Wednesday, February 29, 2012

An open letter to college students ....Polish up.

A few weeks ago I ranted on twitter about how young Kenyans just out of college seeking jobs, or those still in college seeking internships have no clue how to relate professionally. Some responses were angry ones from possible campus students, or just people who have a strong opinion about everything, without critically looking at the issue at hand. (and they're many of these types on twitter)

Anyway, last week, I set up a meeting between a young person that's very close to my heart and a friend of mine who runs a top ICT company. It wasn't a job interview, but just a sit down chat so my young friend would get to know what happens in the business, as well as to network and hopefully make a good impression to a possible employer.

He had all his papers in order, and dressed well for the meeting, but against my advise, went along with a friend. (who proceeded to ask the secretary if they have openings in another department.)

After his meeting, I asked him to write a letter of gratitude to the MD: and this is what he wrote:

Subject: Appriciation
I would like to thank you, for having a meeting with me.
Incase of any opening i could qualify for, i would appriciate if you kept me in mind.

He copied me in on the letter (please note; I have not altered anything). Take a look at the spelling mistakes and the careless casual attitude it carries.

He does not address the MD by name, and does not sign off with his.

In my opinion it was a hurriedly written letter by someone who's not really interested in a job.

When I rant, I mean well.

I hope that these young people can polish up their images.

I'm also ashamed of our institutions of higher learning, who are in charge of preparing these young people for the real world, and are currently doing NOTHING about it.

Countless times, I get emails from young people seeking internships and job opportunities, and they're very few that impress.

Several of them start with " Hi" some go the extra mile and say "Hey babes". ( listen, we're not friends just because we've tweeted each other. 'Sasa Mrembo" and "Cheers" is not how you ask for a job, I will never take you seriously, and most likely, no one else will.

So Dear young people, as I said on twitter last week, SMS speak is for your room-mate.

"w8 4 ur assist" will not earn you a place on my or anyone else's priority list.

English is the language spoken in the real world, and with that, polish up your presentation, you can never have a second chance at first impressions.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dear Sasha

As i was dropping Imani off to school this morning, moments after we've discussed why she can only wear lip gloss when she's over 16, she reaches her school bag and pulls out an envelope. I can see it is sealed with a brown masking tape.

It a re-used envelope from a bank statement or one of those formal letters, but now it had her beautiful handwriting, with a few flower drawings on it, well coloured and addressed to Sasha.

So I asked about Sasha, who is now her new best friend.

I asked her about the contents of the letter, and how she started the letter. She said she started with "Dear Sasha, Thank you for being my best friend".

I turned away to blink a tear drop, and I asked her why she was writing to Sasha. She said she was inviting her for her birthday, but was also telling her that this year, her birthday will be held in Kisumu, with her aunt(my sister) and her family.

I don't know exactly what it is about that whole experience talking about letters is what got me all fuzzy eyes, or it is yet another reminder of how fast she is growing.

She is spending the weekend with family friends, and what amazes me is how early she plans for it. Later this afternoon she and her dad passed by my office as he dropped her home, and she asked about her Friday guitar classes, wondering how she will go to her friend Ayana's house from guitar school tomororw. So, she has planned to pack her weekend clothes today, and put them in my car tomorrow morning so she goes straight from her music school to Ayana's house.

It the complexity of her mind that truly fascinates me.

She is 5 years old going on 15.

She still loves to read, and we made a deal in January: For every book she reads, she will narrate to me the story, and get a reward each time. She's just finished reading " Why the tortoise has a cracked shell" and now we're off to the skating rink at Panari next Saturday.

We're growing up fast, but she always manages to bring out the child in me.

Today, Im celebrating my Imani.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Lost for words.....Happy New year..its not that late is it?

The new year started with quite a bang for me.

I changed stations, and Im now working with CCTV Africa. It's been an amazing few weeks telling Africa's positive stories. CCTV International broadcasts throughout the world, and I work from the Nairobi studio's which is the headquarters for Africa.

We have a one hour News Bulletin, Africa Live, within which I host ' Bizz Africa. every Monday to Friday'.

Here's a sneak peak of what we do

The new experience has been amazing, you know what they say about fresh starts!

Imani is now in Standard One, primary school, and she makes me proud!This morning she was explaining to me the difference between a turtle and a crocodile, and this year, her wishes are that we go to Mombasa and America in December, and she hopes she can finally be able to play her guitar, the lessons have been tough lately, but we're pushing on.

My plans for this year? Going Big!

Thanks for staying with me through this journey!