As part of the efforts toward supporting career of young engineers, the Association of the professional Women Engineers of Nigeria, APWEN under the leadership of Engr Funmilola Ojelade in conjunction with Worley Foundation has launched their Town and Gown Mentoring Project in North Central Zone of Nigeria. The event which held virtually, is the second in series of the capacity Building Programme of the Association.
The Executive Governor of Nasarawa, Engr. Sule Abdullah who represented the governors in the North-Central zone, while declaring the event open, appreciates the efforts of the association toward the development of Women Engineers and also in grooming younger ones. He encouraged the young engineers to make the best of the opportunity.
Also speaking at the event, Ms. Sue Brown, a Council Member of Worley Foundation, Australia, stated that Worley is the largest engineering and project delivery firm in the world with over 50,000 engineers globally and hundreds of workers in Nigeria, offering exciting opportunities to engineers and project managers to work all over the world.
Brown, who have acquired over 30 years in engineering experience advised young engineers to have confidence in themselves, take calculated risks and be flexible and adaptable.
The Managing Director of DeltaAfrik, Engr. Akinwunmi Odumakinde, represented by Abimbola Onaolapo, Head Of Planning And Strategy, DeltaAfrik in his presentation, advised young engineers not to give up when the face challenge while pursuing their engineering career. He urged them to get mentor. “Do not give up based on the challenges ahead it is not an option, there is a place for you, be your best you have all it takes go and fly and make us proud.”- He said.
The keynote address was delivered by Myles O’Connor, the General Manager of Worley Academy, Saudi Arabia.
Myles, in his lecture, mentioned that the world is changing very fast and Engineering is becoming commoditized with artificial intelligence in vogue. He counselled budding engineers on how to handle their career challenges. He advised them to start planning earlier. He stressed in the importance of networking in career advancement.
Further, Myles stressed the importance of finding the best people to help, in career journey and explained that young engineers will learn faster than others when they network as 85% of jobs are filled via networking.
Myles shared his perspectives on various types of networking and how to combine them. He gave the following tips to networking, “you cannot network with everyone focus on deep relationship”, “focus on what’s in it for them not you”, Successful networking can get you your dream job and promotion, “Don’t wait for the perfect job, get any job and start networking”.
On job seeking, Myles observed that most people think that hiring managers are looking for skills, experience, qualifications and capabilities but good companies hire ATTITUDE not SKILLS. He explained that companies can train skills but you are in charge of your attitude. He advised that young engineers should be hungry to learn, able to motivate themselves , be natural friendly and open, be optimistic, proactive and loyal as these are the attitudes companies look out for.
Myles concluded his speech by sharing what he called the Golden Rules to Financial Independence which are: Save 10% of your salary, Don’t spend more than the 90% left, Have a bit of fun, Never buy on credit, When you have a pot of money (from your savings), put it to use. and Don’t spend a cent of it till you retire.
Earlier, the President of the Association Engr. Funmilola Ojelade in her welcome address said the objective of the Town and Gown mentoring for young engineers is to build their employability skill, making them fit for the industry. She mentioned that maiden edition was held in June for the South-West zone. She explained that Town and Gown connects young engineers with multinational companies that engage engineering personnel, these companies will enlighten participants on what it takes to get employed in their organization; the required skills expected from them; class of degree employable and other necessary information needed to help them advance professionally.
The Programme was organised in conjunction with Worley Foundation.
Report by Akinsowon Samuel, Isqil Najim