It was an event that had all the pupils rapt on their seats, totally engrossed, as the experts counselled them on choosing the right careers.

The programme was a one-day seminar on career goals organised for the senior students of Crown Heights College, Ibadan, Oyo State, on Tuesday, February 13, 2018. The event also had some students from another school in attendance.

Since its establishment 21 years ago, Crown Heights College has always moved beyond the routine classroom work to organise programmes and activities that would better the lives of students and give them the necessary tools to make them successful citizens in their post-school endeavours.

Speakers at the event included the proprietor, Mr. Gbadebo Adeyeye; Mr. Jibola Ogundipe, an engineer, lawyer and entrepreneur; Prof. Prisca Olabisi Adejumo, head of department of nursing and the first female professor of nursing at the University of Ibadan; principal of the school, Mr. Salaman Olukayode. Students of Ogunsanya Girls Science Academy, Ibadan, also participated.

What necessitated the programme? The proprietor, Adeyeye, explained: “We realised that most of the pupils, even in the senior classes, don’t even know how to prepare for the future. We need to encourage them beyond the four walls of the classroom. They need to be told the truth about the future and what they will meet out there so that they can prepare their minds for what will come later in life. This is the third edition of the programme and we have recorded success in the past.

“Each time I organise this programme, I always consider how it will be beneficial to all the stakeholders, the teacher, staff, students and non-teaching staff.  We always look for the right people and we are lucky to have great Nigerians as our guest speakers.”

In his remarks, the principal, Olukayode, enjoined the pupils to dream big.

“What you conceive in the mind will help bring your dreams to reality,” he said.

On his part, Ogundipe tutored the students on the steps to take while choosing a career: “It is important to find out what you love doing or what you are passionate about.”

Using his life’s trajectory as an example, he informed the pupils that he had always been a man of many parts.

He said, as a child, he loved arguing, which encouraged him to study law.

“If you hate seeing people being unjustly treated, you can become the voice of the voiceless,” he said.

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He cited other examples, including that of the renowned girl-child advocate, Malala Yousafzai, now a United Nations ambassador, and the popular CNN journalist, Richard Quest, who studied law but currently anchors business news on the popular channel.

He asserted that knowing one’s talent was good, but being diligent with the talent would take one to greater heights. He gave the example of the Biblical David who was an armour bearer, a shepherd and a leader.

“David diligently combined these responsibilities and later became a king. So, it doesn’t matter how many talents you have; how you make use of them is what matters,” he said.

Ogundipe counselled the pupils against jumping on the bandwagon in choosing a career but they should study hard and develop their talents.

“Understanding the environment will help you, not by having the best certificate. To be the best, you have to be consistent in application of facts,” he said.

He also emphasised that opportunities and responsibilities were very important, even after choosing careers: “And when you are alone, pursue your goal because there is no time. Your time is your life, so spend it wisely.”

He also spoke about the importance of integrity, even as he counselled the pupils to always set new goals for themselves, be good individuals, keep good friends and maintain good relationships.

The second speaker, Prof. Adejumo, said the seminar was coming at the right time.

“Today’s children want things to be done for them, but it is good to let them know that they are responsible for their lives. If you ask them what they want to be in the future, they will mention the big professions. It is vital to help them know how to get there,” she said.

She also dwelt on time management. Said she: “Time management concerns every aspect of our lives, and how we spend our time has great consequences. How do you utilise your time? The journey of first class begins from your first class. To manage your time properly, always learn how to say no to unnecessary commitments.”

She explained that being a good student required a lot of efforts, including being disciplined, reading ahead of teachers, jettisoning whatever could constitute an impediment and seeing classes as a profession. Students must also prioritise, do less on the social media and set academic goals.

“Success is good, but this lies in the ability to efficiently manage time, because the way to control your time tomorrow starts today,” she said.