Students from the School of Management and Commerce (SMC) and the School of Tourism and Hospitality (STH) enjoyed a great morning of networking, at the SMC/STH mini career fair hosted by Strathmore University Career Development Services (CDS) department.

The event that was held on Friday 8th September 2017 at the university. It allowed students to interact with representatives from 17 companies from across the country, delving onto career growth opportunities through one on one interactions with industry experts.

The companies that participated in the fair included; Grant Thornton, Bollore Africa Logistics, Genesis Analytics, Schneider Electric, UPO Ltd, EABL, Canon Chemical, Pawame, Darling Kenya, Node Africa, Kenya Association of Travel Agents, Park Inn by Radisson, Crowne Plaza, Sarova Hotels, Ecotourism and Fairmont The Norfolk.

The attendance from both students and corporates provided an atmosphere of interaction, where companies gave insights on what it means to work for their companies, giving students opportunities to apply for internships or learn how to prepare to work in such companies.

The company representatives’ urged students to seize opportunities that existed in their companies in an effort to experience growth in their career paths. They also availed forms students filled, for possible future communications.

Over the years, career fairs have proven to be a very effective way of linking students with opportunities in the job market, setting students up with opportunities to grow beyond the confines of the classroom.

Strathmore University Career Development Services

Purpose:

The Career Ambassadors (CA)Program brings together Strathmore University students from all faculties to be Liaison persons between students, faculty and the CDS office. The overall goal is to: Raise awareness of CDS activities and services among the CDS stakeholders, to mobilizing students and alumni to participate in CDS events, programs and initiatives, to provide office operational/administrative support and empowering the students to be effective peer mentors as they build their professional portfolio.

The Duration.

The programs runs for two calendar years (January- December) hence the candidates must be available for engagement during this time and should be undergraduate student in their 2nd or 3rd year of study.

Primary Responsibilities:

  1. Event Organizing
  • To provide general support in planning and coordinating all CDS events.
  • Assist in full cycle events management: Pre-events logistics (mobilization, planning etc), on-site logistics (ushering, registration, refreshments, MC, feedback forms etc) and post events logistics and reviews.

 

  1. Creating awareness (Outreach) and Social Media Marketing
  • Conducting planned outreach activities to student groups (classes, social media groups, clubs etc) and faculties to create and increase CDS awareness on programs, activities and services.
  • Assist in driving and increasing CDS online presence in all social media platforms following the SU Social Media policy
  • Conducting effective social media marketing/drives and mobilization for all CDS events and activities
  • Assist in distribution of promotional materials such as bulletins, flyers, posters, E-posters etc both physically and online.
  • Work with the relevant CDS staff to design custom-made e-posters and any promotional materials.
  1. Content Generation and publication
  • Assist in generating career related content, periodic blog posts, events reports and synopses to share on the CDS website and social media platforms.
  • Work closely with the relevant staff to have custom-made and students friendly publications such as students handbook, career guides, success stories etc
  • Working with the social media team to deliver relevant materials, online updates and write ups for stakeholders’ engagement.
  1. Liaison and Administrative support
  • Act as a student liaison in collaboration with CDS staff to coordinate outreach to the various Schools and Faculties
  • Assist in conducting and/or analyzing surveys on the impact of CDS services to the students, events feedback, graduate destination surveys etc
  • General administrative delegated assignments
  • Data entry
  • Participate in necessary training sessions
  • Referring students to appropriate departments, staff, and resources

Qualifications and Requirements.

  • Must possess and show interest in event organizing, social media and digital marketing, digital design, writing, administrative support and working with professionals.
  • Required to work when needed by the CDS office and staff sponsored events and programs but without interfering with candidates’ academic programs.
  • Must possess and maintain a cumulative GPA of a 3.0
  • Must be in good academic and judicial standing with the university
  • Must be able and willing to keep information private and sign a confidentiality agreement
  • Must possess a positive attitude and an ability to work well with people from all backgrounds
  • Must be an undergraduate student in 2nd or 3rd year
  • Must be available for engagement for 2 calendar years (January- December)

Program Benefits:

  1. Work with career development trainers in a student friendly environment.
  2. Corporate visits and Job Shadowing opportunities to build your professional portfolio as you network with industry players.
  3. Opportunity to be trained on Professional Development Skills that prepares you for the world of work.
  4. Learn more about the career development , recruitment trends among millennial and employment needs for 21st century recruiters.
  5. Gain familiarity with CDS programs and services
  6. Provides intrinsic satisfaction (makes you feel good) by helping fellow peers with their career related issues/needs
  7. Work with a dynamic, energetic, fun, techno-savvy peers that will challenge, support and enhance your interpersonal, team and professional skills.
  8. Become a brand ambassador for top employer brands working with Strathmore University.

