April 1st 2016 will forever be remembered by many as they experienced their first ever career day in the University of Buea. As early as 7am, representatives from various companies began to arrive to set up their respective stands on the career fair grounds around Amphi 750 of the university. Better Breed Cameroon members and volunteers were there to assist them while polishing up final organizational details. By 8.30am, while there was a lot off buzz at the fair, curious students and invited guests and speakers began to fill academic hall after stopping by the registration desk. 10.00am signaled the commencement of the ceremony, opened and managed by the very able MC – Kathleen Ndongmo. The founder and Coordinator of Better Breed Cameroon, Monique Kwachou welcomed participants and explained the raison d’etre of the Career Day, encouraging them to make the most of it. This ushered in the first phase of panel presentations beginning with Mr. Roland Kwemain, Chairman of Go Ahead Africa, who encouraged young people to believe in themselves and be patient. Next came Mambe Churchill of Njorku who encouraged students to use online educational platforms like Coursera, Udacity, and Skademy to gain extra skills not taught in class, these skills differentiate and attract jobs. A fine mixture of speakers including Dr Ashu Agbor of Gifted Mom, and of course the MTN Cameroon team, thrilled the audience with career and job expectations and readiness. Then it was time for coffee break, during which time students trooped to the numerous stands at the career fair, familiarizing themselves with Cameroonian success stories like Njorku, Teach Connect, Ovamba, Gifted Mom, and to multinationals like ACCA, Ecobank, UBA and MTN.
The second phase kicked off with a new panel of representatives from corporate institutions like British American Tobacco, British High Commission, UBA, Ecobank, ACCA and Ovamba. These corporate high fliers took a personal perspective to explain how they landed in their current jobs, inspiring the audience to realize that career success is possible. They explained vividly what it takes to get and maintain a great job in their institutions and of course anywhere else.
The 3rd panel was filled with entrepreneurs who had started their own companies and were somewhat living the Cameroonian dream. These included the likes of Budi Norbert of Diamond Visions and Afrique Digital, Adeline Sede of FabAfrique, Christian Ngan of Madlyn Cazalis, Yefon Mainsah of IRepCamer, and a host of others. These strong men and women shared their personal entrepreneurship journeys of how they founded and grew their companies, in a bid to give the young audience insight into what it takes to start and grow a viable business. Their words were very inspiring, one could take home adages like:
- “I’ve run a blog for 7yrs. I did not study journalism, I studied Engineering yet my blog is read worldwide.” Yefon Mainsah, IRepCamer.
- “Stop living your life as though it were an accident.” Budi Norbert
- “Start thinking at this moment about what you will do if you don’t get a job when you graduate.” Adeline Sede K, FabAfrique.
- “”You have to be YOU. No one can beat you at BEING YOU” Christian Ngan, Madlyn Cazalis.
- “You go with the rules, you go against the rules, but DON’T BREAK THE LAW.” Dr. Ashu Agbor, Gifted Mom.
In addition to these, various opportunities were presented throughout the forum; the British High Commission presented the Chevening and Cameroon Women Scholarships, Ovamba presented funding opportunities for entrepreneurs, and Mr. Bonie Fon of Bonaventures presented plans to launch an investment club in the University of Buea with a pledge of 1 million Francs for capitalizing student entrepreneurs. The 3rd panel was the last for the day and by 3pm, the young audience was released to yet another surprise: mock interviews and CV scrutiny, critiques and adjustments provided by Better Breed Cameroon free of charge.
The invited guests were treated to lunch from whence they took their leave.
The first edition of the Cameroon Career Day was a remarkable success despite numerous challenges. Better Breed Cameroon sincerely thanks all individuals and organizations that made Career Day a huge success, and looks forward to a bigger and better one next year. We hope to see you there!
by Brian Tamungang for Better Breed Cameroon
Head on over to Better Breed Cameroon’s YouTube page to watch videos from this phenomenal event!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
29 March 2016
A joint brainchild of Better Breed Cameroon in conjunction with Cameroonian institutions of learning and starting with the University of Buea, the event, which aims to smooth the transition between school and the world of work, is a first of its kind.
“Our aim is facilitate students’ transition from school to work by offering professional and practical career orientation from employers, career counsellors and young professionals,”
explained Better Breed Founder, Monique Kwachou. Due to take place on
Friday 1stApril 2016, the Cameroon (Campus) Career Day will present students and recent graduates with the opportunity to interact with employers, career counsellors and young professionals.Cameroon Career Day will also showcase the work of young entrepreneurs.
“Students and recent graduates who have created startups need a space where they present their ideas and products to potential customers and investors. It is very important that these future leaders make the right connections,” said Kwachou.
MTN remains at the forefront of championing forward thinking projects that benefit Cameroonian youth through Entrepreneur-focused programmes like the MTN Innovation Challenge which saw 3 Cameroonian innovators winning 1 million CFA each towards the development of their applications and MTN’s Y’ello Care annual employee volunteer programme won by MTN Cameroon staff. The programme invests in community projects, as recognition of the outstanding and selfless work of its employees.
This year, MTN Cameroon employees received 100,000 dollars which constructed eight classrooms and a dormitory at two schools for visually impaired learners. The team also constructed and equipped three libraries in centres for the disabled. These activities are estimated to have impacted more than 4500 beneficiaries. MTN Cameroon employees also raised more than $18 000 towards the project activities.
“The strength of every winning organisation is its employees, and that is our strength at MTN Cameroon.Winning the 21 Days trophy is a truly humbling experience, and proof of the selflessness and Can-Do spirit of our staff who tirelessly commit to better the livelihood of communities every year,” MTN Cameroon CEO, Philisiwe Sibiya said.
The Cameroon Career Day event has generated a buzz on social media, and attracted interest from various Cameroonian businesses and professionals at home and in the diaspora including US based speaker, author and educator, Dr Nicoline Ambe of Nicoline Ambe International.
Student entrepreneurs who attend this event will be automatically entered into Project GOLA – a competition launched by Kinnaka’s Blog- and two enterprising students stand a chance to win 500 USD each. In addition, other types of funding, mentoring and business tools will be available for the most forward-thinking young people. with beauty treat tickets provided courtesy of at Buea’s luxurious Belle & Glam salon and spa.
Interested student-entrepreneurs are required to email an expression of interest to Better Breed Cameroon at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Thursday 31st March 2016. Mails must contain the following information:
the name(s) of business owner(s)
the company name
a mission statement of said enterprise
achievements thus far and
NOTE TO EDITORS
Better Breed Cameroon is an apolitical, non-profit youth focused organisation which aims to develop responsible citizens and leaders.
For sponsorship, media enquiries and images:
Register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/campus-career-day-tickets-24194325880?aff=es2
Event hashtag: #CameroonCareerDay