I am a graduate of the University of Professional Studies. I pursued a Bachelor of Science in Accounting.
I did my national service with the Research and Consultancy Centre at the University of Professional Studies, where I worked directly under the director of the centre. I completed my national service in August 2021.
Before the postings were out, I had spoken to my thesis supervisor who is a faculty research officer at UPSA that I wanted to do my national service under him, to which he agreed. I decided to do my national service on campus because I was pursuing an MPHIL program on campus. The Mphil program is designed such that you don’t do any course work in your final year. You only work on your thesis. So, I decided to do my national service alongside working on my thesis. I knew it was going to be hectic and stressful, but it was something I really wanted to do that is why I went for it.
When the postings were out, I was posted to a school in the northern region. But I decided to do re-posting to UPSA because of the agreement with my supervisor. I remember when I submitted my appointment letter for endorsement at the school, the officer in charge asked me which department I wanted to be assigned to. Then I told him about my discussion with my supervisor, explaining further to him why I wanted to work under my supervisor.
But to my surprise, he told me it wasn’t possible because the faculty did not request for service personnel. He rather looked through his documents and told me, “since you are an Mphil student, I will take you to the research and consultancy centre. Go and report to Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed, the director of the centre”.
Fast forward in October 2020, I started service and I was working directly under the director of the research centre. I was the secretary to the director and a research assistant as well. It was more challenging to me because I had to combine it with my academic work.
One valuable thing I learnt as a research assistant was the ability to learn and teach myself new things. I learnt how to run data analysis with software (stat I had never used before.
I studied Accounting, so ordinarily, working at the University’s finance department would have been the ideal place for me. Nonetheless, working at the research and consultancy centre has helped to equip me with some valuable research skills and I feel very confident now, because I am prepared to take up any research role that comes my way.
My little advice to fresh graduates yet to do service is that it is okay to feel disappointed when you don’t get what you want, but that shouldn’t stop you from improving yourself and making an impact wherever fate may take you. Be versatile, be open to learning new skills even if it is not directly related to your field of study, and be willing to move out of your comfort zone to get that dream accomplished.
Learning all the new skill to be ready for the job market comes with some sort of personal fufilment which will definitely pay off. It’t time for you to find your next opportunity on Jobberman. Sign up today.
Would you like to share your NSS experience with other readers? Send it to us via firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp.
Author: Hawla Baku Yusif, Finance Associate, Jobberman