A few weeks ago, Mariam Momodu, a Ph.D Candidate at the University of Toronto Law Faculty, a Commonwealth Scholar (University of Cambridge) and first class law graduate from the University of Ibadan shared some tips on competing globally while schooling in Africa. See highlights of the session below.
This session aims to arm you with practical steps to thinking globally and re-orientating your mind as an average student in an African University.
Talent is equally distributed but opportunity is not. Many students from developing countries may not have access to some of the resources that their counterparts from developed countries have. It is therefore important for students in developing countries to think about how to bridge the gap. One of the ways to achieve this is by having a global mindset. Here are a few tips on developing a global mindset which can enable you to study locally but be competitive globally. This is a summary of some of the key points discussed.
To be able to compete globally, you must:
1. Understand that you are a personal brand and you are responsible for your brand.
Don't just see yourself as a student. Start to view yourself as a brand. By doing this, you become more aware of activities you should or should not be involved in.
2. Determine what kind of professional you want to become and Search for professionals that inspire you
After you have an idea of the kind of professional you want to become, search for persons distinguished in your chosen field, or at the pinnacle of your field on Google and LinkedIn. This is very important. You must identify someone who has walked the path you wish to follow and look at what they have done with their lives. Look at the conferences they have attended, the firms they have interned at and the places where they have worked. Walk in their footsteps, apply to attend and/or speak at these conferences and intern at these firms. While you may not follow their path completely, their journeys could serve as inspiration for yours.
3. Be ready to make the financial commitment required for you to join some organizations or bodies, so you may have more access to opportunities
You may need to join a group or two which have goals that align with yours. These forums will not always be free, so you should be ready to pay. These forums may organize meetings and conferences and invite people who are influential in your field. Attend these conferences and sell yourself to people. Show that you have something to offer them and keep in touch with them as you grow.
4. Research the curriculums of the top schools around the world to discover if you are being taught what is globally relevant, and to ensure that you are up to date
If your university curriculum is not keeping with the times, you must make conscious efforts to ensure your personal development. One hack is to use the curriculums of top schools around the world to identify the lacuna in your own curriculum. Afterwards, you could take free courses online, or start a club in your school to bridge the gaps you have identified.
5. Ensure that you strive to have good grades as good grades will open doors for you
Good grades are very important if you want to compete globally. You must recognize that your competition is not the people in your circle but the best of the best students around the world. Therefore it is not enough to be the best in your class, you must strive to be the best version of yourself.
6. Set Google alerts on issues relating to your field
Google alerts is a function that will help you monitor new developments and information in your field. This is another hack that you can use to bridge the gap in your curriculum.
Internships are very important both for networking and for securing jobs for the future. You should also volunteer in organizations whose objectives align with your career path and goals. This will build your resume and also give you some working experience.
In conclusion, the onus is on you to ensure that you stand out from the crowd. To compete globally, you have to make sure you are different from everyone else.
If you are interested in pursuing graduate studies, check out this FREE WEBINAR on 8 Things You Should Look out for When Choosing a Graduate Degree