Choosing a career has become a difficult task for many Liberian students to the extent that some graduates enter tertiary institutions without knowing which career to pursue.
However, in an effort to prepare students graduating from high school to make an informed decision as to what profession to study in, Ricks Institute in Virginia, outside Monrovia, over the weekend organized a ‘career Day’ program.
The daylong event attracted several professionals from diverse backgrounds. They included journalists, barristers (legal practitioners), engineers, criminal justice system, fire service, the medical profession and the arts industry.
These professionals lectured students about the importance of choosing careers that will benefit the nation and their families.
On the journalism profession, Press Union of Liberia (PUL) Secretary General, D. Kaihenneh Sengbeh told a cross-section of the students that journalism is a profession for those who have the heart (passion) to serve humanity and help shape the society.
He also said whether digging into a politician’s life or doing a human interest story about a volunteer; journalism can provide a varied and interesting career for those that are prepared for the challenge.
According to Mr. Sengbeh, journalists help set national agenda, sway, sustain and dissuade public opinions and policies.
He emphasized that journalists promote development and expose corruption, abuse of power, waste of national resources and make suggestions that help to enhance democratic tenets flourish.
The PUL Secretary General also informed the students that the same media, unfortunately, can become dangerous because it can break down peaceful societies and cause civil wars, which further violate the rights of many people, including children, the poor and voiceless, and even students of Ricks Institute.
During the interactive discussion, Mr. Sengbeh told the eager-looking students that all he has said happen when media practitioners especially choose not to uphold the principles and ethical standard of the profession.
He said instead of going by the ethics they submit to greed, unethical practices and the whim of politicians and corrupt individuals.
Prior to breaking into smaller groups, Dr. Wilhemina Jallah of the Hope for Women International encouraged the students to take the medical profession as their life time career. According to her, the profession’s basic concentration is to save life and keep the society healthy for all.
As to why she became a Medical Doctor, Dr. Jallah said while in her teen age she developed the passion to focus her attention on saving life—anything short of that was worthless to her.
She then cautioned the students, especially the female pupils to take their lesson seriously and desist from getting involved in early age sexual intercourse.
She explained that to become a doctor, a student will have to obtain a first degree in Biology or any of the courses in science, but with a very good academic focus.
For his part, the Director General of the Liberia National Fires Service (LNFS), G. Warsuwah Barvoul explained among other things how he became a firefighter.
Based on his experience in the profession and his love to fight and quench blazing fire, Mr. Barvoul called on the students to choose the profession as their career.
He disclosed that at the LNFS, they prevent and fight fire as well as conduct investigation into the cause(s) of fire incidents.
He told the students that fire fighters carryout rescue operations and fire prevention, but these exercises are done through the requisite education obtained by the personnel.
Mr. Barvoul took along with him a team of fire fighters who exhibited practical exercises with students interested in becoming fire fighters.
They did a mock rescue exercise, which attracted several students to the scene.
Judge James Dudu of the Temple of Justice told the students about the need to be studious for one to enter the judiciary profession.
“I myself entered as a messenger into this profession.
From messenger position, I later enrolled at the University of Liberia and obtained an Accounting degree that enabled me entered the law school where I graduated as an attorney-at-law, he said.”
Judge Dudu recalled that upon his graduation from the law school, he was appointed by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as a judge at the Temple of Justice where he has been able to differentiate between his function as a judge.
Former Miss Liberia, Patrice Juah told the students that she as a Journalist she studied Broadcast journalism through an apprenticeship.
“Prior to studying journalism, I was a member of my school press club—a practice that enticed me to the profession,” she noted.
Madam Juah informed the students that she presented Liberia at Miss World and made over 100 friends—all of whom are still in contact with her.
She cautioned the students to be innovative and have passion for whatever that they do.
Henry Lewis of the Liberia Electricity Corporation also motivated the students to take advantage of electricity and electronic engineering, while Napolean Outland lectured the students about choosing Engineering courses, which according to him, are in demand in Liberia for the reconstruction of the war-ravished nation.
Ricks Institute Chief Administrator and Principal, Rev. Dr. Olu Q. Menjay commended those men and women for providing the students with ‘meaningful, educational experiences’ which according to him would stimulate and motivate them (students) chose a profession before leaving the walls of the institute.
Ricks Institute (K-12) is one of Liberia’s leading (girls and boys) schools. It has been operating for more than 124 years.
The school, Dr. Menjay said, has rich legacy, where young students have been coming for generations to take advantage of their rigorous academic, moral formations, extensive athletic offerings, and wide variety of social and cultural opportunities.