Application Requirements and Deadline Information:

All interested applicants to apply via this link any queries/concerns/questions to be forwarded to aguni@strathmore.edu with the Email subject being: Career Ambassador Application by Thursday 14th September 2017.

 

 

Job interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience for the applicant and a time-consuming exercise for the hiring company. However, they play a key role in determining whether the company and candidate will make an effective match. As such, the interviewing process provides a great deal of value for the company and candidate alike.

For the candidate, it is an opportunity to sell yourself to a potential employer. Here are a few interview pointers for the graduating class as you venture out into the world of work.

Dress Code

  • How well you are dressed for an interview is very paramount and should earn you points.
  • Choose cool colors e.g. Black, Navy Blue, Brown and Grey
  • At least keep a pair of good clothes and shoes for interviews

Documents

  • Always have copies of your CV, certificates and testimonials with you as requested by the employer.
  • Have one copy ready just in case the panel requests for the same and another copy for you.
  • Buy a nice looking folder to carry all these documents and neatly arrange them in there.

Interview Venue

  • Always reach the interview venue at least 15 minutes before your specified interview time
  • Ladies can spend some time freshening up in the wash room
  • Physical location of the interview venue is key – Is the place accessible by public means, walking or must I hire a taxi? Do a pre-visit.
  • Check your shoes and ensure they are not dusty.

Lateness

  • Always be punctual but if running late, it is always important to communicate early regarding your lateness or request to reschedule due to unavoidable circumstances. This may mean you retain the contact of the person who called you for the interview.

Handbag

  • For ladies do not put your handbag on the panel table instead put it on the floor next to your feet.

During Interview

When answering questions kindly take note that the following will be monitored:-

  • How well you communicate, are you communicating in a clear, concise and organized manner, remain relevant all the times.
  • Level of confidence whether the answer is right or wrong
  • Remember to use relevant examples to bring out a point especially in scenario based questions.

Pitfalls to avoid

  • Talking over the panelist where before he is finished asking the question you are already answering
  • Not knowing when to stop talking- when you feel that you have adequately answered the question, stop talking even when you are tempted to go on since the panelist are quiet.
  • Overpromising – ensure that you promise only what you are willing to give. Interviewees will always say that they are team players just to please the panel but the moment they are employed, forget what they promised they are capable of doing.

Salary

  • This is a very difficult and tricky question that takes every one aback. You can never tell what the right answer is
  • By the time you go for an interview do your research and find out their salary range so that you quote in line with their salary range
  • Give a salary which is obviously above what you are earning creating room for adjustments.

Things to note:

Company Policies

  • You will not be able to change any company policy
  • You will be required to adapt and conform to the company rules and working style
  • If you want their attractive salary why not follow their rules

Benefits

Find out what the benefits are as compared to what you have currently or what you would like to have before you sign your offer letter.

It would be wise to remember that you cannot not force an employer to have certain benefits, they may amend them but only when they deem it fit.

Referees

  • Before you decide to add someone as your referee on your CV, request them first and keep them in the loop when you change jobs so that they have the latest information about you in case they are called to verify something by a potential employer.
  • All referees contacts should be clearly indicated and most importantly telephone contact and email addresses.

Feel free to contact the Strathmore University Career Development Services (CDS) for all your career related issues, CV, cover letter and Interview skills training for free.

Contribution by Mrs. Merab Nyanjom – Human Resource officer, Novacom Systems Limited

*CDS has a Placement Service – Your qualifications are matched to a client’s job requirement request and your CV forwarded to the client who then shortlists and calls candidates for interviewing.

