15 Jun “Never stop learning”- Kevin Wilson, a self-motivated young leader
Kevin Wilson was one of the hundred-plus participants that joined the 2019 edition of Quantum Leap Career Fair at British Council earlier this year. The event was carefully created to give participants the opportunity to engage and network with industry experts. And, to help them explore career opportunities from participating firms.
Kevin seized the moment to get as much support as he could. As they say, people who know what they want usually get it. He landed a placement on GNBCC’s New Business Challenge which will see him travel to the Netherlands next month, July.
We reached out to seek his insights for other young people in the SFAN community. Get ready to be inspired!
SFAN: Tell us about yourself.
Kevin Wilson (KW): I’m a final year Business Administration student of the University of Professional Studies, Accra. I will be graduating at the end of July. I do not like being idle. I always like to have something productive to do. I’m very curious. I have done many different things – from fashion to photography to interning at a management consulting firm to assisting in the coordination of my school’s business incubator center.
SFAN: What has been your greatest accomplishments so far?
KW: There has been quite a number, but the three most recent ones are still very nice to me. I was a member of the team that represented my school and won the 2018 MTN HR Focus Business Challenge. It is a competition that brings together students from almost all the major universities in Ghana and gives them a very realistic and practical business case to solve and present findings and solutions to a panel of judges and the audience. Also, I am one of twenty (20) Ghanaian students selected to go to the Netherlands to take part in the GNBCC and Dutch Embassy sponsored New Business Challenge. And, I am part of the second cohort of the Emerging Public Leaders Fellowship program that selects twenty (20) graduates from Ghanaian universities, trains and positions them to take up leadership roles in the civil service.
SFAN: How did participating in the Quantum Leap Career Fair help your personal development?
KW: The event was amazing! I came into contact with some very interesting people in the industry. It was very interactive so that enhanced the learning process. I got the opportunity to have my CV edited by a manager from one of Ghana’s biggest HR firms. Trust me when I say that CV has now opened many significant doors for me. The event also highlighted trending issues such as diversity and that was quite refreshing. Generally, it was a very well planned and well-executed program that exposed me to opportunities to improve my attitudes, knowledge, and skills.
At the event, I got introduced to the GNBCC New Business Challenge. I kept checking the GNBCC website for updates on the project, afterward. When the application portal opened, a friend from school prompted me to apply, and I did. I was going to do it any way but the fact that some friends of mine were also interested in the challenge boosted my morale. The application process was pretty straightforward and simple. The challenge there is, the information required such as the motivational essay has to be brief and very specific. The trick to applying is just to be sincere in expressing your passion for diversity, collaboration and problem-solving. I got selected and I’ll be going to the Netherlands in July as part of the program.
SFAN: If your life had absolutely no limits, what would you choose to have and what would you choose to do?
KW: I would probably end world hunger, improve the climate conditions, retire at age 30 and live on an island in the Mediterranean.
SFAN: What are your thoughts about the future of work and do you think universities in Ghana prepare students for what’s coming?
KW: I can’t really speak for Ghanaian universities in general but from my experience and that of some of my close friends, I think the schools are trying their best. The situation is not ideal but sometimes we must acknowledge the progress we’ve made. Currently, most school works are very theoretical and don’t give students a feel of what they’re most likely going to face in the real world. I think if given enough resources and freedom, Ghanaian universities will be able to structure very interesting and practical curricula to optimize the learning experience for their students.
With regards to the future of work, I’ll say digitization, entrepreneurship, and freelancing is shaping the opportunities of tomorrow. Ghanaian universities must act quickly to these phenomena to better position their students to take advantage of the numerous opportunities available to them in these “future jobs”. I am part of a coordinated group of photographers and filmmakers. We are a group of friends who share a love for content creation and storytelling. We are monetizing our hobbies; our creative skills. That is basically what freelancing is about.
SFAN: What should we expect from you in the next year?
KW: I’m currently awaiting National Service placement. In the meantime, I’m interning at MTN Ghana, and I’ve been accepted into the Emerging Public Leaders Fellowship program as I mentioned earlier. I honestly don’t know what to expect but I’m confident the only path for me now is upward and forward. I’m looking forward to attending the next SFAN event so you’ll be hearing from me soon.
Advice for young people
Never stop learning. My favorite quote is one from Michelangelo: “Ancora Imparo”. It’s Italian for “Still I learn”. If even a genius like Michelangelo recognized the importance of continuous development, we honestly don’t have a choice. As young people, we must adopt the learning attitude in order to cope with a very dynamic work environment.
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Tom-Chris Emewulu is the Founder & President of SFAN (Stars From All Nations). He is an education and policy enthusiast, entrepreneurship and career coach, ex-consultant at Mastercard Foundation, Seedstars Ambassador for Ghana, and the author of the forthcoming book: Breaking the Limits. Tom-Chris is a thought leader on topics such as youth development, African innovation, social entrepreneurship, and the future of work.