And NSSF is such a good partner on this right now, and I want to commend them on this. So put in those cents and see what they have for you for the long term,” she added.

In his speech, the managing director  of Absa Bank Uganda, Kenneth Mumba Kalifungwa, advised students to embrace hard work, discipline, resilience and humility as tools to address workplace challenges.

“Having a personal value system has been a very instrumental part of shaping my career and my future and personal values such as discipline, hard work, and humility. It is extremely important that you have a value system that then forms the foundation of who you become as a person and as a leader in the future. The relevance of a high value system contributes greatly to defining your purpose,” Mr Mumba added. 

Prof Moses Muhwezi, the principal of Makerere Business School, urged  students to surround themselves with intelligent and right people who add something to them.

“We do not just enter the future but create it. The future is not a mystery. It is the harvest of career choices that you must make today. 

You need to know, for example, in the first century, competencies such as problem solving, life knowledge application, life creativity, communication, collaboration, teamwork, innovation, technology use, resilience, stress tolerance, flexibility and even being self-directed. These are important for you,” he added. 

Patrick Michael Ayota, the managing director of NSSF, encouraged students to manage their savings for the future as well as build networks around them that will help make decisions that are profound to them.

He revealed that more than 44,700 young people who enrolled with NSSF as university students have saved more than Shs35.5b over the last 10 years,

He attributed this achievement to the Fund’s youth empowerment programmes such as the expo, which encourages long-term saving at a young age.

“Our initiative that was aimed at recruiting savers at a young age could not have turned out better, with more than 44,700 members recruited as students through the NSSF CareerExpo. It shows that starting one’s long-term savings journey at a young age is no longer a myth but is possible,” Ayota said.