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31/03/2013

How to curb the problem of Half baked Graduates.

An article that was published in the Daily Nation last Tuesday, in the Smart Company pullout, was titled, ‘Who’s to blame for the half- baked graduates? Some readers offered these suggestions:

Guru Mwangi- If intellectual hunger means an absentee lecturer dishing out handouts, then what is the essence of coming to campus? We should stay at home; the lecturers to send us the handouts and we (students) read on our own. Intellectual hunger comes about because one feels inspired to be part of that team that advances knowledge but who is there to inspire the undergraduates? Majority of students in campus really try to achieve excellence but without proper guidance, they can only go so far. Many times it is not lecturers but largely the university administrations with their 'analogue' bureaucracy are to blame for half baked graduates. Students are not receiving value for their money which is hardly a surprise: the university administrations are busy searching for property to acquire to expand the reach of education to all.

True research is an exception rather than the rule. Half-baked graduates are a result of a systemic rot. It does not however mean that all students are guided by vision and determination. On the contrary, we have university students who have absolutely no sense of academic direction. But like I said, the university

30/03/2013

Five Career Advices for BCOM and Arts students.

Students in science, medical, and engineering courses usually like to make fun of students doing Bachelor of Commerce- BCOM, and the Arts related courses. Sometimes, Arts students can take this literally, and feel that their course is not marketable enough. However, if you are pursing any of the so called Arts and Business related courses, here are five career advices that should cheer you up.

1. All courses are flooded.
Currently, there is no course in Kenya that isn’t flooded, unless you are training to be an undersea cable welder or some other strange profession. Even medical and engineering students these days stay for months- even years on end without jobs. So, take heart and embark on doing things that will make you stand out, not spending your energies pondering on how you will change your course to a more marketable one.

2. BCOM and Arts courses are still the most marketable courses.
Turn to any newspaper job ads section, or a jobs website. Chances are high that 80 percent of the jobs advertised are still within the Business, and the Arts courses. Sure, one could counter argue that there are also thousands of students within these professions, but that is besides the point. The fact is that there are job

Harvard, Yale, Ivy League Universities, Report Record Low Admission Rates.

Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Columbia universities reported record-low freshman admission rates for the 2013-2014 academic year as applications soared. The class admitted will report in early September this year.

Harvard admitted 2,029 students, or 5.8 percent of a record 35,023 applicants. About 10 Kenyans, mostly from national and leading provincial schools, were also admitted, from the early admission decision in December and the regular admission decision released on Thursday, March 28. Yale accepted 6.7 percent, Princeton offered admission to 7.3 percent and Columbia accepted 6.89 percent, the schools said in statements.

Top U.S. Ivy league universities that offer generous financial aid are luring record numbers of applicants even as the cost to attend increases faster than the pace of inflation and the number of high school graduates declines. The Common Application, an online form that lets students apply to multiple schools, has helped drive the surge, said Robin Mamlet, former dean of admissions at Stanford University.

“More students are going for their reach or dream colleges through the use of the Common App,” Mamlet said in a phone interview. In years past, completing laborious paperwork for each school limited the number

Kenyans want Shaffie Weru to represent them in BBA.

According to a poll conducted by Ghafla Kenya, Kenyans want Shaffie Weru to represent them in the Big Brother Africa- BBA. In the poll, Shaffie led by 55 percent, followed in a distant second by Huddah Monroe- Kenya’s own version of Kim Kardashian, at 18 percent. Just about a quarter of the respondents- 27 percent, preferred someone completely new that is not a celebrity. Prezzo was the last year’s runner up, and given Shaffie’s bad boy image, many hope that the prize will come home this time round.

Top eight Movies for this Easter Holiday weekend.

So, you didn’t travel home and are alone, and bored in this Easter holidays. Here are the top eight movies that will keep you company in this long Easter holiday.

1. Family Weekend:
A teenage girl holds her parents hostage in Benjamin Epps' determinedly wacky comedy.

2. G.I. Joe: Retaliation:
Jon M. Chu's action-packed sequel starring Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis and Channing Tatum follows the elite macho soldiers in a worldwide battle against the bad guys.

3. Dog Pound:
Kim Chapiron's Tribeca Film Festival award-winner depicts the brutal struggle for survival in a youth correctional facility.

4. Detour:
William Dickerson's claustrophobic thriller concerns a man trapped in his car buried under a mudslide.

5. The Real World: Portland:
MTV's benchmark series, once of cultural interest, has now taken its alcohol-soaked hookup party to a

Internship, Attachment Jobs- Farm Africa Project

Farm Africa is a different kind of charity, working to end hunger and bring prosperity to rural Africa.

We work with different types of farmers (pastoralists, agro-pastoralist, smallholders and forest dwellers) in a range of regions in eastern Africa.

