As I walked through the mall a few weeks ago, I bumped into corp memebers at almost every turn. This time last year I was also an ‘otondo’. My Primary Place of Assignment was a secondary school and I had a great time teaching and mentoring the students. I was able to do one or two projects in the school and that for me was very rewarding. I began to think on that one year experience-lessons I learnt, things I achieved and things I wish I did then. Immediately, the inspiration for this post came up.
Here are a couple of ways I feel you can maximize your experience and time in the course of the service year.
#1. Work on Developing Your Career. Right from camp different professional bodies offer their courses to corps members at highly subsidized rates. It won’t be bad to invest in at least one of these professional courses. It would sure be a good way to boost your CV. If you intend to further your education immeadiately the service year is over, you should begin filling out applications. The process for some schools especially for those who prefer to study abroad might take up to a year. The earlier you start, the better.
#2. Take Advantage of the Skill Acquisition Classes.
SAED classes on camp might seem like a bore and the perfect gisting spot. Be not deceived. It’s actually a pretty good platform to learn something that might later on become an extra stream of income for you. An extra skill learnt would come in handy one day.
#3. Start Your Business.
It doesn’t have to be on such a grand scale but it’s a good time to start off that business idea you have had in the works for so long. You have access to a market- your fellow corps members, and of course people in your host community. You can actually make money and even save up during the service year. Every CDS meeting day and General CDS can be your own market day.
#4. Meet People.
That’s plain English for networking. Lol. It’s a lovely experience interacting with people from different parts of the nation. People have met their future spouses, business partners, you name it in the course of the service year. You can never tell where life would throw you. It sure would be good to have a friend there.
#5. Give Back to Your Host Community.
Community development is a cause I feel lots of Nigerians are not passionate about. And that’s not good enough. The service year is a time you should look to give back to the society. Most people use money as an excuse but it ought not to be so. As little as getting fellow corp members to clear the drainage system say once a month to prevent flooding, or free extra mural classes for students in the area go a long way. It doesn’t have to cost much, it’s the heart that matters.
I don’t mean out of your state o. Biko. You don’t want NYSC wahala. Lol. Take the time though to explore the state. There would be one or two local tourist attractions where you can have a great time as well as learn about the culture and history of your host community.
Have you gone for the mandatory NYSC? Do share your experience, the highs and lows in the comments section.