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Daily Nation : February 3rd 2014
2 Monday, January 11, 2010 DAILY NATION CAREER SO YOU WANT TO BE OPERATIONS MANAGER... This is for visionary people Tasks such as people management, accounting, sales, and communication fall under this docket BY PAULINE KAIRU Polinekairu@yahoo.com busy doing some hefty computations. She has one of her assistants by her desk. From her comment, you will be W forgiven to think that she is an accountant, but no, she is the manager at E-World Technologies Ltd, an organisation with interests in various technological businesses. They are the suppliers of HBOX — a free-to-air set top box that digitises analogue TV. Silvia runs the operations at the company, a job she describes as “doing everything and anything”. Tasks entailing employee manage- ment, accounting, sales, and much more are in her docket. Silvia, who previously worked in the hospitality industry, says her day starts at 5am. She has to be in the office by about 6.45am. Her first assignment would be to hold a staff meeting. This will usually runs from 7.45am to 8am and will involve planning the day’s itinerary and discussing discharge of duties and performance. This affable woman will then hold other brief meetings in her office with different teams or people. She would, for instance, meet with the sales people to discuss, say, the challenges that the team might be facing with their customers. A meeting with the store man and logistician would be to discuss how the product is moving. IT people would brief her about programming of the set-top boxes. Then she will hold a discussion with the CEO about anything that may require his attention. Thereafter, Silvia will settle down at her desk and communication with clients will start, including reverting to emails and returning calls. Sylvia must have her ears on the ground all the time in order to ef- You must be aggressive, a go-getter, knowing where the opportunities are and how to go for them. You must also know how to approach situations. Sylvia Mweru fectively relate with both staff and clients. How fast the products move is dependent on how well she coordinates activity at the company. That is how central her role is. She often has meetings, especially hen we walk into Sylvia Mweru’s office, she announces that she is flair that anybody can comfortably understand. Perhaps that is another reason her communication background is so essential. After all, she needs to easily con- vince people to do business with the company, while at the same time exercising patience as many people can take their time making decisions. Sylvia also does a lot of research, especially online, to know what the trends are elsewhere in the world. She has to keep abreast of what is happening in the technology world, especially now that the company is looking to expand into the energy sector. “You have to be very time- conscious. Time is key in this industry. You snooze you lose, just like that,” she says with a snap of her fingers. It is crucial that you have diary where you plan your day. Sometimes even for weeks and months to come. “You must be a very good or- ganiser. You must be aggressive, a go-getter, knowing where the opportunities are and how to go for them,” she says. “But you must also know how to approach situations.” She says one needs to set their own targets and work towards meeting them. This means also having a mechanism of measuring targets and resolving challenges that hinder this. This is how you learn and improve. Being that the organisation is PAULINE KAIRU | DAILY NATION after work. These will involve interactions with corporate personalities. The meetings are for business negotiations. Usually, these are events she has initiated. Her degree in development com- munication at St Pauls University, and Master’s in corporate communication at Daystar University come in handy here. She has to communicate with the external world a lot. “Knowing how to package things properly is key,” she emphasises. This is what helps to foster good relationships with clients, a thing that is important for the sustenance of business. To do her job, one must be good in communication and have the talent to explain things with such about offering innovative solutions, Sylvia says that to stay on top of her game, she must keep herself updated on market trends abroad to know what new innovations are being developed and used, while at the same time making reference to local needs. “We are expanding to other products that have local applicability, and this means being visionary as a manager,” she says. DESIRED QUALITIES 1. Show sense of responsibility 2. Be quick with decisions 3. You should be outgoing 4. You must be approachable 5. Be naturally organised Devil in double intake of students rears its head SPECIAL REPORT CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 compounded by the overstretched resources at the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB), leading to delays in the processing of students’ loans. “The Higher Education Loans Board, which disburses loans to university students on behalf of the government, also requires refinancing to support the extra students,” argues Mr Ogenga. Consequently, students from humble backgrounds who cannot find alternative sources of funds are disadvantaged. This raises the question of equity in the acquisition and provision of education. “In addition, academic staff have found themselves engaged in lecture halls throughout the year. As such, little time is dedicated to research, yet this is a key function of any university,” he says. Dalton Otieno, a Third Year stu- dent at Maseno University, confirms that there are many challenges in relation to the double intake, among them increasing cases of missing marks and insufficient lecture halls. “We have not been able to secure hostel rooms either. They are issued on a first-come-first-served basis.” Moreover, to secure accommodation in the university, you need to have cleared fees for that particular semester,” Nyabundi says. With HELB loans being delayed longer, failing to get a room is an issue that affects many. Then there is the problem of “missing marks”, he says, which seems to have also escalated. More and more students are complaining about the problem. “Missing marks” refers to exam results that cannot be traced. A student sits exams and when the results come out, their marks for some units are not on the list and the scripts cannot be traced. The situation has reached crisis levels in public universities and it is being attributed to overburdened lecturers who have to deal with the high numbers of students. The impact of the double intake policy, introduced to remove the twoyear wait to join university, goes far beyond university grounds. Students like Otieno have done their calculations and say the job market will have to deal with a sudden surge in the number of students graduating from university every year. DAILY NATION Monday February 3, 2014 SMART MOVES Should you apply again for job you missed? BY JULIAH KARIMI email@example.com Jobs are sometimes re-advertised. It could happen after the organisation fails to find a qualified candidate or a disagreement occurs over the mode of assessment, or something like that. And so it happens that when you see a job you recently interviewed for being re-advertised, the first question that is likely to come to mind is whether to apply for the job a second time. Persistence We are all taught about persistence — trying your hand at one thing many times with the belief that the results will improve with each attempt. Consider any sport. With persistent practice, you can turn out to be a champ. So, why should your job search not be approached with the same line of thought? Being persistence will, of course, be an advan- tage as long as you do not border on nagging. In many instances, employers want someone who is persistent. This is particularly so for sales and marketing jobs. The belief, based on experience, is that through persistence, you could at one point land a huge deal or contract. Thus, one should not shy away from trying their luck at a job interview a second or third time. But there are steps to be followed before you re-apply for that position. Understand the gap One thing you must do is to understand the gap in the previous attempt. The questions you should ask yourself are: Was I assertive enough? Did I know a lot about the company? Was I in line with their goals? It calls for an analysis of oneself, however hurting or nerve-wracking it might be. Make a list of the issues that you noted in your previous interview. Some organisations allow for follow-ups after an interview. In such cases, the best thing would be to immediately contact the human resources department to ensure that you get a detailed feedback on the last interview. Use the opportunity to ask burning questions. Such interaction also helps to establish rapport with the recruiting person. Blind application If the first job attempt was a blind application, give it some time before you re-apply. To re-apply immediately would not be such a great idea. You might not have anything new to add to the last interview. That would be disastrous. Waiting for at least a couple of months will make you better placed to spell out your achievements. You have grown Additionally, applying for the same job a second time must come with the demonstration that you have adjusted your skills and knowledge to align to the company’s demands. The main message here will be that you have grown in the period before they put up the advertisement and may, therefore, have something new to offer. The main point is to thus position yourself as an evolving individual who has been busy working on improving from the previous interview. Bolder and more creative For instance, reflect commitment to growth, per- sonal development, and skills advancement. You need to be bolder and more creative the second time around in order to stand out from other applicants. Finally, it does not matter when you get rejected. The most important thing is that you as the individual work harder at improving yourself and ensuring that each time you go for an interview you emerge as a stronger more experienced version of yourself.
February 2nd 2014
February 4th 2014