Their specific situations vary but most are facing increasing economic, health and environmental vulnerability.
We work with them, and other stakeholders, to develop, test, and support the roll-out of successful solutions to achieve long-term improvements in their lives.

We believe Africa has the power to feed itself.

We are currently seeking a Project intern – livestock, for the Farm Africa - AMREF Kenya WASH and Food Security Integrated Project.

You will be assisting the Project officer – crops, to introduce and promote the tested Farm Africa dairy goat model.

As part of your active role as an important member of the AMREF – Farm Africa partnership project team, you will:
    Be guided by the Project Officer (PO) and other partner staff to develop effective and coherent plans for

29/03/2013

Why the Bachelors degree is the new minimum requirement for getting a job.

The bachelors degree is becoming the new college diploma: the new minimum requirement, albeit an expensive one, for getting even the lowest-level job.
Many Kenyan employers nowadays hire only people with a bachelor’s degree, even for jobs that do not require university-level skills.

This prerequisite applies to everyone, including the receptionist, administrative assistants and file clerks. Even the office “runner” — the in-house courier who, for some little cash per day, ferries documents back and forth between the departments in the office — went to a university.

Across industries, many other jobs that didn’t used to require a degree — positions like drivers, secretaries, admin assistants, receptionists — are increasingly requiring one.
This up-credentialing is pushing the less educated even further down the food chain, and it helps explain why

The top five inspirational celebrity power couples.

Adapted from Ghafla Kenya. Love is passion, relationships are hard work. Being a celebrity usually puts untold pressure on relationships which are already pressure cookers to begin with. But somehow, these couples have managed to weave a beautiful fairy tale for themselves and for their fans.
Please understand that there have been ups and downs even in these relationships but that hasn't stopped them from soldiering on in the name of love.

1. Sheba Hirst and Eric Wainaina
Eric Wainaina stumbled. He fell for one of his co-stars in a Broadway production that was all Kenyan. If anyone is to blame, he is. Most women would have left him. Tiger's wife did. But Sheba stayed by her man. She stood by him when he deserved it the least. And he understood what that meant as I’m sure any guy above 21yrs of age does. That is true love.
Sheba understood that life isn't always perfect, but love is. And it's healing. Sheba is a wise woman who understands the importance of speaking life into her man: If you love a man, encourage him, believe in him and be his peace. Denzel Washington said that.
If ever a love story made this love atheist believe in love, it has to be this particular story.

2. Juliani and Brenda
These guys have to be the youngest power couple out there. She is drop dead gorgeous and he is successful. He is actually the only gospel artist whom a lot of secular and underground rappers respect lyrically. And you

3 Best mobile phone apps for Campus students.

You have survived freshers week, worked out where your lectures are and found a cheap hostel, but now it's time to hand in your first assignment. These three apps won't write your assignments or essays for you, but they will make the whole process a little more enjoyable. As a caveat, make sure you have a mobile phone that allows you to download apps, and the good thing is that such phones are cheap, even as low as 4,000 shillings for some phone models. 

1. Evernote
What does it do?
Evernote is the perfect companion to a messy student. Everything from notes, web clips, audio snippets and business cards can be organised in Evernote. Take a photo of some class notes and Evernote will digitise them, allowing you to search for specific words later on. Very handy close to a deadline. 

Why is it good?
Evernote works across devices and syncs all your data to your online account. Its add-ons allow you to sync

Kambua to release new Gospel song.

After taking a break from singing gospel music, renowned Gospel artiste and Inuka host on Hot 96, Kambua, has just released a new song “Bado Nasimama”. “Bado Nasimama” is Swahili for ‘I’m Still Standing’ and is the third single off her upcoming 3rd studio album, “Umetenda Mema”.

Bado Nasimama is quite an inspiring song, one that many can relate to in the journey of life. Kambua sings of the grace and mercy of God that has kept her standing, and encourages others to keep the faith, and

Citizen TV Unveils New Hot Anchors to replace Julie Gichuru.

Following the mass exodus of Citizen TV’s top journalists to K24, many guessed that Citizen was readying themselves to introducing the next big thing to keep their audiences glued.

Last week, the station unveiled its newest stunning anchor, Syombua Mwele on the 7PM sports section.

Syombua Mwele or as she is commonly referred to as Sions has been working at a vernacular station Musyi FM.

She is an award winning (Groove Awards, Radio Presenter of the Year - 2011), devout Christian and a motivational speaker.

Syombua will now be hosting the “Jungu La Mwanaspoti” section filling in the gap left by journalists who

28/03/2013

The Top Five Career Regrets.

