Nigerian youths need a problem solving mindset to succeed — Founder, CareerEdu
In an interview with Adeniyi Toluwalase, the Executive Director, CareerEdu, she shares her experience on how she started CareerEdu, her current and future projects, as well as her journey in problem solving as an SDGs advocate. She went further to buttress the importance of a problem solving mindset in career growth.
Below is the full interview:
Can we meet you?
My name is Adeniyi Toluwalase. I’m the Executive Director, CareerEdu a platform that has three branches that include NeedsEdu, StudentsEdu and GradEdu.
I am a writer, career coach and an health specialist. I am currently on a Masters Degree program.
How did you come about the platform CareerEdu?
CareerEdu was birthed based on the need to inform, educate and interact with students, individuals with special needs and graduates irrespective of their gender, race, disability, culture and beliefs.
What are your activities?
Our activities include creating a mentor-mentee platform for both students and graduates with professionals. In 2019, we organised a Career Alignment program for young professionals.
We also consult, educate and offer career guidance to graduates on both hard and soft skills
In addition, we teach vocational skills and offer mentorship programs to students with disabilities.
We heard of Your impact projects, what are they about?
In the past three months we’ve be able to hold a webinar of over 240 participants from 7 different countries, where we had different Forbes under 30 scholars speak to graduates about professional development.
Also, we made it to a secondary school in a very rural village to interact with the students and explain reasons why they should be in school. We had an interactive session where we heard their fears and weaknesses.
We’ve successfully held several outreaches to the special needs school where we began to teach deaf students vocational skills like soap making, production of bow ties and lapels and photography.
There are a lots of them, for me it is a life long journey
How did you start those projects?
Well, we started the projects by planning and creating a solide structure. Then we built a team of volunteers who are passionate about giving back to the society, we drew our calendar and guide for the things we wanted to achieve.
What are your challenges?
As we all know, volunteering and NGO work is very expensive and time consuming. Some of our challenges include: limited number of persons who can communicate in sign language (we are trying to curb this by creating a sign club where many people can learn how to sign), funding and sponsorship for projects.
What do you aim to achieve with NeedsEdu for special needs?
NeedsEdu is the arm of CareerEdu that focuses on students with special needs (disabilities). Our aim is to get them empowered with training and materials for various vocational skills that will encourage them to participate as members of the society.
Also we effectively want to create a mentor-mentee platform for them where they feel free to share their burdens, ask questions and relate with individuals who have same disabilities and are living beyond the problem.
We also hope to connect them to the labour market.
How can Nigerian youth enhance their career growth?
Nigerian youth need a problem solving mindset in their journey to the top.
Many youth need to reduce their sense of entitlements. It is true that the government is responsible for creating opportunities, but, we also need to find ways to contribute our own quota irrespective of the challenges we are facing.
What is your drive?
Well, my drive remains creating an open environment where we all can thrive, live in harmony and keep been voices to those whose voices needs amplification.
What does the world means to you?
The world to me is a place meant for humans to live, learn, survive, inspire others and create safe spaces for those coming behind.
What do You know about the SDGs?
The SDGs are a collection of 17 goals aimed at making the world a better place for all irrespective of age, gender, beliefs or culture.
What is your view about solving problems?
My view about problem solving is simple. Go all out to find a solution! If you can’t, find people who can. Keep talking about it like you’ll pitch your business.
Where do you see Yourself in the future?
In future I look forward to being involved in policy making and governance. You’ll agree with me that this goes a long way in guiding and describing the action of government.