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:
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.