Daniel Gulati, co-author of ‘Passion &Purpose: Stories from the Best and Brightest Young Business Leadersasks a simple question. What do you regret most about your career? What would you do differently if you had the chance to magically rewind your career?
Here were the top five career regrets he identifies on most professional’s mind:

1. I wish I hadn't taken the job for the money. By far the biggest regret of all came from those who opted into high-paying but ultimately dissatisfying careers. Classic research proves that compensation- or salary, is a not a true motivator. What is surprising, though, are the feelings of helplessness these individuals face. Lamented one banker, "I dream of quitting every day, but I have too many commitments." Another consultant said, "I'd love to leave the stress behind, but I don't think I'd be good at anything else."

2. I wish I had quit earlier. Almost uniformly, those who had actually quit their jobs to pursue their passions wished they had done so earlier. "Those years could have been spent working on problems that mattered to

Lawyer Kethi Kilonzo: Like father, like daughter


The heavyweights in the Supreme Court room, some of whom are the age of her father and others her former lecturers, does not seem to deter her resolve to represent her client in the historic case.
Ms Kethi Kilonzo has won the hearts of Kenyans on the social media and is now the talk of town even before the presidential election petition gets under way this morning, owing to her manner of prosecuting the case.

Kethi, the daughter of Makueni Senator-elect and immediate former Education Minister Mutula Kilonzo- who is also a Senior Counsel, is a typical case of like father like daughter.
Kethi, representing a non-governmental organisation, Africog, has not only done her father proud, but has also shown that the best legal minds can be found among young people. Ms Gladwell Otieno is the Africog director.

Unlike some of her seniors who have exhibited emotions, she has been able to prosecute her case in a composed manner, but hammering the point home to the delight of many. Kethi’s determination has

Many Working Undergraduate Students suffer from burnout- New Report shows.

These days, many students have enrolled for parallel and evening classes in order to gain additional skills to advance their career. For many jobs, the bachelors’ degree is becoming the absolute minimum requirement. The intense routine of a working student can be a sun-up to sun-down affair, drowning out any hint of a personal life. School then becomes more of a lifestyle. It becomes all-encompassing, and depressing, according to a new report released recently.

While getting into a university alone demonstrates a degree of academic toughness, once there, even the most studious can be confronted with circumstances that lead to severe emotional and physical exhaustion. And while holding a full-time job while going to school is admirable, it does present challenges that can lead to burnout.

Isolation. Your social habits rarely extend beyond all-business interaction with co-workers and fellow students.
Although you're initially unphased by this, after months of basing your existence around work and school, it

Shaffie Weru Making Ksh 100,000 From Julie Gichuru’s Show

The outspoken radio bad boy and controversial Kiss FM host Shaffie Weru is rumoured to be making a cool Sh100,000 from every episode in the recently launched K24 TV show Maisha which is co- produced by Julie Gichuru.

If the rumours are anything to go by then Shaffie is the highest paid actor in town, better even than Charles Bukeko (Papa Shirandula) who reportedly makes Sh 80,000 a week.
Maisha is one of the programmes launched during the re-branding of K24 and it’s still not clear how often

Tujuane Show Diva, Susan Gets an International Airline Job.

Before the dating show ‘tujuane’ brought her to the limelight, Susan Mirfat Musa was just another face on the streets of Nairobi. But all that changed when she decided to attack a guy (George) whom she was hooked up with on the show.

Kenyan celebrities came to her defence and even though the episode was over and done with, it was still a hot topic for weeks. Julie Gichuru and Janet Mbugua came out to condemn the attack that had befallen the

Kenya Airways Pilot Trainee Jobs 2013

Pilot Trainees Jobs in Kenya 2013. Kenya Airways
Excellent Career Opportunities with Kenya Airways

Ab Initio Pilot Trainee
Applications are invited for Ab Initio Pilot Trainee Positions.

Job Requirements
    University Degree
    Mean Grade B Plain or equivalent and B in Maths, English and Physics
    Must be a Kenyan citizen aged 18 and above but not beyond 28 years
    Minimum height of 5 feet 4 inches and a maximum of 6 feet 2 inches

27/03/2013

5 Certifications that could advance your Career.

Apart from pursuing your degree, there are some other professional certificates that could help you advance your career. Of course, there is a thin line between diversifying your career options, and getting papers left, right, and center. Even as you get more certifications, they must be aligned within a certain career addition, and not simply enrolling for certifications as a matter of increasing your bets. Any serious employer could see the difference between the two. Here are five certifications that could put you ahead of the pack.

1. CPA/ACCA
CPA- Certified Public Accountants-could put you ahead when applying for any accounting/auditing job or a job within the Finance industry. This would be a great combination for students pursuing Business courses, engineering, and IT. However, even students pursuing a social science degree could still enroll for the CPA certification. The CPA has three parts, each divided into two sections. CPA exams are administered by

Mother In Law's ‘Celina’ Talks About Her Acting Career.

