I came across a tweet on twitter that didn’t sit well with me, so I gave my opinion and I was asked to share in an article. A little introduction about myself…I am Miss Alma Oputa, a young lady who’s passionate about a lot. I’d give my all to developing women and businesses, building brands, training and teaching students to come out of school as valuable products, and giving back to see every less privileged child taken good care of.
Back to Twitter. Someone on my TL said “Students still in school, please do everything morally possible to come out with good grades.” And another person replied with “No, develop practical skills for your prospective employers. People earning more are the ones with practical skills.” Please, I beg to terribly differ with that reply as I replied this person with “So they shouldn’t get good grades?”
I’m going further to explain my line of thought and reason for my indifference. Note that the tweets were directed as ‘advice to students.’
First of all, I believe that good grades and practical skills go hand in hand and should EQUALLY be taken seriously. Employers seek different qualities when employing an individual. Some employers are keen on experience, some are keen on good grades, some are keen on both. I’ve worked with an employer who gave me a job position I had no experience in. Why? Only because he saw my good grades and he believed I could learn fast on the job and deliver appropriately. Complete trust just for my good grades! I’ve also had another employer who employed me because she was impressed with the experience I had gotten in a particular field and the companies I had done some jobs for.
Startup companies would majorly seek for people who are smart and can learn fast on the job (not necessarily experience now) because they cannot offer a lot when it comes to paying. Multinationals might majorly go for the experience, even though some are keen on both good grades and practical skills. So why tell students who are currently in school and don’t know who their employers are to take one more serious than the other?
Secondly, it is bad to advise students that way. Why? Students (or maybe human beings) naturally have an instinct to ‘totally drop’ what’s less important and give their all to what’s more important. When the right thing should be doing both, but not giving more energy to one. They are in school, an environment that gives them an opportunity to learn/do both. And it’s a win-win situation in the end. Because when you have both, you come out of school and you don’t miss any opportunity. You can confidently take on any opportunity that suits your career/vision because you have both the knowledge and skills.
I’d also like to add that the theoretical skills you get help you understand the practical aspects better. It is one thing to be good at doing a thing, it is another thing to be able to fluently talk and write like an expert about that thing. To progress in your career, you’d come in contact with experts and prospective clients and you’d need to write proposals and give presentations. You don’t want to flop in that area, trust me.
So please students, both are equally important and should be given equal attention and seriousness. May we all succeed, fulfil dreams and reach the peak of our careers. Amen.
Alma Jamachi Oputa.