In his investiture speech on 7th November 2020, the Vice-Chancellor of Pentecost University, Prof. Kwabena Agyapong-Kodua said “in the next phase, Pentecost University will be a different kind of a University, maybe University A+, by this among other things, the University will create opportunities for students to work, earn income and study at the same time. This will give them competitive skills required for the job market.
In pursuance of this vision, the University rolled out the Student Work Experience Project. Through this, a number of students have worked on continuing basis while others during vacations. The students have also worked in diverse fields within and outside Pentecost University.
Ms. Josephine Adatsi, is one of the beneficiaries of the Student Work Experience Project. She is a level 200 B.A Communication Studies student and currently works at the Internal Quality Assurance Unit of the University, under the project. It has been half a year since she joined the unit. Per her schedule, she typically drafts memos, conducts research prepares documents of documents for verification and accreditation process by Ghana Tertiary Education Commission. She also participates in the evaluation of staff and facilities of the university using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), creating of reports and provides other assistance to the office administrator. She shares her experience:
I am one of the students who were selected to study and work at the same time. In line with the University A+ agenda, the University rolled out the Student Work experience and I applied. Graciously I passed the interview.
Generally, studying at Pentecost University is inspiring, fulfilling, intriguing and thought provoking. But when I got the opportunity to work in here at the same time, I realized it is even more inspiring than I thought. I began working on campus under the project on 9th of August 2021 and can say it is one of the best things a university can offer its students.
The project is structured in a way to equip us with employable skills and at the same time help some of us who needed financial support. Indeed, it is well structured such that I am already achieving both objectives. It is so orderly that, we are able to work and able to go for all our lectures and even make time for personal and group studies. It does not in any way interfere with our lectures at all. There are even options to work before or after lectures.
This project has helped me in three critical ways,
The first is that I have learned a lot of practical administrative and communication skills. Working as Office Assistant in the IQAU, I am able to know how administrative structures operate, improved presentation skills and how to relate and work under supervisors in the corporate setting. I have also learnt how to manage time properly. Since I joined, my time has been properly structured that I cannot idle or spend time on unprofitable stuff.
Secondly, the programme has significantly sorted my financial needs. Since I joined, I receive appreciable allowance every month. This relieved a huge financial burden on my family and enabled me to concentrate on my books, since I do not have to worry about basic needs anymore.
Thirdly, the project is an eye opener for theory and practice. As a communication student, there are certain times I take the knowledge learnt in a lecture straight to the office and apply. On the other hand, office operation most office help me know what exactly to expect in a lecture and my study for real life use. This is truly transformative in how I tailor my studies to solve real life problems. With such skills I am confident that most of the challenges of finding a job or starting up as a fresh graduated have been sorted.
Lastly, the project is helping me build networking skills. Since I started working, my unit has worked with several organizations including the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission. In providing administrative support to my Boss during such meetings and correspondence, I encounter professionals of several background. This has helped me build my network and networking skills which is necessary in the 21st Century.
I must say that, sometimes, I feel overwhelmed by the task but the fact that I have a job to do, earn income and learn something from it is reinvigorating and excite me beyond expressing.
I would say big thanks to our visionary Vice-Chancellor, Apostle Professor Agyapong-Kodua for this project. I pray for more resources for Pentecost University to expand this project for many more students to benefit. I also pray that other universities will emulate this project to give my colleague students such exposure and support.
The Acting Director of Quality Assurance at Pentecost University Dr. James Atta-Panyin, who supervises Ms. Josephine Adatsi also shared some views about her in particular and the project in general.
According to him, the project in general and Josephine in particular have exceeded his expectations. He said that he is glad to be part of it, to support young students put under his care in the IQAU development high level practical administrative skills while studying at the same time.