I discovered LEAP Africa way back when I worked as a Facilitator with Girls’ Power Initiative (GPI) during my undergraduate programme at the university. But my first real encounter with LEAP was in 2012 as a participant in its Employability Programme (EMP) in Enugu during my NYSC year.
At that time, with the development experience I had acquired while working with GPI and my educational qualification in Mass Communication, I wasn’t quite sure what to do after completing the NYSC scheme. I was torn between wanting to continue in the development field, which I loved because of the humanitarian services involved, and branching off into the media sector, which was my area of study in the university.
But being part of EMP helped me to scrutinize my career from a broader perspective. I began to assess myself; evaluating my strengths and weaknesses. It also drew my attention to the fact that in order to have a fulfilling career that makes you happy, one must do what he or she loves doing. I realised the hard truth about the rate of unemployment in Nigeria and what I could do to change my story.
By the time I was done with my NYSC programme and began searching for a job, I had a clear picture of what I wanted. I had come to the realization that there was a feasible way to combine my passion for development work with my love for the media.
So while I volunteered in various places for a while, it took me a year after completing the NYSC scheme to find a job that suited my career goals; one where I merged my pre-graduation experience in development with my post-graduation qualification in Mass Communication.
This year, I plan to do my Masters in Development Communication in furtherance of my career goals.
THERESA OKPA, Communications Officer, Partnership Opportunities for Women Empowerment Realization (POWER)