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Letter to Students in Agricultural Tertiary Institutions

Introduction

The global community is organized to accommodate those completing studies. You can decide to make your life exciting or dull and boring in the same community. When you complete university studies, you find yourself having to part with people, networks, and information. Interestingly, studying is a phase in this earthly life. You go or pass them on your way forward. As you leave university decide on where you want to be and what you want to do. Guidance and direction is all it takes. Take life as it comes!

To students, the choices above are difficult. However, the discipline of agriculture has many opportunities: at the farm, at grassroots or local communities, in the agro-industries, in the international bodies, and so forth. As a matter of fact newer opportunities are presenting themselves especially with the discovery of the second generation Internet of Social Media and Web 2.0. The knowledge gaps that now exist far outnumber efforts to close them.

Students should be able to grab such opportunities with ease. One should be competent, confident, and perhaps convertible! I have looked and approached in a random manner at what should be a student’s standing when getting into employment, the place and anything of interest to a keen mind.

What is a niche and can you fit in?

A niche is a role. When you examine the interrelationships of living and non-living organisms in ecology, the idea of a niche comes out. Every species has its niche, or better still “rightful place”. The same is true in life. As people we do have our niches-the roles that we need and fit in. It must be remembered that a niche, in this piece, is in the positive sense. Therefore, students should earnestly pursue their niche.

What is your personal standing?

Interest, inner motivation, and self-drive

Students should have interest, inner motivation, and self-drive. This will enable a history to be crafted.  Loosely speaking, agriculture as a science is knitted to history since the human race was put here on earth. With this history in mind it is an impetus to travel opportunities to the four corners of the earth.

Personal details

Students should use their skills and knowledge to shape their current situation. This can be anything laden with your ability.  It could be academic, professional, voluntary, and unique life experiences. Also keep in mind what Marcus Tullius Cicero, a Roman philosopher and statesman once remarked: “Ability without honor is useless”.

Terms of reference

Knowing exactly what is required of you in a work environment is the key to fitting in the environment. Relationships spring out of interactions. Students ought to be clear on what should be done, who should do it, why it should be done, when it should be done, and how it should be done.

Image

Sooner or later, students have to face the brunt of the hunger paradox.
Whilst the hunger images is what the community has to offer students should be reminded that not everything in life has been defined the way we see it. Create your own images!

The ideal niche

Contract

A work outlines your position vis-à-vis the work to be done. In essence, it is your true worth in your working environment.

Remuneration

Your objectives for getting an education dictate whether you move to formal employment or go the entrepreneurship way. A salary, wage, or reward should be received at the end of a defined working cycle for those in formal employment. In the spirit of entrepreneurship, for those who go on to create and own their own enterprises define your payment schedule.

Holidays

Allow yourself time to rest. Do not overwork the physical body. The body was designed to have balanced periods of work and rest. Give each period its due time.

Health checks

A health mind and body is a necessity. A healthy mind also translates to healthy working people who provide healthy work solutions.

Accommodation

As you pursue your niche you need to be clear on where you will stay for the night. Whichever location and place you choose to stay, this should give you the sense of satisfaction.

Provision for further studies

The working place should provide a provision for further studies. The studies should be practical and relevant to the work you are carrying out. Only pursue further studies when they are woven with your interest and tasks at hand.

Work partners

John Donne once said “No man is an island entirely of itself. Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main”.  As students you meet (and continue to meet) people with the same interests as yourself. Break bread together but be guided accordingly.

Legal aspects

Nowadays, where it is easy to find yourself in a court of law, it is important to be discreet in your conduct. Students should be cognizant of what constitute acts of misconduct in your place and environment. The agricultural circle is not divorced from politics as people will always have something to say.

Conclusion

Agricultural tertiary institutions have a great responsibility to ensure that students rise to the society's expectations. It is the students who later become experts; subject matter specialists; professionals; scientists; and losers depending on the training. A niche is a role. Whilst there are various attributes to what a niche entails the most part of the niche a student will find themselves in, is one they create themselves. In short, students are thus charged to give meaningful contributions to the discipline of agriculture.

Acknowledgement:
Mr. Panganose (Zimbabwe) for his keen mind and ideas on the subject.

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Monday, 27 June 2022

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