How to Improve Employment Opportunities as a Student Overseas

by Uche Onegeria 20 Sep , 2017  


“If you go to the abroad for a Masters degree with the primary purpose of increasing your employment chances, what should be your strategy?”, asked Ben on Twitter.

Benjamin asked me this question a few months ago and I saved his tweet so I can share it here it and help others as well.

Here are the strategies which have worked for me to increase my employment chances overseas:

  1. Carry out a research to ensure your chosen program has a great employability rate.
  2. OPEN MIND (Probably most important of all).
  3. Learn and embrace the culture.
  4. Learn new ideas. Create new experiences.
  5. Endeavour to retain your unique African identity. It would be strange if you somehow forgot who you are during this learning experience.
  6. Networking.
  7. Extra-curricular activities.
  8. Seek volunteer opportunities.
  9. Secure mentorship programs.
  10. Enjoy your independence and discover who you are.
  11. Persevere in your passion.
  12. Your life should be about 300%+ hard work. Strive to be better than everyone, even your boss.
  13. Be open to change.
  14. Constantly seek areas of improvement in school, work, even agencies where you volunteer, and especially in yourself.
  15. Always be close to those who are a few/several steps ahead of you.
  16. Never use the “He/She is being racist” excuse. Make it all about you, and drive yourself to become better.
  17. Be open to receiving criticisms.
  18. Use your disappointments, and newfound-freedom to fuel your drive.
  19. Manage your time and new-found resources effectively.
  20. Avoid lazy Nigerians and anyone who always tries to cut corners.
  21. Always do the right thing.
  22. Aim to be sharper than a knife.

However, if your goal is to increase your employment opportunities in Nigeria, here are the strategies for that below:

  1. OPEN MIND (Probably most important of all).
  2. Carry out a research to ensure your chosen program has a great employability rate in your home country.
  3. Learn and embrace the culture.
  4. Learn new ideas. Create new experiences. You never know – You might pick up a skill which would help you with a start-up in your home country.
  5. Network with your peers and strangers in your field.
  6. Reach out to prospective employers back in your home country to inform them that you’re open to working with them.
  7. Find others who have succeeded in actually doing this and, ask for their advice.
  8. Endeavour to have an excellent academic result.
  9. Keep your prospective employers updated with your progress.
  10. Ensure you always remain an epitome of class, and professionalism while you communicate with them.
  11. Seek mentorship opportunities from your prospective organization.
  12. Seek research opportunities with any prospective organization.
  13. Conduct applicable research projects on any problems in your home country.
  14. Find a problem, and dazzle your prospective organization with its solution.
  15. Have plans A, B…..Q.
  16. Effectively manage your new-found resources in order to gain diverse skillsets which could widen your future opportunities.
  17. You can even seek foreign investors to get their attention to some needs back in your home country.

The list is endless. These are all I have for now. If you have any strategies not listed here, please share.

Header image by Rochelle Nicole on Unsplash

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