 She is beautiful and vivacious. She is short tempered and sometimes over bearing. She can be rude and likes taunting her docile sister in law. She has guts untold and easily tells her mother in law off. She can be evil although she is very hard working. Her husband is a drunk and he is sometimes a total disaster.
Popularly known as Celina Mitego, the wife of Charlie Mwamba in the popular local drama Mother in Law that airs on Citizen TV, the pleasant Catherine Kamau is her real name. At age 19 years of age, Catherine found herself pregnant while in college and bore her son in 2006. However this did not deter her from achieving her dream.
 

Here is her story as done by Salon Magazine

What do you do besides acting?
Unlike many people, acting is a full time job for me. I wake up every morning to go to work on set and I hardly have any time for anything else, except when we are on shooting break. On the side, I do Karaoke at

Eight Kenyans listed in Africa Forbes list of Top 30 under 30

Eight young Kenyans under the age of 30 years have made it to the elite list of Forbes top 30 under 30. The seven gentlemen and one lady have been feted for their exceptional performance and exemplary service in different industries.
“The young African entrepreneurs, disruptors and innovators featured on this list are impatient to change Africa and together represent the entrepreneurial, innovative and intellectual best of their generation,” said Mr. Mfonobong Nsehe a writer at forbes.com.

An outside panel of 12 judges from across Africa was picked to help identify the group of outstanding entrepreneurs and innovators under the age of 30, in November last year according to Nsehe.  In each of 15 categories, ranging from technology, real estate to social entrepreneurs, Forbes editors and reporters

Google Kenya Is Recruiting Student Ambassadors.

It’s that time of the year again, when Google selects students from universities across Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) to be part of the Google Student Ambassador program. The second year of the program saw tremendous growth as it expanded from 6 to 12 countries, and grew from 28 to 97 universities with 160 Ambassadors within 1 year. The program also held its first training summit in Nairobi.

Google Student Ambassadors (GSAs) are student leaders on campus whose mission is to use technology to make a difference, not only in their universities, but also in their communities more widely. Ambassadors have helped improve their universities’ online presence by mapping over 60 African university campuses including the University of Ghana, and Nigeria’s Obafemi Awolowo University.
GSAs are improving collaboration and communication among students and faculty by conducting trainings on tools such as Google Apps for Education, Google+ for Education and YouTube for School. They have also

26/03/2013

The 6 Critical Skills That Will Get You Hired in 2013.

These days, employers don’t just look at your academic degree certificate, but what you bring to the table. It’s one of the reasons why fresh graduates usually have a hard time getting the first job. Here are six hot skills that will make you to be greatly valuable and be top in the minds of employers.

1. IT and Social media skills.
Being IT savvy doesn’t mean that you have to be a fast class programmer. Far from that. What it does mean is that you can use the computer comfortably to do basic operations; That you can use the computer to do basic office functions, to use basic office packages like MS word, spreadsheet, excel and MS PowerPoint. Additionally, as more and more company brands are using social media to promote their brands, being aware of the ongoing social media trends will set you apart in many ways.

2. Foreign language skills.
Can you communicate in a language other than English? Then you would be a hot commodity, especially if

Teenager sells mobile news app to Yahoo for 30 million dollars.

A British teenager has sold an Apple iPhone app, which he had designed in his bedroom, to Yahoo for at least (30 million dollars).

Nick D'Aloisio, 17, invented the Summly software that automatically reduces lengthy news stories and features to a user-friendly format on an iPhone or a mobile phone.
Nick, who lives in London, invented the app last year and it has already been downloaded almost a million times.
According to the Daily Mirror, Nick will work for Yahoo at their London offices while studying for three A-levels subjects at high school.
He first had the idea for Summly when he was studying for mock exams at home in 2011 and decided that it

Judge Ian- TPF6 to be bigger and better.

Judge Ian, the controversial judge who was accused of being a mellowed man in the last TFP5, says the TPF6 will be bigger and better. It will seek to unpluck talent from as many regions as possible, according to Judge Ian. Do you want to be the next Ruth Matete, or even be bigger than that, then get your singing caps on and start preparing for the auditions that will come soon to your town.

Kenyatta’s 22 yrs Old Speech Writer Speaks About Politics, Life and Love

Her demeanor betrays that she is a country-wide sensation, interviewed by many local media stations as well as the international ones. Under the cool and calm exterior lies a sharp mind that has seen her rise above challenges and opportunities that have come her way.

Julie Wangombe hit the headlines after she played an integral role in writing President elect Uhuru Kenyatta’s acceptance speech. At a relatively tender age of 22, she is probably the youngest person in the world to write a presidential acceptance speech, well, at least younger than the then 27 year old
Jon Favreau who wrote Obama’s acceptance speech in 2009.

Inspite of the accolades Julie is getting, she has taken it in her stride and appears unfazed being in the spotlight.  She has however taken her dizzying success in her stride and appears unruffled by the attention.

