Life beyond ‘graduate-manufacturing’ factories

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Growing up as a teenager in Nigeria, getting admitted to the university was always the dream for many children my age. The ideology at the time was that university education was a ticket to a white-collar job that would in turn make you lots of money and respectable in the society. Well, I have been through the system and I daresay that is not entirely true, at least not in Nigeria.

See, I was one of the thousands of eligible students ripe for the university having completed the senior secondary school education. I had the desire to explore different professions at different points in my life. At thirteen, I wanted to be an aeronautic engineer because I was fascinated by the mechanics behind the functioning of airplanes. That desire soon fizzled out because of my disdain for mathematics which is an integral prerequisite for any engineering course. I had to ‘fall back’ to wanting to be a medical doctor, I say ‘fall back’ because I always wanted to be a doctor when I was much younger. I am not a doctor as you might have guessed already and I’ll tell you why.

I opted for the Science arm of the senior secondary school even though I really wanted to be in the Arts, my dilemma wasn’t in any way helped by my school principal who maintained that I only wanted to be in the Arts because I was lazy. I didn’t do badly, as a matter of fact, I was top of my class most of the time but I was always getting a nagging feeling in my heart that I would have been so much better in the Arts.

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Tobi Ayodeji

Fast forward to the end of secondary school, I had aced my final exams and it was time to take the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Exams, then, I reached another crossroads. I needed to choose a course to study at the university and I was totally lost. I ended up choosing Medicine and Surgery because that was the most appealing to me considering my earlier desires to be a doctor too.

I wrote the exams and when the results were released, I did not make the required grades to study Medicine. Boy was I relieved! I would have been miserable studying to become a doctor.

I rewrote the exams the following year, this time choosing to study Biochemistry because it wasn’t as difficult as Medicine but still respectable enough to get me a good job or so I thought. I passed this time and I was admitted to study biochemistry in the university. It was harder than I was made to believe but I persevered because failure was not an option, I graduated from the university but I can’t remember a whole lot about biochemistry now! I am now a cinematographer, photographer, and writer amongst many other things but that’s a story for another day.

All of the uncertainties surrounding my career path would have been easily avoided if there was such a thing as the Interest Discovery System in my time. With a proven system like this that utilizes assessment of personalities and interests, I would have been placed on the path to a purposeful career earlier on. I would not have been one of the thousands of clueless university graduates churned out yearly with no inkling as to what to do with their lives.

The Interest Discovery system recommends tailored skills and individualized learning curves for each person and this helps curb the waste of precious time and the individuals can well be on their way to careers with clarity.

Featured Story by Tobi Ayodeji

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Triangle Africa is using AI to help young people in Africa make smarter and reliable career decisions. #InterestDiscovery

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