Connections that are Merit-Based Create Positive Impact.
Godwin: “How would you get a job after your graduation?”
Student: “Through connections.”
Another student added that holders of Third Class and weak degrees would easily get good jobs in Nigeria if they are “connected”, while holders of First Class and good degrees could stay jobless, if they are not “connected”.
The above conversation took place yesterday, during an interactive session between second year students of department of Mass Communication, Cross River University of Technology and Godwin Okonkwo, an International Volunteer with Cuso International.
Godwin has Nigerian and Canadian citizenship. He was Associate Director, Strategy and Integration, and also Senior Strategist at the department of Energy, Government of Alberta in Canada. This role included strategic communications to support the Minister for Energy on oil sand related issues in Alberta, Canada.
I needed Godwin to expose my students to real life issues beyond our course curriculum in News Writing and Reporting. Thankfully, they listened to him with rapt attention. I am glad that he encouraged them to be original in their thoughts and confident in their God-given talents.
May God continue to bless his efforts.
Meanwhile, my mind is on what my students said about “connection”. Is it bad to get connected? No. I think that connection and merit should go hand in hand. Connections should not be given priority over merit. Rather, connections should be merited.
For instance, if I didn’t merit getting connected with Godwin, he would not have accepted my invitation to join our class yesterday. If he didn’t merit my trust, I wouldn’t have invited him, either. Getting connected only gets negative when nepotism and favoritism creep in.
Indeed, no woman or man is an island. We all need each other. However, we should not always overlook merit.
- Cornelius Ellah