I joined Strathmore University in June 2012 where I was enrolled for a Diploma in Business Information Technology and later joined the Exempt option to pursue a Bachelor of Business Information Technology degree and later graduated in June 2016.

My passion for IT begun way back in High school and the opportunity to study at Strathmore was a dream comes true as I learnt how to provide business solutions using IT. This for me was the unique nature and I excitedly pursued the course.

As we all have heard of the cliché ‘Life after school is hard’, it could be true to some point. However, as fresh graduates start off in their careers, there are some who, either by sheer luck or networks get jobs immediately while others do the ‘tarmacking’ for a while. As for me, I did the ‘tarmacking’ and it was worth it in the end.

I sent my CV to various organizations but there was no breakthrough. I felt disappointed as I could see some of my friends working with various companies while I sat at home, jobless! After a long unrewarding struggle, I secured a one month IT internship in an IT firm through my networks.

I had previously contacted the Strathmore Careers Development Services Office (CDS) which I had learnt about through one of their Brand Ambassadors in school. I requested them to review my CV and possibly recommend me for internship or employment, when opportunity arose. They first helped me amend my CV, which they later forwarded to Deloitte for an internship opportunity. Deloitte invited me for interviews which were in two phases, an aptitude test and oral interview which I successfully passed. I reported the following week as a Business Analyst intern- Enterprise Risk Services (ERS). The Enterprise Risk Services falls under the Risk Advisory department

Working in ERS taught me how to deal with clients, relate with colleagues, undertake work assignments and practice ethics in order to work well. The values gained from Strathmore made it easy for me to adapt to the culture and ethos at Deloitte.

Over and above the work demand, high expectations, pressure and tight deadlines at my place of work, I decided to put my best foot forward and deliver with excellence. This meant a lot of discipline, determination, focus and resilience from my end. By the end of my internship, I received a confirmation letter to a permanent employment as a Business Analyst in the Risk Advisory department.

I am grateful that I took advantage of the resources available around me, through the Careers Office, who helped me kick start my career. As for students and fellow alumni, it is never too late to accomplish what you want in life. Use the open doors around you as our low lying fruits….In our case, the CDS office is a great resource for all our career related issues.

My parting shot to students would be, they should explore opportunities available keenly and focus on the long term. They should be themselves, driving through their careers with passion and determination. That is the best gift they could give themselves.

Veronica, Njoki – Business Analyst, Deloitte (Risk Advisory department)

(Since November 2016)

*CDS has a Placement Service – Your qualifications are matched to a client’s job requirement request and your CV forwarded to the client who then shortlists and calls candidates for interviewing.

 

Strathmore University students and alumni were treated to a practical career seminar led by three renowned Human Resource speakers; Nestlé Sales and Regional Recruitment Manager- Mr. Stephen Mokaya, Human Resource Consultant- Mr. Erick Kariuki and, L’Oreal Human Resource Director – Mr. Peter Ndirangu.

The seminar themed Career Jet Set-Go, covered a wide variety of topics such as professional grooming, job search, effective work skills, legal issues, work ethics and branding.

Seasoned recruiter Mr. Mokaya called on students to identify new ways on how they can effectively brand themselves, in their attempts to penetrate into the job market. Mr. Mokaya, urged the students to be consistent when branding themselves, “consistency is key for successive brands,” he said.

On his part, the conversationalist, well versed, Mr. Kariuki, appealed to the students to position themselves as global workers in a bid to widen their scope in their job hunting mission. Mr. Kariuki underscored the importance of building networks and urged the students to make known their intentions, each time they interact with potential employers.

“Always take advantage of the networks you build, it is through your network that you will be able to fulfil half of your dreams and ambitions,” Mr. Kariuki advised.

Professional grooming is another topic which was stressed on by Mr. Ndirangu, who challenged the students to up their grooming game in an effort to have an edge particularly in interviews.

To put the issues addressed into perspective, a mock interview was conducted to enable students to get a better understanding of what happens during a real life interview. An able panel of interviewers that included Ms. Cecilia Maina, Strathmore University Human Resource administrator was in play. Fourth year Faculty of Information Technology student Emily Bosibori, volunteered to be the interviewee of the day following her application for the marketing intern position.