“I am not yet overwhelmed by the attention. Of course the idea of being a role model to anyone is daunting

Julie Gichuru Takes a Break From Citizen TV

She is one of the hottest TV personalities that keep many glued to their screens on Sunday’s during her news show. The soft spoken anchor is a role model to many in her long term successful media career. The breath taking Julie Gichuru is known for her feminine dressing which is admired by many as well as the ease and passion of presenting news.

The Citizen TV’s Sunday live host, on Sunday night dropped the bombshell that she is taking some time off being very careful not to reveal where she was headed.  Julie Gichuru announced her exit from Citizen TV, to

25/03/2013

5 Career tips for the IT/Computer degree student.


While it is true that a degree in IT/Computer Science can open many doors, you need to be armed with the right tools in order to make it to the top of your industry. Here are the top five career tips for the budding IT/Computer Science student.

1. Stay at the top of your game.
The programming languages change first, and what you learn today in school might be out of date in the next few years. You must learn to adapt, which means either enrolling in classes as you work, or being informed

Meet 19 year old Alfred Kibiwott Munge- Kenya’s youngest County Ward Rep.


Alfred Kibiwott Munge passes out as any other ordinary teenager on the streets.
However, the 19-year-old made history by being elected the youngest member of county assembly in the just concluded elections.
Munge, who cleared Form Four in 2011, is soft spoken. His answers to questions are terse. But despite this, Munge was able to convince over 3,000 residents who voted for him to be the first member of County Assembly for Perkerra Lembus ward in

Here is KTN’s Betty Kyalo's story.

Betty Kyalo on her public and private life
By Shirley Genga, Standard Newspaper
In the fast-moving, ephemeral world of TV where faces come and go, her face is among the unforgettable. The sassy Betty Kyalo is like that nice smelling rose flower whose scent lingers after she’s left the screen.
Watching her on TV, it is easy to note that she is not only good at her job, but she is also graceful and has that girl next-door demeanor that easily sucks one in. And you might think that you

Deloitte Graduate Recruitment Programme-

Here’s what you need to know about the 2013 Deloitte Graduate Recruitment programme .

This is an extract from an interview between Deloitte and Capital FM, on the upcoming 2013 Deloitte Graduate Recruitment Programme.

Corporate Kenya has become very competitive. The search for talent starts at the University level with exceptional students securing internships and jobs before they graduate. Deloitte, one of the ‘big four’ accountancy firms in the region is now engaging students on social media to nurture a rapport and create

24/03/2013

5 Ways to Find the Right Career.

For many professionals, it reaches a time in their lives when they feel they are no longer moving in their careers. It becomes dreary to wake up in the morning and go to the same desk or factory floor. So, here’s how you can revitalize a career which is headed downhill.

1. Research the future of your Profession.
The first and perhaps most important step that all workers should take right now is to begin researching trends in their industry.
"Many employees don't realize that industry downsizing will affect their jobs until it's too late. But in this

Meet Kenya’s youngest MP- Kinoti Gatobu.

Buuri MP- Honourable Kinoti Gatobu’s story is extraordinarily inspiring. Without paid employment he has, at 26 years, become Kenya’s youngest MP.  Although a top student and achiever in whatever he has tried, he chose to be a modern day missionary in his Buuri constituency- a constituency in the Upper Eastern region. He has been a volunteer teacher in local primary and secondary schools.

He has raised thousands of books for more than 60 primary schools, which have benefitted thousands of pupils. He has started village ICT training centres for many who had never seen a computer.
This young man has achieved more than any Kenyan politician has done at this tender age despite his very

23/03/2013

5 Questions that Job Seekers Should Always Ask- But Can't.

When you're interviewing for a job, it's crucial to interview the employer right back, to make sure that this is a job you want and a company you want to be a part of. But here are some questions most job seekers don't feel comfortable asking—even though they'd love to know the answers:

1. Why do most people really leave jobs here? In some offices, it's a poorly kept secret that turnover is high because the company won't give raises or offer opportunities for promotion, or simply because the management makes employees' lives miserable. But as a job seeker, it can be impossible to tell this from the outside.

2. How secure is this job? No one wants to leave a secure job for one that's in danger of disappearing. If

22/03/2013

5 Mistakes that you can easily Avoid Making on Your Cover Letter.

A cover letter is one of the easiest ways to make a job application stand out, but it's also the part of the application that job seekers struggle with most. Cover letters can be crucial because the hiring is about more than the skills and experience on your resume. Other factors matter too—communication skills, intellect, emotional intelligence, motivation, and your personality. And that's where a cover letter can set you apart from the rest of the crowd. But all too often, employers find candidates making these five mistakes when it comes their letters:

1. Simply using the cover letter to summarize your resume. The most common mistake job seekers

Five Careers for Shy People


While it’s often thought that extroverts have a great advantage in the office, introverts and shy people could just as well excel in some careers.
So, here are five careers in which a shy personality won't hold you back.
1: Graphic Designer
Creativity can be a solitary process - and it's not unusual for graphic designers to spend time alone thinking up big ideas for clients. Another plus for shy people: Graphic designers could have the opportunity to

Margaret Mumbi Mongare, Making the World a Better Place.

