Our 9th Cohort students are now taking lectures in Professional Development and Entrepreneurship. Lectured by Honoré Bernard Youfegnuy and assisted by James J. Njong, the skills course seeks to improve student outcomes by helping them develop the soft skills required to transition into gainful employment upon graduation.
“Our objective is to facilitate the discovery of who you are and enhance your understanding of your purpose and uniqueness, then teach you how to leverage this in getting the things you seek,” said tutor James J. Njong.
“A focus area of the program is learning how to be alive in shared professional spaces. How to grow by impacting the people around you.”
An essential component of the course is Personal Branding. The lecturers defined this concept as the conscious and intentional effort to create and influence public perception of an individual by positioning them as an authority in their industry and differentiating them from the competition.
“The goal is to create something that conveys a compelling message, which can be monetized,” said James Njong.
Quoting David McNally & Karl Spark, students were encouraged to build brands that promise value, by holding on to the mantra that a Personal Brand is “a perception or emotion, maintained by others, that describes the total experience of having a relationship with you”, emphasizing that your brand “is the story people tell about you when you are not in the room.”
The students further stretched their understanding of the value of personal branding by exploring concepts around networking and how to pitch oneself. At the center of the conversation in this half of the lesson was understanding and challenging the adage that “it’s not what you know but who you know that matters”.
The Professional Development Course which runs throughout the year is divided into four modules namely: Skills for Employability which focuses on developing the skills needed for finding and retaining jobs; Leadership & Communication which emphasizes on learning how to create impact in communities through exemplary leadership; Start-ups and Management which explores the dynamics of startups and general business management; and Research & Productivity which equips learners with the specific skills for careers in academia.
Currently, the introductory course is the first module in Professional Development and Entrepreneurship and the fourth course in the Skills Phase of the 2021-2022 Academic Calendar of AIMS Cameroon’s Structured Master’s Degree Program.
Essential highlights of the Professional Development & Entrepreneurship course this year are an Entrepreneurship Week in February as well as a Career Fair and a Three-Minute-Thesis competition in June.
By completion, each student will know what makes him/her unique and how to build a career from it. The students will have a mastery of all the tools for searching for jobs, or starting a sustainable business. They will also gain expertise of their leadership styles and learn to thrive in social environments.