Life after graduation: Welcome to the jungle
This was my response to the LinkedIn’s #IfIWere22 campaign back in June 2014. I thought I should share it.
I like the LinkedIn #IfIWere22 campaign as a guidance to the current college graduating class through experience sharing. For understanding purposes, I will just answer the questions they sent instead of writing an essay.
+ #IfIWere22: What do I know now that I wish I’d known then?
As a realistic guy, I will be frank. When my former curriculum was coming to its end in June 2013, I thought I would just apply for the job that I wanted and got it right away. But the truth is, not everyone is lucky to have such transition scenario in his/her life and therefore has to be patient. That waiting period can be really depressing especially when it is your 1st job ever and depending on how high were your expectations regarding that ideal storyline.
+ #IfIWere22: Am I where I thought I’d be?
My educational journey at Concordia University for a M.Eng Information Systems Security, associated with a BSc in Maths and Computer Science from the University of Buea, developed in me a huge interest and set of skills in computer security and programming. So yes, I am where I thought I’d be. However, since my entrepreneur experience in education back to 2008, I also aimed to invest in helping students in the future. As a matter of fact, it is an ongoing process (https://www.immabe.org).
+ #IfIWere22: What advice would I give to a young person entering the working world today?
After a long observation on the passage from college to the professional world, I come to realize that there are only 2 types of career paths that can match a student’s personality (I call them the student DNA). These are: Employee (any kind of job where there is an hierarchy and your position in the ladder is not the top-level one) or Entrepreneur (For those who like to innovate or don’t like to receive orders). Know your student DNA. Then identify the field in which you have a real interest, because believe me, there is nothing worse than working in a field that you don’t enjoy (regardless of the other common internal problems of companies like communication and management). This pursue of identity differs from one individual to another: I had a friend who used to work in programming (and he’s really good at it) then found his alter-ego in humanitarian entrepreneurship. Another one worked for several years in Finance before realizing she loved Agriculture and switched career.
Life after graduation has more to offer than the difficult riddles (decision challenges, responsibilities or failures) it presents. Embrace it like a champion and learn from it with wisdom.