Acquire soft skills to boost employability, Sanwo-Olu's aide charges students


By Emmanuel Awosika and Olaram Oluchi

The Senior Special Assistant to the Lagos State Government on Sustainable Development Goals, Mr. Lekan Fatodu, has implored students to acquire crucial soft skills to improve their employment prospects. 

He spoke Friday at an industry webinar, organised by the Mass Communication Students' Association, themed "Navigating the Normal: Skilling, Upskilling, and Reskilling"

According to Fatodu, soft skills like resilience, confidence, determination, and consistency are important for communication professionals to advance in their chosen fields. 

While acknowledging the role of individual brilliance in securing employment, he explained that acquiring soft skills could help communicators differentiate themselves in the job market. 

The renowned public relations and development communication expert rejected the notion that fledgling communicators need "connections" to make headway in the industry. 

Drawing from his personal experience, Fatodu affirmed that excellent skills and a good network are more important than connections, contrary to popular belief. 

The SSA emphasised the need for  communicators to create value if they want  opportunities for career success. 

In his words, "Value is the unquantifiable currency that can be used to sustain tremendous goodwill and acquire great advantage." 

Speaking on the employment outlook for the communications field, Fatodu declared that students must commit to getting the right knowledge to discover new opportunities. 

He gave the example of the increased focus on sustainability and social impact in the corporate sector, adding that companies need communication experts in such areas. 

He also rejected the notion that the print media was dying, but said that professionals need to build their creativity to compete in the industry. 

"As one digital media platform comes up, another one is dying — the ones that are popular are only surviving because of their creativity," he declared. 

In the last stretch of the webinar, Fatodu advised broadcast enthusiasts to cultivate what he called "deliberate curiosity". 

He said: "Broadcasters must be deliberate about seeking knowledge. They must be willing to learn new skills that will improve their performance as broadcasters." 

Concluding his address, Fatodu encouraged students to remain committed and determined in their endeavours, while expressing his desire to see them achieve success in their careers. 

Explaining the rationale behind the industry webinar, President of the Mass Communication Students' Association, Paul Agada, said the programme was to equip undergraduates with useful knowledge for navigating the new normal occasioned by the COVI9-19 pandemic. 

The President reiterated his administration's commitment to preparing students of the department for success in the industry. 

Mr. Lekan Fatodu is a publisher, PR expert, and erstwhile political consultant. He was appointed the Special Senior Assistant to Lagos Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on June 5, 2020. 

He holds a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Mass Communication from the prestigious Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos. 


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