The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), an organization set up by the Nigerian government since 1973 to ensure Nigerian students give a mandatory one-year service upon graduation, recently issued out call-up letters to certain individuals who have qualified to join the last batch for the year.
However, while these individuals are much elated to get the opportunity, seeing as completing the service year entitles one to employment, a number of them are perturbed as to how to cope with the three weeks “orientation” period spent in a military-controlled boot “camp” away from family and friends.
5 ways prospective youth corpers can maximize their time at the NYSC camp.
1. Join The OBS
The Orientation Broadcasting Service (OBS) is a great way to serve while in the camp. A very important unit of the camp, it will offer you opportunities to not only develop your editorial and media skills, you will get to know the key officers in the camp.
It also gives you a measure of authority and allows you to get an exemption from some of the camp activities which you may be averse to.
2. Run A Small Business
You can actually make money while at the orientation camp. You can offer services such as hair dressing or laundry to others in the camp who need them for a fee or you can rent a stall at the Mami market and sell food items which most corpers need from day to day. It is a great way to hone your business skills before you are launched into the labour market.
3. Do An Online Course
The orientation period does not have to be all activities and socializing, you can further develop yourself on the side by registering and going through a short online course during your stay. The good thing about online learning is that it is flexible so you can actually plan it around the time that you will be leaving the camp.
4. Socialize & Actually Meet New People
The NYSC scheme was originally established to encourage oneness among citizens in the country and promote national unity. By sending these individuals to other states, the expectation is that they mix with people of other tribes, social and family backgrounds and learn the culture of the indigenes in the place they are posted. Rather than sticking to yourself all through the orientation process, use your spare time to actually fraternize and get to know the people in your platoon and camp as a whole. You would be surprised how many new things you will learn about Nigeria and what connections you may make for the future.
5. Start Applying For Jobs
The orientation period is not too early a time to start sending out your CVs to potential employers. The NYSC orientation can actually serve as an avenue for corpers to share job information and career resources, so take advantage of that and start early.