In less than a month, Margaret Mumbi Mongare, class of 2010, would graduate from Smith College with a major in biochemistry and a minor in economics. In July, she would step into the Broad Institute laboratory, a laboratory highly regarded for research in cancer, where she has landed a two-year appointment as a researcher, a story from the Smith College Website starts. 

For now, as she munched a turkey sandwich, Mongare wasn’t yet focused on the meticulous journey she had mapped out for herself: completing two years of laboratory research focusing on applying genomic tools to the

10 Steps to becoming your own Boss.

If you want to a launch a business or company in Kenya, or if you want to be self employed, here are the ten things you must be cautious of.

1. Banks are not your friends.
Banks are hard-core investors and should be treated as such. They want big returns for minimal capital invested. Unfortunately, you will be more worried about repaying the loans than concentrating on building your venture. Get your starting/seed capital from savings, friends, family or angels. What’s more, even though capital is highly desirable for starting a business, it is by no means the only ingredient to a successful venture. Cash flow is much more important than capital, and sometimes, too much capital at the start could lead to laxity as you burn up all the money. If you can, use bank loans for expansion, not for starting up.  

2. Don't forget to use your brain.
There is no set formula for success and luck favors those who are prepared for it. Just because you have a degree in business or IT doesn’t mean that you will flourish in your new venture. Most entrepreneurs learn by apprenticeship, so, education is just a value addition to the on the hands business skills.

3. Everything takes longer than you expect.
Plan conservatively and execute relentlessly. Somehow, every entrepreneur seems to believe that their idea is the next big thing that hit the planet, but in reality, it rarely goes according to plan. Clients will take longer to pay up, an emergency creeps up, and an employee leaves for greener pastures. When faced with any of

Why Nairobi may not be Africa’s Silicon Savanna.

Nairobi, once known as the city in the sun, and a place of cool waters, has acquired a new name. It is now known as ‘Africa’s Silicon Savanna’. Everyone predicts that Nairobi will be the epicenter of technology in Africa in the coming few years, but this may be far from the truth. There are so many salient factors that make a city- or a country, to be a technology center, and at the moment, Nairobi just doesn’t possess these attributes.

It is often said that there is nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come. But even more powerful are the individuals behind an idea. So, for Nairobi to be the glowing technology success story it is painted out to be, we must look at the technology entrepreneurs, or in short, the techpreneurs. While initiatives such as ihub are to be lauded for aiming to spur entrepreneurial talent, one can never learn swimming unless they jump into the swimming pool. Sometimes, one wonders whether the techpreneurs are just creating a buzz, attending conferences and schmoozing with rich executives from Google and Facebook, when in real sense, they should be spending time in the garage working on their ventures.

One issue that the Kenyan techpreneurs will have to deal with is relevance. How will their technology venture solve a problem for the Kenyan consumers? Copy and paste solutions will not work. Simply because an idea worked in America or Europe doesn’t mean that it will work in Kenya. Money transfer services like MPESA and airtel money worked because they solved a problem. People needed to transfer money, yet they did not have bank accounts. No one cares about the technology; it’s what the technology will help them to do that is most important. So, simply because you can design the best software,

21/03/2013

4 Career-Change Disasters you should Avoid.

Are you ready to take your career in a different direction? Whether your current job is a bad fit or you're looking for an industry with a better future, finding a new line of work can be both incredibly satisfying and personally profitable.
But switching career tracks can also be a high-stakes gamble. Before striking out on your own, learn how to avoid these four classic career-change disasters.

Disaster No. 1: Jumping into a new career to escape a bad job. If your job makes you want to curl up under your desk and cry, it's tempting to leave it all behind and head for a new industry. But changing careers is a drastic reaction to a bad work situation.
Job unhappiness may be related to a specific co-worker, a negative attitude, an outside-of-work stressor, or a whole lot of other problems that won't be fixed by jumping into a new career area. Instead, focus on pinpointing what part of your situation needs to change for you to be happier at work.

Disaster No. 2: Not doing your research. When you're considering a career change, it's all too easy to limit yourself to careers that are familiar or popular. But switching your path is about finding a new direction

20/03/2013

10 Great Hidden Careers for 2013 and Beyond

Most people limit their career choices to the well-known: doctor, lawyer, or engineer. Here are 10 professions that are not only underappreciated, but that offer advantages over the more traditional careers. Here are ten careers that you might want to re-look again and advise someone to pursue.

