Experts offer students tips on how to prepare for jobs

Prof Moses Muhwezi, the principal of Makerere University Business School, Mr Patrick Ayota, the managing director of NSSF (4th left), Ms Susan Nsibirwa, the Managing Director of NMG-Uganda (centre), and Mr Mumba Kalifungwa, the managing director of Absa Bank (4th right), with students after the launch of the 2024 universities career fair at MUBS in Kampala, yesterday. The career fair will be held in nine universities this year. PHOTOS | STEPHEN OTAGE

What you need to know:

  • They advise students to embrace continuous learning of digital skills, cultivate networks and, practise financial planning.

Experts from different fields of work have offered tips to university students about how to prepare themselves for the competitive job market.

The Managing Director of Nation Media Group (NMG)-Uganda,  Ms Susan Nsibirwa, advised students to define their purposes and embrace learning new digital skills before joining the field of work. 

 “It’s 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 everything goes. But if you are living a purpose-driven life, you will actually realise what your contribution to society will be,” Ms Nsibirwa told students at Makerere University Business School (MUBS) yesterday during the NSSF-NMG career expo.

 She said: “These days, we are doing transformation out there at our workplaces and most of the things we now pay attention to are digital skills”.

 The career expo was organised by National Social Security Fund (NSSF) in partnership with NMG and Absa Bank under the theme: ‘Discover your purpose’.

Ms Nsibirwa also implored students to always attend engagements such as career expos in order to be equipped with the tools that are needed to navigate the complexities of the job market.

 “I’m really hoping that from today’s activity, our mindset will become more positive and we will actually begin to see that when we’re talking about shaping our future, that it all starts with us, with our mindset, and our purpose,” she said.

 “It is also important as young people to understand the concept of saving, to understand financial planning, 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 long term,” she added.

The NSSF Managing Director, Mr Patrick Michael Ayota, urged students to cultivate networks of individuals who can positively influence their decision-making processes.

“Our initiative that was aimed at recruiting savers at a young age could not have turned out better, with over 44,700 members who were recruited as students through the NSSF CareerExpo owning more than Shs35 billion cumulatively in savings over 10 years. It shows that starting one’s long-term savings journey at a young age is no longer a myth but is possible,” Mr Ayota said.

“Life is tough but if you know your purpose by identifying what God set you to do, it will help to guide you throughout your life,” he added. 

While delivering his remarks, the Managing Director at Absa Bank Uganda, Mr Kenneth Mumba Kalifungwa, told students to use hardwork, discipline, resilience and humility as tools to address workplace challenges.

  “I was introduced to work in a very challenging environment. But the values, the wellbeing, the intensity in terms of exposure and the experience that I got during those five  years formed the foundation upon which I managed myself and out-managed myself  through the various employers that I have worked with over the last couple of years of my  career,” she added.

 Mr Mumba also commended the expo and encouraged students to always participate, saying they help students to interact and build a career foundation.

 “Having a personal value system has been a very instrumental part of shaping my career and my future. My personal values, 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 said.

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

 “We don’t 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 21st century, competencies, things like problem solving, life knowledge application, life creativity, communication, collaboration, teamwork, innovation, technology use, resilience, stress tolerance, and flexibility and even being self-directed. These are important for you,” he said.