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UoN Students Learn Entrepreneurial Lessons from Corporate Leaders

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University of Nairobi students have been told to roll up their sleeves and be ready to work for long hours for a period of five years or more to be able to achieve their dreams.

Speakers during the Career Fest event that was held at the University of Nairobi Graduation Grounds on July 31, 2019 challenged students to keep working on their craft, skills, passion. Speakers were seasoned entrepreneurs and business leaders in Kenya including Dr. Martin Oduor Otieno, former CEO, KCB Bank.

CHRP Executive Director, Dorcas Wainaina challenged students to embrace business English and to avoid speaking in slang.  “Business language will not change anytime soon. Speak good English. When talking to people, look at them straight in the eye and give them a firm handshake”, she said.

She pointed out several office etiquette that is required of employees. These include; building relationships and working in harmony with others, being a team player, keeping time, presentable dressing style and being technology savvy. “As an individual you need to embrace honesty, integrity, inculcate good work ethics, be flexible, have a lifelong learning attitude, and always being hopeful in life, “she said.

Alpha Gitau, an agribusiness entrepreneur expounded on his entrepreneurial journey which began with one cow producing 10 litres of milk per day to the current state where he gets 300 litres of milk per day. “Where passion is, lies fortune. You will be a happy man or woman with all the money if you follow your passion. I would urge you to embrace prayer, purpose and persistence. Always plough back profits into the business. There is a lot of money in agriculture”, he said.

Former KCB CEO, Dr. Martin Oduor Otieno, encouraged the young people to embrace leadership roles and pursue training in leadership saying that “the need for managers, the need for great leadership at country, county, company and business level will always be there,” he said.

The young people are fond of boarding flashy matatus and were happy to interact with the man behind the creative graffiti in matatus. Moha Grafix pleaded with the young people to nurture their skills. “If you have a skill, you are rich. I started nurturing my skills from class 5 and I am happy that with practice and passion, I have been able to realize my purpose in life,” he said.

Celebrated TV Speaker, Robert Israel Burale, spoke on the importance of having a good reputation as a young person both socially and on the digital space. “Choose that which you want to become. Focus on the next 5-10 years, instead of wasting time on gossip columns. Never ever buy the lie that you have luxury of time, for you don’t,“ he said.

The Career Fest event gave University of Nairobi students an opportunity to learn from seasoned entrepreneurs and corporate giants. Students also had a chance to go for eye checkup, a corporate social responsibility, (CSR) event organized by University in partnership with Nairobi Eye Clinic.