- Jaganyi has urged the freshmen reporting to venture into other areas of interest even as they pursue their core courses.
- He said students should consider extracurricular activities that enrich their lives and could also lead to other careers.
Students joining universities have been advised to explore their interests and talents and not restrict themselves only to the courses they are studying.
As universities start admitting new students this month, Mount Kenya University vice chancellor Prof Deogratius Jaganyi has urged the freshmen reporting this week to venture into other areas of interest even as they pursue their core courses.
He noted that in as much as some courses are demanding, students should not be rigid and should consider extracurricular activities that enrich their lives and could also lead to other careers.
“The university trains all-round students. There are many opportunities for talent development, for example, sports, creative and performing arts, leadership skills,” Prof Jaganyi told the freshmen.
“For instance, you could be taking Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, at the same time you nurture your music talent, at the end of your course you will be a practicing doctor who is a musician. Remember, the purpose of education is not only to achieve career aspirations but also to become an all-rounded person.”
Some 128,073 students have been placed at different public and private universities to pursue different degree courses, according to data from the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement.
This was out of the 142,540 candidates who qualified for university admission.
Prof Jaganyi spoke to the new students at the new MKU Convention Centre on Thika campus. He also covered personal branding, noting that together with academic qualifications, a strong personal brand is essential in building a successful career.
“Personal branding is developing a mark of your name or your career that expresses or communicates your skills, personality, and values, that shape perception of you in the eyes of the public. Look at yourself as a brand. To have a strong brand is essential to building a successful career," he said.
“If you really want to make a name for yourself in your career, you must polish your personal brand. Your personal brand is about you and this culminates all things that make you up.
“Develop a strategy to build your personal brand during your studentship at MKU. Develop yourself to be that person the industry will be looking for in your area of specialisation.
"Strive to be an authority in your field as this is what the industry is looking for. People buy value and reward you according to the value they find in you.”
The university has continued to attract a large number of both government and self-sponsored students.
This year, MKU has been allocated a number of government-sponsored students who sat their KCSE exam amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
The students reported to the university this week and are currently undergoing orientation.
“MKU is among universities that have established the office of career services as required by the Ministry of Education to offer career mentorship to potential and continuing students.
"This makes it easy for high school students to be empowered with functional information on post-secondary training that relates with the career opportunities upon graduation,” Jaganyi said.
MKU has also put effort into reducing inequalities in society, giving students from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to pursue higher education, he said.
The university was recently been designated as a centre for reducing inequalities by a United Nations agency for its notable work in the area.
The United Nations Academic Impact said it had bestowed the status on the university for its documented academic works on reducing inequalities in Kenya as well as the East African region.
Universities that serve as academic impact hubs for the SDGs are appointed by UNAI based on their innovative approaches and expertise around a particular goal.
MKU became one of the 17 universities globally mandated to be SDGs hubs.
-Edited by SKanyara