By the end of this article, you would have found a way to leave NYSC with enough money to flex, if you'd like to know how to do so, the journey starts here;

A reporter once asked me what my NYSC experience was like, here was my answer:

“Personally, I think that the NYSC scheme is just as important as the internships some university graduates undertook in their third or fourth year. I, for one, believe that for serving corp members, what you make out of your service year is hinged on your performance at your Place of Primary Assignment(PPA), and of course other decisions you make during your service year.
If a corper, rather than sit idly or go to work every day only to be on his phone decides to volunteer, learn a new skill, save and invest, start a business, gain a certification, would that be a waste of time?” The smugness on my face showed that it was satisfying to see the I-didn’t-see-that-coming look on her face. She said thank you and I walked away feeling very gruntled by the gratifying interview I had just granted Miss Reporter.

This story is a reminder of the short tips that I always share to leave NYSC winning.
Here is my short list of take homes/ fors and againsts/ make-sures and nevers that will help you ensure you do not waste your service year:

Save and Invest
It is always profitable when you invest a part of your saved ‘allawee’ into a business venture that yields a reasonable and realistic return on investment(ROI).
Pro tip: accumulate your savings and invest quarterly rather than wait till the end of the service year.

Take language classes

Yes! You read right. Your ability to speak a foreign language will help you land a job and get preference over other monolingual candidates. In the global economy, one of the most valuable traits an employee can possess is the ability to speak a second or multiple languages.

As a corp member, you must be intentional about meeting and forming contacts with other corp members, regular employees and employers in your field, especially at your PPA. More specifically, you should use it to form business relationships and to identify, create, or even go through with business and career opportunities.

How do you think you'll manage to ‘hammer’ from the numerous ideas sleeping unperturbed in your notepad?
By getting them out there of course. Learn to make cold pitches. I am pretty sure that if you propose a great idea to two or more people of means at your PPA, at least one person that finds it viable will key into it.

Develop Personal Projects
This project should be innovative and tailored to fit into your career goals.
An example of such projects could be developing an alternative method for underprivileged school children to commute to and from school daily.
When you do things that make sure your impact is felt, it projects you as relevant therefore increasing your chances of being retained at your PPA or being recommended for another job.

Start a Business
This is a good time to start a business. It depends on what your business is selling, but corpers are impulsive buyers especially when ‘allawee’ just gets paid. When you advertise your business at CDS ground, for example, you are sure to get at least 5 customers on that particular day.

Register for Professional Courses
It is important for you to take the opportunity of your service year and the discount usually offered to corp members by these professional courses’ institutes to get certification(s), you'll be grateful you did. Usually, the facilitators of these professional certifications come to advertise it in camp and on CDS grounds. Do not listen to people who say it's a scam. Those courses and certifications are worth the while, and your CV will be grateful for it.

Final thoughts


Your NYSC service year is not wasted time, will you sit it out and wait for fate to take its course or will you take the bull by the horns and create a fulfilling reality for yourself? The ball is in your court.

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Jenny, Jennifer Ugwoke

For the content team at UPFOLIO.

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