The African Business Centre for Developing Education (ABCDE) on 16th July 2019, held a major mentorship event for students of the St. Thomas Aquinas SHS in Accra. Held under the theme; “Career guidance: How to choose and focus on your career path’. the program was attended by over 900 students at the school’s Chapel. The speakers included Mr. Bernard Avle of Citi FM/TV; Mr. Samuel Boafo; Head of HR at CAL Bank; Mr. Ignatius Raphael Mensah; Marketing Manager for Unilever Ghana ltd., and Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah; former Minister of Trade and Industry who is also the Executive Chairman of ABCDE.
Opening the event, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah expressed gratitude to the school authorities and encouraged students to join the ABCDE mentorship club on campus in order to have regular access to resource persons who will visit the campuses often for ABCDE mentorship duties. He also detailed the critical role played by ABCDE in the educational sector, by helping reduce youth unemployment.
Speaking on the theme of the event, Mr. Ignatius Raphael Mensah centered on examples from his own choice of academic subjects and courses as well as his professional life to convince the students to be flexible in charting their career paths, so as to become successful at it. He advised students to first know themselves in order to identify their own strengths and weaknesses. This knowledge would then help them to choose career paths based on their talents in order not to struggle on the job. He said, “ If you are not particularly gifted in those career choices that you make, you will get tired where others are going forward”.
The General Manager for Citi FM/TV, Mr. Bernard Avle encouraged students to develop positive attitudes towards responsibilities as that would manifest in the long run, in the course of their working lives. He informed the students that what would make a major difference between those who succeed in life and those who don’t are the 4 ‘A’s of Ability, Aptitude, Attitude, and Action. He urged the students to improve on their organizational, relationship, team-working, writing skills. He further emphasized the need to cultivate the habits of self-discipline and time management as well as the need to identify and be aware of their unique interests and abilities. He added, “Your mind is your greatest asset, so take care of it and develop it. Bring it under your control and sometimes deny yourself some pleasures, in order to make progress in life. But remember that some people start well early in life, and others start later in life so don’t measure your life by somebody else’s success” he stressed.
Mr. Samuel Boafo charged students to be creative and to choose their universities based on their personal abilities and future aspirations. He also encouraged them to apply the knowledge acquired in the classrooms to real life in order to be useful to society. “Be innovative, be creative, identify who you are, convert that knowledge into solving practical problems” he mentioned.
The event was rounded up with a courtesy call by the mentors on the senior management team of the school, headed by Mr. Paul Amoasi Baidoo. The headmaster expressed warm appreciation to ABCDE and the mentors for coming to St Thomas Aquinas SHS and agreed that SHS students all need such mentorships to improve their learning outcomes, help them in their subject and career choices, and ensure their employability upon graduation. He insisted that ABCDE mentors must come back to the school more often in order to share their various experiences with the students.