Business students, companies to benefit from new Career Services Office

It’s been reported that only about half of post-secondary school graduates in Africa land a job each year. In Ghana, only 10% of graduates find work immediately after completing their required year of national service. The others can take up to a decade to find permanent employment.

Supply chain management and other business students at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology now have a lot more support to help them land a job after graduation. CARISCA has created a Career Services Office within the KNUST School of Business (KSB).

Staffed with three employees and a technical consultant, the office’s focus is to link students to Ghanaian and international employers. The Career Services team also will prepare students for the job search with resume writing help, job-application assistance and mock interviews. 

“As a team, we get the opportunity to make a difference in the future of students as we prepare them for the world of work,” says Nana Ama Tawiah, office manager. “I consider the Career Services Office a gift not just to KSB graduates but also to the region and nation at large.”

Nana Ama Tawiah

Tawiah is herself a KNUST School of Business graduate. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a human resources management option. She has over seven years’ experience in recruiting, talent acquisition and management development. Currently she is pursuing certification in career guidance and counseling. 

In addition to helping students land jobs after graduation, the office will coordinate internship programs and provide mentoring and career counseling. The team also will work to engage alumni and employers with the Business School. After all, the business community will benefit from having access to well-prepared job candidates.

Shortly after the office officially opened in July 2023, it held a work-ready summit that attracted 95% of all final-year business students. Upcoming programs include an orientation for freshmen, essential skills training for continuing students, a writing boot camp for postgraduate students, interactions with new graduates, and a networking event with industry players.

“The ultimate measure of our effectiveness is the employability of our graduates,” says Tawiah. “I hope industry, alumni and entrepreneurs will partner with us by providing internship and employment opportunities as well as mentorships to provide guidance to our future talents.”

Assisting Tawiah in the office are Michelle Frempong as a career services fellow and Bridget Maame Dentu as office assistant. Frempong provides personalized career counseling and activities for students. She holds a doctorate in management science and engineering. Dentu is a graduate student in marketing at KNUST. 

Also supporting the office is Felicity Aseidu-Appiah, an associate professor in KNUST School of Business’ Department of Human Resource and Organizational Development. She serves as a technical consultant for the Career Services Office, analyzing office practices and offering recommendations to improve its effectiveness. 

One of the office’s first tasks was to conduct a career needs assessment among business students. Fifty-five percent of the respondents said they plan to seek a job after graduation, while another 16% wish to start their own business. Eleven percent want to continue their education.

The types of assistance students are most interested in receiving are job search strategies, interview techniques and resume building. The survey also showed that less than a fifth of the students had engaged with the university’s career services. 

CARISCA’s new Career Services Office will help alleviate the burden on the university’s office, which lacks the capacity to serve KNUST’s entire 80,000-member student body. It also will provide specialized services tailored to the needs and aspirations of KSB students.

“The fulfillment that comes with seeing the percentage of graduates employed after school move up and the socioeconomic benefits it brings cannot be overemphasized, and that’s what excites me the most about my role,” says Tawiah.