Today, my conversation with a young university senior.
Me, randomly: How many babies are there in Lagos?
Her: *shocked* *blank stare*
Me: OK. How did you come up with that number?
Her: Well, in my compound of 10 families, each family has between 2 and 8 babies. I just multiplied by my whole street and it gave me a rough idea.
Me: Good. So say average of 4?
Me: Good. If I told you there are 4 million families (households) in Lagos, how many babies would you say there are?
Her: 16 million *smiles with accomplished confidence*
Me: That’s how you think through a problem!
We’re preparing her to intern in top firms like PWC, FCMB, etc. The education system (which I won’t even bother to go into) had simply ZERO mental tools for engaging such “impossible” questions.
We went to LASU every Saturday for 7 weeks to prepare 500 students for the “world of work.”
Ordinarily, these kids would never be able to get a corporate job for a thousand reasons — no career services on campus, no mentors, little guidance, wrong expectations, etc. You can’t imagine what a little mindset orientation, motivation and employability training can do.
After we were done, they interned for 3 months in top companies, unearthing true potential, demonstrating to the corporate world that if given the chance, they can succeed as well.
This year, we’re training and placing 2,000 students.
Sounds like a lot but Lagos graduates 25,000 every year. And that’s just Lagos.
It’s remarkable what lengths the Lagos State Government (Ministry of Education) is willing to go to make Lagos graduates more “fit-for-purpose.”
We’ve developed an RSW “Employability” Rating, a proxy reputation system that allows us (GEN) to independently assess and rate students and report their abilities (NOT job-specific functions; more professional skills) to prospective employers.
Primitive, yes. Perfect, no. But it’s a start.
At RSW, we focus on merit within the context of the program itself. So during registration, students must not even report their GPA or expected grades.