STREET SMART: NO WASTE

We all know the twenties are tough. Well by December I can proudly start saying ‘I’m in my late twenties.’ LoL! So the pressure is real. I have refused to pursue a master’s degree. My dad says, it’d have better placed me in the job industry and I could earn better from better papers. My dad is wise and he is my go to guy for advice on most things life and money but on this, I vehemently decided to be the hard headed daughter I always am. Well, I got that from him, it’s not my fault.

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Now the list of reasons is long but we can start here. I started to work very early in life. Just wanting a little money of my own. After my KCPE I worked in front office, photocopying and printing. After my KCSE did clerical work at a law firm. In campus I was doing basically everything while in school and during the holidays. By the time I graduated and got my entry level job in sales, I started to gather experience from all the places I had worked for free or paid and realized,especially in the arts industry; all you need to do is just prove that you can actually do the job; no amount of theory you learned in class counts.

As I must have mentioned before. I have not been to a place yet, where I was asked to present my papers as a determinant for getting the job. I’d be asked to just come with them when reporting to my new place of work. Some say its luck, some say I probably have my way with presenting my skill set really well. I on the other hand have no idea what it is. One thing I know though, I am willing to always add on a new skill or experience and most of the time I have said ‘I can do it’ and learned how to do it when thrown into in the deep end.

Why I refuse so much to take up my master’s is strongly linked to how I feel that, academically, 4 years in campus was quite a waste. Socially…you really do need those 4 years. LoL! Every other place I’ve worked, I met someone who was very proficient in their skill and efficient at completing tasks. Most if not all the people who mentored me in new places had pursued only Diploma Courses and worked to then pursue Bachelor’s while at work. It then dawned on me. They only spend about 13 months in school, with half of that spent on internship and/or practical courses. By the time I’m done with a Bachelor’s degree and start to job hunt, this person has about 3 years of hands on experience in the real world. And we all know the real world looks and sounds nothing like what they describe in school.

I have two friends who completely just flanked out of campus a year into, said, they did not see if they’d pick up anything useful just judging from their gut feeling (…wiser I guess…right?). I swear I have learned so much from them because they are literally 4 years ahead in terms of practical experience.

Lessons I’m learning now especially about being aggressive and dealing with cooperate and business frauds, are easier now that they walk me through most of it. I’ve heard my fair share of bad experiences trying to get that coin but they have totally helped me dodge some bullets they themselves did not.

Don’t get me wrong, I am forever grateful for the experience I had in campus. I picked up a lot and socially, I’d have never grown anywhere better than I did at campus. My school, I’ll withhold the name so I don’t taint it for those who don’t know where I studied, wasn’t really the best of schools.

We compare notes a lot. I mean acquaintances in my professional circles and I must admit I feel robbed and need to demand for half my school fees back. It’s weird how sometimes we are discussing a subject everyone seems to be well aware of  and someone goes ‘…but that was a vital course in media studies, how did you not have it in your school?’ Sometimes I get the ‘How come? It’s literally a compulsory requirement in this course.’ I sit calm and swallow hard utterly embarrassed with no defense to put up for my school. Haki woiye! LoL!

I recall how we’d sometimes go on about how our notes were shallow. Don’t come at me with, do your own research. How am I to do my own research without a single guide on what to do? You are fresh from writing an essay about mitochondria here you are taking up a media course, what are you to expect? 150 of you seated in that lecture hall thinking all of you are supposed to end up in a News Room with big names like Catherine Kasavuli someday. You are done with school and nothing works like they said in class…

No one gave you all the options media studies has to offer. We are talking, Advertising, Publications, Social Media, Copy writing, Film…there is an entire array. The system however decided to convince all of us that we were supposed to be sharpened for the news room. Up until now, just as I struggled in class, I still can’t write a lead to a hard news story. I write amazing feature stories though. Don’t I? Also, these other options pay. Yes, someone gets a paycheque from pursuing them.

I believe everyone is responsible for  positioning  themselves at a vantage place just to bag that coin. We all need to put in twice the effort to discover, rediscover, test and pursue. I also cannot deny that our education system is crap and institutions like my former school can only offer more politics than actual learning.

I am still open to considering additional papers,preferably certificates and diplomas. Something that offers practical knowledge and technical experience. I feel like slowing my whole life down again to take up a Master’s Course that is purely theoretical might be an injustice to the much I have gathered up already without those papers.

It does not even help that there are literally jobless people who are not exactly enterprenually gifted with Masters Degrees. Some people feel  I’m being immature about this particular decision, but if you feel any different, let me know. Let’s share our experiences. Let me know if papers actually worked for you. I might just change my mind. As of now, it feels like I am gathering way more knowledge on the ground than I ever did in class. Book smart…street smart. I ‘d really just love to be street smart, that’ts what has paid the bills for most of us anyway.

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2 thoughts on “STREET SMART: NO WASTE

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  1. Here is to another almost disowned daughter who refused to take up a masters in chemistry and is now eating hard wah.. But we shall make it. One day we will be great.

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