The memory of how joyous we all were the last days of our degree exams is still fresh with me. Even the day we had our project defence all done with, it was celebrations and congratulations all the way. The next phase was NYSC but we had to wait for about six months for compilation of results and Senate approvals before collecting call up letters and going to camp for the orientation exercise. One thing, however, stung us all: none of us knew what to do whilst waiting for NYSC (at least 90%)
Is the above scenario similar to yours? Then welcome to this space and be prepared to go through the process of discovering what to do while waiting for NYSC. You’ll be glad you read through and if you find it useful, kindly share with your colleagues or someone you feel might need it
What to do while waiting for NYSC
You could VOLUNTEER:
Yes! This is one of the best things you could do whilst waiting for NYSC. When you volunteer, you have certain advantages over the other person who have no volunteering experience at all. To volunteer means to give your services for free to a particular cause or organisation. It could be for peace, for keeping the environment clean, child education, adult education etc. Volunteering prepares you not just for NYSC but also for the work place after NYSC. Companies and employers love entry level candidates with volunteering experience, especially international/multinational firms. Including it in your CV gives you a better advantage over other candidates when applying for a position in an NGO. It simply tells the employer that even with any professional experience, you have been active.
I know just few volunteer driven organisations. But I believe lots of them are available. However, I recommend Slum2school under the leadership of Otto Orondaam. I also know of the I.Q.R.A Foundation. You could as well enquire from some companies if they accept volunteers. Just have it in mind that you are most likely not going to be paid at all.
You could INTERN
This is one of the easiest activities you can do whilst waiting for NYSC. Some companies are looking for interns. A close friend and presently a colleague of mine, immediately after he graduated walked into the Red Media office in Lagos offering himself for internship but only requested for a stipend to cover his transportation fares since his abode was quite far from the office location. He did not request to be paid a dime. Though his terms were not granted (neither did he worked there. He got another offer) but it showed his desire to use the internship period to learn (as a creative content and copy writer). That’s the same mind set you should have when applying for solicited and unsolicited internship positions because like being a volunteer, some companies may not want to pay, though it is rare. Simply submit a letter to companies around you’d love to intern and expect a call or an invite.
You could LEARN A SKILL
If at this point as a graduate you cannot use a computer very well or you do not have sound ICT skills, then this is an excellent opportunity to launch yourself into the ICT world fully. You could meet up with a friend who should put you through on a daily bases or simply enrol in a computer school to get yourself pretty oriented with ICT especially as it concerns your field. Are you’re a graduate in Accountancy? This is the right time to learn all the software packages associated with your field (Peachtree, Sage 50 etc). Are you in the Engineering field? We have Auto CAD. For the diverse number of courses out there I believe certain ICT skills are available for it, know yours and master it while waiting for NYSC or service year. Some will require that you pay to learn. Having such skills during your wait for NYSC is a plus to your career and yourself.
You could also learn other skills apart from ICT. You could learn how to bake or make snacks or simply enrol for a catering course to have catering skills up your sleeves. You could also learn how to do electrical works and repair home appliances or enrol for a makeup class and launch yourself into the gold mine of make up business. Learn a skill! You’ll never regret you did.
You could INVEST IN YOUR PASSION or GET A PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATION
What is your passion? Is it writing, singing, acting, painting, music? Whatever it is, you could spend a token for trainings and master whatever your passion is while waiting for NYSC. You’ll love it and you’ll be happy at it! Four to six months will be enough to master or get trained in whatever your passion is. You could be on a train to being a full time entrepreneur even after NYSC. This is the best time to give quality time to what you love doing and as well invest in it.
Last week a friend sent her CV to me to appraise and I was glad when I saw her professional qualifications. Starting out at being professionally certified in your field quite early is an advantage for you and it enables you to build a career in time. You are still fresh out of school and your study instincts are still quite high. Besides you have the whole time for you to study more while waiting for NYSC or your service year. Be wise enough to know the right professional qualification you need and not just joining any professional institution only to have a professional certificate. Anyway, some professional institutions reduce the cost of studies for Corps Members (e.g NIM) but not all. So you may want to wait until you are into your service year for some professional institutes or simply plunge into studies for some that do not reduce cost.
- You can also read: Masters Degree and a Professional Course, Which Should I go for
You could TEACH
Yes! Schools are springing up everywhere and it is an opportunity for you to look around and send in your application letters. The take home for a month should be enough to keep body and soul together while you are waiting to serve your father land. Besides, you could even be posted to a school for your primary assignment and being a teacher beforehand will be a preparatory ground for you.
Whatever you do, please do not stay idle whilst waiting for NYSC. It diminishes you subtly and puts you at a point or possibility of being a burden to your parents/guardian or liability for the devil. Find something to do. You could combine some points listed above and add more to yourself as you wait.
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