For the better part of her interview session, the panel pressed Emily to explain why she thought she was a suitable candidate for the job. Emily successfully managed to answer the panel’s questions, allowing her to secure a job; her confidence and her ability to answer the questions fittingly enabled her to carry the day.

Students present were given grooming give-a-ways from L’Oreal and also got to enjoy free Nestlé coffee and chocolates.

 

As I came towards the end of my studies in 2016, I began looking for opportunities to kick start my accounting career, just like any other job seeker.

After several unsuccessful attempts in my job search, I approached the Career Development Services (CDS) office for CV review and assistance through their placement service. Later on I received an email alert from the CDS team that my CV had been forwarded to Pathologist Lancet Kenya (PLK) for an internship position. PLK got in touch and invited me for an interview for the position of a Credit Controller. The interview was successful and I braced myself for the real world. This was one month before my graduation and for me that was an amazing opportunity.

I started off as an intern in May 2016, though in reality, I worked just like any other employee and was confirmed for employment after successfully completing the probation period.

My job entails preparation of client statements of Account, invoicing clients, handling their queries and complaints and debt collection once service is rendered. Due to the nature of the job where I frequently meet different clients, I have learnt the value of punctuality, how to interact with people of different personalities, business communication skills, attention to details especially with emails, listening and problem solving skills. As an employee, there is a great sense of responsibility both on myself and the Strathmore brand I represent out here.

Nothing is without challenges. The job is very demanding and calls for a lot of self discipline, resilience and patients especially in debt recovery. Due to poor financial management, collecting debts can be a challenging journey but as I learnt the tactics, I have been able to manage.

To my fellow alumni and students, I encourage you to get in touch with Careers Development services for your career related issues. The office play a pivotal role in bridging the gap between us and employers and is a great resource uniquely found in our University. Take advantage of the career fairs organized, CV review and interview skills training offered as time moves so fast and before long you realize you are out here looking for employment, but with poor job search skills.

Albert Einstein once said ”In the middle of every difficulty lays opportunity.” Look for the opportunity in your difficulty and leverage on it. Your first job might not be your dream job (which is the case for most people) but be positive, stay focused, start small, build your portfolio, explore opportunities at hand and keep your dreams alive. You will surely get there.

Sandra Kavaya  Bachelor of Commerce – Accounting option 2016 graduate | CPA finalist  Strathmore University

*Placement Service – Your qualifications are matched to a client’s job requirement request and your CV forwarded to the client who then shortlists and calls candidates for interviewing.


 

The character of the staff determines the overall performance of the team. If the character of one staff affects the performance of the rest of the team, it should be a reason to worry by the management. The employer should be keen to reward an employee not just because of what they have achieved but for both ‘the what and the how’ they have achieved the indicated targets. Click to read more http://kahihu.blogspot.co.ke/2012/05/great-performer-but-of-bad-character.html

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Strathmore University prides itself for having a premier Career Development Service (CDS) office that has in the past contributed and continues to contribute, towards Strathmore graduates being the most preferred by employers. Through organizing career fairs, career counseling workshops and professional development classes, students are introduced to an array of options on career options as they prepare to join the industry.

Graduate Sylvia Wanjiru Wainana, who majored in Marketing with a minor in Business Administration from the School of Management and Commerce, is one of the many beneficiaries of the CDS office with a story to tell.

How did you find out about Careers Development Office?

I learnt about the careers department in third year, when Lucy Muli – Manager CDS, interrupted an ongoing class to share her frustration of how students are not utilizing the resources available at Strathmore to further their career progression. She explained the department’s role, highlighting on the numerous partnerships they have secured with various organizations to secure Strathmore students positions in companies, yet we were not taking advantage of these opportunities.

I later sent my CV to test their response rate, and amazingly they responded fast.

What opportunities were presented after you sent your CV?

They looked at my CV and returned it for amending, sending a different template to use so as to make the CV more appealing. After the CV review I felt hopeful.

After the review, the department continued to send emails inviting me for events organized to enhance my skills and relevance in the job market. At first I was motivated by the goodies that were offered after every session but with time I realized the forums were quite helpful. I was able to develop tremendously.

