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University students map out life after campus

Rwanda’s university students have ambitious ventures for life after campus. A blend of innovation, creativity, and unwavering determination fuels these young minds as they prep for their post-university journey. They’re no longer just chasing degrees, but dreams.

Take, for instance, 22-year-old Aline Umutoni, a Computer Science major from the University of Rwanda. “Rwanda is an emerging tech hub,” she says, “We’re not Silicon Valley, but who’s to say we can’t be?”

Umutoni has been nurturing her startup idea, an app that connects farmers to markets, bypassing traditional, often exploitative, supply chains. “Our country is built on agriculture. If I can make even a tiny difference there, it would mean progress for all of us,” she adds, her eyes lighting up with the idea of utilizing technology for societal transformation.

Rwanda’s focus on ICT and digital literacy has encouraged students like Umutoni to think creatively about entrepreneurship. However, not all students share the same direction. David Mutabazi, an Arts and Social Sciences student is steering his own unique course.

“We are more than our GDP or our technology,” Mutabazi insists, “Our stories, our arts, they are our identity. I want to share that with the world.”

Mutabazi envisions starting a publication platform for young Rwandan writers, artists, and thinkers to share their perspectives. It’s his belief that the arts can offer a different, more human, view of the country’s progress since the 1994 genocide.

While these students are carving out their own paths, a common thread of optimism and resilience binds them together. They have a profound understanding of their nation’s needs, which is the driving force behind their action plans.

They also know what the market needs in terms of skills. Angela Gashema a Business and Economy student said that for her she is seeking skills that are now relevant on the market, she is actively improving her communication and writing skills through online courses she is using tools such as Grammarly to improve her writing.

“I think the market out there is seeking people with good communication skills and I want to make sure that I get a job as soon as I graduate,” she stated.

Silver Nshuti, in the College of Law, said that he is actively participating in training programs to get certificates and looking for internships since they will count as experiences when he is actively seeking a job.

“I want to have enough experience as soon as I graduate so that it facilitates applying for jobs since some places require experience.” He believes that it is important to ensure that this is well

For Noella Igitego it is all about higher studies. She is actively scholarships since she wants to continue her studies. Currently studying Civil Engineering at INES Ruhengeri she wants to further seek more knowledge in that field.

For these young Rwandans, life after campus isn’t a step into the unknown. Instead, it’s a journey they’ve been preparing for all along, right from their first day on campus. As they set out to make their mark, they’re not only advancing their own futures but also molding the destiny of their nation.

For those who feel it is unknown

A recent study revealed that about half of university graduates experience feelings of sadness post-graduation, often due to a perceived lack of support and the significant life transition that comes after completing their studies.

The study highlighted the common anxiety graduates face when trying to decide their next steps and the pressure they experience when comparing their progress to their peers.

To mitigate these post-graduation challenges, the study suggests several measures students can undertake in their final year at university. Laying the groundwork by making professional contacts and connections is vital, prioritizing mental and physical health, the study advises graduates to utilize available resources, such as career services at their institutions or mental health support lines, and to stay connected with their university friends for mutual reassurance during this transition period.

Straight out of Twitter