1. Kindergarten-ECD- teacher. Parents are forking gazillions for their children to study in top notch private kindergarten schools. Whilst in our generation nursery school wasn’t something our parents thought much about, these days it’s different. The fee for top kindergarten schools easily outstrips the fee for many primary schools, and quality teachers at this stage of a child’s development are hard to find. What’s more, psychologists proclaim that the early years of a child have a profound bearing on their future intellectual development.

2. Executive Assistant. This is the posh name that is now used to describe secretaries. Today’s secretary- effectively now the Executive Assistant- needs to be polished, and be knowledgeable on a great deal of information. With the boss on constant travel in and outside the country, executive assistants who schedule their bosses’ activities well are a prized asset. Besides, executive assistants, due to their close association with the boss, will yield an increasing power in the office, so, to navigate office politics, you better be in their good books.

3. Language translator. With the East Africa region integrating, knowledge of French would be of utmost importance. Equally, as the country does more business with China, a working knowledge of Chinese

19/03/2013

3 Facebook Mistakes that could kill your Career.

Many employers are using Facebook to screen potential employees and do background checks, more than they rely on referees and former work colleagues. This comes even as a recent survey shows that your Facebook likes are a likely predictor to your behavior, political leanings and your outlook of life. Here are three Facebook mistakes that you can easily avoid in order to push your career forward.

1. Complaining About Your Current Job
No matter how much you hate your boss, or how incompetent you consider your boss to be, it’s not appropriate to post it on your Facebook wall. While everyone complains about work sometimes, doing so in a public forum where it can be found by others is not the best career move. Although it may seem innocent, it's not the kind of impression that a potential boss will be comfortable with.

2. False Profile Information
We live in an age of instant gratification, and we all want to appear like we have it all. If we see our friend posting that they have just shopped at a mall in Westlands, we also want to follow up with an equally captivating update. However, presenting yourself as someone you are not will likely backfire, and might be

18/03/2013

5 Career advices that you shouldn’t pay attention to.

Plenty of the career advice that we hear repeatedly actually isn't true. Here are five of the most popular career advices that you shouldn't listen to.

 1. A University degree will get you a job. Many students have been told that if they get a university degree, they will easily find a job afterward. Unfortunately, it's no longer that way. Degrees no longer open doors the way they used to, and too many new graduates are remaining unemployed for months or even years, as employers prefer more experienced candidates. You can remedy this situation by getting a degree yes, but also getting skills that will make you be employable in a wide variety of industries. Acquiring certain skills, like communication skills, problem solving, analytical thinking and creativity will make you open to job opportunities from virtually any field.

2. Do what you love and the money will follow. In reality, not all passions match up with the realities of the job market. If you're passionate about poetry, you're going to find very limited job opportunities for poetry. In fact, the people who get to do what they love for a job are the lucky few; they're not the majority. A better way is to find a balance between your passions- what you love, your talents-what you are good at, and what the world needs- the job market demand- for your intended profession.

3. Start your own business if you can’t find a job. Starting your own business is not as easy as just having a skill and selling it. You have to have something that people want to buy from you more than they want to buy it from your competitors. You also have to be able to market yourself, deal with financial

17/03/2013

How you can use networking to get a job.

As we all know, getting a job in Kenya- and elsewhere in the world- is about who you know, than what you know. It is all about ‘kujuana’. That is not exactly a bad thing, as you might think. Come to think of it, with thousands of job seekers out there, it’s hard to separate the wheat from the chuff. Even when a recruiter has screened out applicant’s CVs letter by letter, and has carried out the stringiest interview criteria, there is absolutely no way to guarantee that the candidate that will be hired will be the best fit for the job. This is why many companies would gladly prefer if someone was recommended for a job, than if they have to search the candidate in the open field. To increase your network, and make it valuable to your job search, here’s how you can go about it.

1. Make it easy for someone to recommend you.
This means that your work should stand out. Remember that your recommender is taking a huge risk by recommending you. If you turn out to be someone who is mediocre and unreliable, her reputation will suffer, and she will never be relied upon to recommend another person to the company. Much more, the recruiters might even question her competence and character if you turn out to be sub-par for the job.

2. Make the relationship two Way.
The best friendships are two way. It’s about give and take. If someone does you a favor, they don’t necessarily expect that you will return the favor, but for the relationship to be sustainable, you have to

16/03/2013

How to find a Job as a Graduate Trainee.

These days, companies have realized that some universities have fallen short when it comes to equipping graduates with the necessary skills for the job market. Companies have come up with programs to ensure that they get fresh talent from colleges and universities, and then train them for one or two years before posting them to various departments. Some companies call this program the ‘Graduate Trainee’ or ‘Management Trainee’ program. Here’s how you can tailor your Cover letter, CV or interview so that you can be hired as a Graduate Trainee.

