As any adult will know, there’s a lot that goes into creating a career. Subject choices, study, diplomas, degrees, internships, maybe even starting a business – it can all be very confusing!
Fortunately, for secondary students at The School of St Jude, weekly Career Guidance classes are helping pave the way to future careers. Students receive advice about subject selection, higher education and tertiary institutions so they can make informed plans.
“Our students come from considerably poor backgrounds. They are not exposed to all industries and career paths,” explains Irene, who works in Career Guidance for both students and alumni.
As a result, a major part of Career Guidance is simply making students aware of the career options available to them. When they’re exposed to the different options, students can discover a career that suits their interests, strengths and goals.
As the saying goes, ‘You can’t be what you can’t see,’ so the Career Guidance team invites a variety of professionals to share their experience with students.
“Bringing mentors who have been successful in their careers, whether they are doctors, journalists, lawyers, or entrepreneurs, helps our students to affirm their career choices,” says Irene.
These mentors are the focus of the school’s annual Careers Day, where secondary students have the opportunity to participate in seminars with mentors from inside and outside St Jude’s.
"We always ask students which career path they want to pursue and bring in professionals from those fields to inspire and motivate them on what to do, what subjects to take, and everything they need to know to excel in those fields," says Mr Elibariki, Career Counsellor at St Jude's Secondary School.
During the event, students are grouped in different clusters based on their interests and matched with a mentor for a briefing and question-and-answer session.
Mr Elibariki recalls, “In 2021, we had 8 industry clusters with more than 19 professional speakers.”
At the upcoming 2022 Careers Day, to be held at St Jude’s Girls’ Secondary School, students will again have the opportunity to hear fromspeakers and ask questions. This year, for the first time, the sessions will be recorded to allow students to refer to them in the future.
In recent years, St Jude’s alumni have been a wonderful resource for the Career Guidance team to inspire current students. Since the tertiary graduation of the first 24 Beyond St Jude’s scholars in 2019, alumni have been sharing their experience of university life, study and entering employment with their younger counterparts.
St Jude's alumni are employed in a wide variety of fields, from engineering to community development, information technology to accounting, teaching to marketing.
With the expert advice of the Career Guidance team and the inspiring example of more than 950 alumni before them, St Jude’s students are certainly receiving thorough preparation for their future careers. In a few short years, the students now in Mr Elibariki’s classes will be the young professionals Tanzania needs.