Showing posts with label graduates. Show all posts
Showing posts with label graduates. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


A fortnight ago, I took the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) in Accra – daunting, but an essential experience. The GRE is a standard examination that allows individuals gain admission into graduate universities in the United States of America. It is a requirement of many grad schools. It would interest you to know that anxiety got me to the exam center almost an hour earlier than commencement time. Fortunately, the exam environment was comfortable – I felt at home – a result of my teaching in the computer lab mostly. The invigilators were also very welcoming.

As was expected, the Verbal Reasoning sections proved to be an Achilles’ heel; the Quantitative Reasoning was – well, okay. Analyzing the Issue/Argument sections were in a class of their own.

The experience made me realize that preparation indeed should not be underestimated. Juggling studying with work was no fun, but it was necessary. Luckily I had a friend who was also preparing for the exam the same time – we collaborated – not effectively, but it was worth it.

During a study session, I asked a colleague of mine to help me build up my vocabulary. I had an epiphany! He’s from a French background, and this made it easier for him to get the meanings of most of the words I threw at him. This I gathered is because most English words have French, Latin origins and therefore, basic knowledge in these languages is a plus for an individual studying for the GRE. Lesson learnt: Studying a foreign language can be a blessing – even in an English environment. Fact.

Because the exam is computer-based, typing skills are important, especially for the Analyze Issue/Argument sections. Thirty minutes can be pretty much a short time if your typing skills are poor. At a point, I found myself hitting the Ctrl + S keys to save my work – no need, because your work is saved automatically. (Laughs)

And oh, do not be deceived that 4 hours is a long time for an exam. The time will be shorter than you could possibly think of.

Let me know of your experiences as well. Do comment on this post. Thanks.

I wish prospective takers of the GRE all the best. Stay Blessed.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Am I ready?

A lot of young CS grads in Ghana – myself inclusive – hope to have their own start-ups after school. Others just want to be employed so they earn some income. The job market, however, is very competitive and the barrier of entry for start-ups is pretty daunting.
The real barrier in my opinion is the fact that most of us want to be perfect before we start our own enterprises or even bid for projects. How do you become perfect without practice?
I remember instances where I did get some projects to work on. I was scared of failure because I thought I was not ready. Guess what, as I started to work on the project, my skills sharpened and I gained new insight into Software Development.
Then comes the next fun-killer, (some) organizations not trusting in the abilities and skills of their young interns/employees, when they design software in-house. These organizations do not even test the software to ascertain its good and bad parts. They only want to buy software they feel is complete and professional – from well established vendors. Sometimes, these ‘so-called’ professional software do not even meet the requirements of the organizations!
This attitude dampens the spirit of these young, enthusiastic interns who literally ‘kill’ themselves to develop something.
It’s about time we start believing in our own folks’ abilities and inculcate the habit of testing in-house software so we get the right software to meet our requirements.
To my fellow yet-to-be developers/entrepreneurs, let’s not be afraid to be ‘thrown into the pool’. With determination and self-belief, we would stay afloat and conquer.
Let’s do it.