“I wish I had such opportunities when I was in school”
On the 11th of February 2017, Akili Dada held its annual Career Symposium at the Riara University. The theme of the full day event was “get ready for take-off” and managed to gather over 200 participants including 51 mentors and 153 Akili Dada club members from various schools including Loreto Limuru High School, Precious Blood Riruta and Moonlight Community School. We also had students from Bahati CC and the Starehe Girls Centre.
Our annual career symposiums are designed to showcase leading industries, employment and educational opportunities in Kenya and beyond. The unique event is aimed at giving the Akili Dada scholars, club members and other students the rare opportunity to interact first hand with various professionals and find out what their day-to-day life actually involves. It is from this premise that we believe that young scholars are able to make informed decisions about the subject units to take as well as the courses that lead to their desired professions.
The day started off with a keynote address from mentor, Martha Wakoli who is an Electrical Engineer with Kenya Power. She has also won several awards in the energy sector and is the editor of “Queengineers“ and blogger at “Shaping African Conversations” – a blog that seeks to inspire youth dialogue on matters of innovation, governance and development. Martha’s address was an excellent reflection of her leadership and career journey and set the tempo for the day ahead. She continues to be a source of inspiration to young girls and is an avid Akili Dada Mentor. This session was subsequently followed by a plenary session on choosing the right course and launching a successful professional life. The distinguished panelists included Mrs. Goretti Kimani, Director and CEO of People link Consultants Ltd. Mrs. Goretti has also co-authored the Book, The Career Code – A Contemporary Guide to Building an Awesome Career. Other panelists included Mr. Martin Kinoti Kiruga who is the author of Exploring Career Options Mr. Kinoti’s book has been approved by the Ministry of Education and the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) as an essential guide on career planning and choice for Form 1-4 students, school leavers, teachers and parents& guardians alike. The third panelist was Dr. Eric Kibet who is a lecturer at the Riara Law School. Dr. Kibet’s areas of scholastic interest include constitutional law, international law and legal theory.
The afternoon session which by and large was a mentor-driven process allowed the students to visit various career cafes and engage one-on-one with professionals who candidly shared their professional journeys with them. The cafes had impressive representations from professionals in the following fields; Finance Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics, Creative Arts & Design, Law & Government, Health Sciences, Agriculture &Environmental Sciences, Development, Entrepreneurship, Business Management& Administration and Journalism. The breakout sessions also included representatives from Options Education Agency that works with people aspiring to pursue higher education in Australia as well as the Kenya University and Colleges Central Placement Service which is the body that succeeded the Joint Admission Board.