I also attended counseling sessions in small groups where we would request for an unclear topic in the career industry to be elaborated and they would gladly do it. Some of the topics we handled were on individual rights, sexual harassment, and wages and contracts. These topics, though very vital to every individual, are not taught in class yet inform a lot of our decision making when joining the job market.

After these many sessions was securing a job an easy option?

Through the department, I attended countless interviews, and though initially it would be frustrating to attend and fail, I got to realize in life there are no failures. So I would pick myself together and ensure that every encounter was a learning lesson and a networking opportunity.

Soon after finishing my course work in fourth year, the department would always forward my CV to relevant organizations without getting tired. A few weeks later I was able to land myself an internship opportunity, with a renowned organization, Telkom Kenya, through the department and before graduation.

I can attest to the fact that this office is out to secure everyone’s welfare. Let’s make good use of the resources we have at Strathmore. We are a lucky students.

Thank you Careers department for helping me kick start my career.

Why a cover letter? you might ask. Well a cover letter is basically a summary of reasons why you are the best candidate for a particular job. Writing a cover letter  is not  an opportunity to use your copy and paste prowess to create a mini version of your CV .

3 things to remember

Paragraph 1 – Introduction

Paragraph 2 – Highlight why you want to work in that particular organization(hint: do your values and that of the organization match)

Paragraph 3 – Why you? Highlight why you are the perfect match for the job

below is a sample letter

Anna Lukweli

P.O Box 23145 – 00100

Nairobi, Kenya

Date: 9th September, 2013


Mr. Rikka Silmakani

Director, Talent Management

The Focus- eye Agency, Inc

P.O Box 123564 Nairobi


Dear Mr. Silmakani,

RE: Application for a Marketing Management Trainee position

I am writing to express my desire to join the Focus-eye Agency’s marketing team by participating in the one year marketing management trainee program. I graduated in June2013 from Strathmore University with a Bachelor of Commerce – Marketing and Business Administration options with  2nd class upper honors.

Working for your organization appeals to me because of its excellent reputation in quality service, customer satisfaction, associate training and sustainable practices. I can contribute to this

through a combination of my experience, education, value systems and motivation to excel given

the opportunity.

I have been consistently achieving excellent academic results throughout my academic tenure

which shows that I am ambitious, disciplined and organized. I am also a part time volunteer with

Market mode which assists small enterprises learn how to reach their target consumers as I enjoy learning and sharing the marketing skills I have acquired so far.

My full resume underlining my academic credentials and my work experience is attached for

your reference. If I can provide you with additional information kindly reach me by email at ann.lukweli@gmail.com or by phone on 0770 123 456. I look forward to discussing my qualifications with you in person.

Yours sincerely,

sign

Anna Lukweli

please note that this is just a sample- not something to copy paste

Long gone are the days when graduating from university was regarded as a big ceremony in the village as more and more people become graduates with each passing day. As more graduates enter the job market, you have to ask yourself; what differentiates me from the next candidate?

What are the qualities that companies look for before hiring? What does it take for me to land that dream job I have always desired?

Strathmore University’s Career Development Services has tailored a Professional Development Program (PDP) to help equip students with necessary skills to market themselves in the industry regardless of whether you plan to be gainfully employed or self employed.

The program was launched on Monday 10th February, 2014 on 3rd floor Student Center with students being trained on how to prepare for the industry. The program will run for five weeks with a series of training conducted each week to cover selected topics. The office also offers Psychometric tests to help prepare students for interviews. The Writing Center located on 2nd floor of the Student Center will collaborate with CDS in offering CV and Cover Letter writing training as well as Mock Interviews.

Most companies use more than just academic excellence as the ultimate criteria for choosing the best candidates to hire. They look for other attributes such as leadership and communication skills among others. To sum it up, if you have the desire to land that dream job, if you want to know the secrets of nailing that interview, if you aim to be that stand out candidate then the Professional Development Program is the right beginning for you and the office to visit is Careers Development Services, 3rd floor Student Center.

Look out for updates on the next PDP session on our Social Media pages.

To book for a psychometric test, send an email to careers@strathmore.edu

Like our Facebook page Strathmore University Careers Development Services and follow us on twitter @SUCareersDev