1. Put emphasis on Grades.
While this doesn’t mean that you have to get an A in each and every unit you undertook in college, it does mean that you shouldn’t also have too many Cs and Ds in your transcript. The reasoning is quite simple. In the absence of any work experience, employers will be forced to rely on grades as a gauge on whether you will be able to perform that task well. Sure, an A or B grade doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be the best worker, but it does mean that you can follow instructions, can learn fast, and are also hardworking.

2. Emphasize on your Leadership Traits.
A natural leader is always a magnet for any employer, since they would likely be able to solve complex problems, guide their team, and inspire their team to great heights. Leadership traits are manifested through

15/03/2013

Online Degrees-What to look out for when enrolling for an online degree.

The higher education industry is changing; and opportunities are opening up in colleges and universities. Workers who were too busy, did not have enough money, or were in far flung areas can now enroll for additional degrees, thanks to the explosion of the number of online courses offered. Kenyatta University and Mount Kenya University-MKU- particularly seem to be in the frontlines of enrolling students in the online degree courses. However, before you enroll for the online courses, here are a few pitfalls you might want to look out for.

1. Realize that many employers still have a hard time accepting online degrees.
Just like online dating has still not been embraced by many Kenyans, so too is online education. Your future employer will still have a hard time figuring how you attended classes without a lecturer being physically present, or how you did exams without someone actually supervising you. Granted, any ambitious student could read on their own and still get the knowledge required to perform a particular task. Programmers for example, pretty much code on their own, even without a valid Computer Science or IT degree. However,

14/03/2013

When to do a postgraduate degree.

Many job seekers think that by enrolling for a postgraduate degree, they will radically increase their chances of getting employed. But is this really true? When does a postgraduate degree add value, and when does it not? Here are the do’s and don’ts when it comes to postgraduate degrees in Kenya.

1. When you scored a low grade in undergraduate degree.
Let’s say you scored a Second Lower or Pass in campus. In some professions, it is extremely difficult to get a job (specially the first job)- without a second upper and above, and so, your best solution might be to enroll for an additional degree in order to compensate for the low grade in campus.

2. If you want to get additional skills.
It goes without saying that an additional degree does confer one with some additional skills. If you are in the arts disciplines for example, a postgraduate degree is always an additional boost to your job chances.

13/03/2013

5 Ways to Find the Right Career.

For many professionals, it reaches a time in their lives when they feel they are no longer moving in their careers. It becomes dreary to wake up in the morning and go to the same desk or factory floor. So, here’s how you can revitalize a career which is headed downhill.

1. Research the future of your Profession.
The first and perhaps most important step that all workers should take right now is to begin researching trends in their industry.
"Many employees don't realize that industry downsizing will affect their jobs until it's too late. But in this Kenyan economy, you should be on the lookout for telltale signs,". "One key question to ask yourself is if there have been major layoffs or consolidations in companies similar to yours."
Not only is this a good way to forecast your job security, it could give you clues about the next big thing in your industry or a related profession so you can begin searching for opportunities there.

2. Focus on Your Skill, Not Your Industry
If you find out your industry is in trouble, it doesn't mean you need to spend a lot of money going back to school. Instead, focus on what you are particularly good at and see where you can apply the skills you have already learned.
"The people who do best in a difficult workforce are the most flexible, so focus on where you're flexible.

12/03/2013

First 5 Minutes- How to kick off a successful interview in the first five minutes.

Many HR recruiters can predict within a few minutes whether you will be a good fit for the job. So, the first five minutes are pretty crucial if you want to succeed in the job interview.
If that sounds unfair, wrong or short-sighted then you need to remember that we are all human. And that we all react very quickly to a variety of stimuli. Many of them are ones that we cannot even identify. Just a feeling but one that stays with you all the way to the group meeting where the candidate’s fate is decided.
You know what they say about a good first impression, right? So, here’s what you should do in the first five minutes.

First MINUTE
Your approach is important. The way you walk and carry yourself.  The way you communicate with whoever is guiding you to the HR office matters. You should be confident but not full of yourself. Friendly but not too comfortable. If you are tentative on the way in, that’s a problem.  It’s important that you
act as if you deserve to be there.
Look nice. No frayed shirts.  No twisted neck ties.  Shine your shoes.  New, clean coat.  Should be obvious.  Be hydrated. Dry mouth helps no one.  The presentation of you as a candidate starts with how prepared you look.  How you speak.
Your handshake says something. We all know this, right?  So why are there so many bad handshakes? A confident, inviting smile tells someone you are relaxed. That helps everyone else relax.  Immediate and consistent eye contact. Introduce yourself to the recruiter.  

Second MINUTE

Say “thank you” for the opportunity and grab a seat once the HR recruiter grabs hers. Tell the recruiter something that lets her know this is an important interview and that you are excited for the opportunity.  Not desperate.  Appreciative.

Have a few intro questions to lighten the moment.  Allows recruiter to see you as a possible co-worker.
Appear comfortable. Be interested in the recruiter and in the company from the start. And also? Provide