HR, CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS, ISLAMIC BANKING, FINANCE: QUADRUPLE DILEMMA OF A STUDENT

Hi Jarus,

I’m almost completing my penultimate year in the university and to be honest, I’m uncertain of a definite career path to follow. Since my early days in university I’ve seen HR as a possible future career, giving less attention to finance despite being a student of Economics.

Meanwhile, mid this year I got an internship at an investment management company (the Research division). I took this opportunity because I was just finishing part 2 and there’s no harm in exploring as no one knows what tomorrow holds. It was an interesting experience I must say. Afterwards, I enrolled for an investment banking training with TalentMine, and I’m currently in the last but one interview stage of Bank of America Merrill Lynch internship.
In summary, my career related activities since mid this year have been finance related.

I must mention also that I completed my ATS level in ICAN this year passing all level at once, though without an accounting background. It’s good to finish what one has started but I’m ambivalent in this case as proceeding to get an ACA might turnout to be irrelevant to my career at the end (No money to waste).

I have the potentials of an HR personnel, though I’ve not got much knowledge about it compared to Inv. Banking/Research. While I hope to pursue an internship after my third year, I don’t want a wrong hit as I’m unsure whether to run after an HR related or finance related internship.

I don’t know much about Corporate Communications (I used to think that was a function of HR) until I read about it in Road To VI. I know I have the potentials there too considering my role as the General Secretary of NESA.

I’m beginning to have a nascent consideration for Islamic Banking too as it caught my interest of late, and if I would go into finance at all I would want to try that and I’m sure I’ll dazzle. We have just Jaiz Bank in Nigeria, with that, securing an internship in an Islamic bank may be extremely difficult compared to conventional banking.

Considering my potentials, interest and ability to deliver, in no particular order I have HR, Corporate Communications, Investment Banking/Research and Islamic Banking as my career priorities.

This is a watershed moment in my life and there’s no much time for dilly-dallying. I want to focus in one and develop myself in it before graduation.

I hope to have your candid feedback.

Akeem

***

Dear Akeem,

Your dilemma is not out of place. Almost every serious person was in that state at such state. Only very few people have a very narrow, defined career ambition in school.

First, please complete your ICAN exams. Whatever your eventual career path turns out to be, it cannot be a waste. No knowledge can be a waste. ICAN certificate cannot be a waste. Even if you turn out to be a Corporate Communications professional, having ICAN still makes your CV more interesting than someone without it.

For me, any of the 4 paths is fine. The truth is, your first job will likely determine your eventual career. Don’t narrow your choice to one for now. It will depend on which eventually comes first. If you narrow it to say HR, and there’s not HR opening for the first 2 years after your graduation, what will you do?

So keep the four in view, read about them. Be prepared. The opportunity can come anytime.

I wish you all the best.

Jarus

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