My Experience in Junior Achievement

My name is Ekong Kubiateno Michael. I obtained my secondary education at Access High School Calabar, Cross River State. I aspire to study Economics at one of the prestigious universities in the United States of America.

I joined the Junior Achievement family on the 6th of April 2009. It all started with the zeal and willingness to contribute to the society before proceeding to further my studies. Junior Achievement is a non-governmental organization with the mission to inspire and educate young people to become conscientious business leaders leading a vibrant economy. Mrs. Kunbi Wuraola, the Executive Director of Junior Achievement has been instrumental in helping underprivileged children bridge the gap between the classroom and workplace. She has been impact in the society where she and her team has inspired and educated over 100,000 students in Nigeria towards becoming conscientious business leaders leading a vibrant economy. She helps in inspiring and educating young people in Nigeria on the economic realities of the country and how they can find their feet in whatever circumstances they find themselves. She helps prepare Youth Corp Members for the world of business as managers and entrepreneurs through one of the programmes of Junior Achievement. Venture in Management Program (VIMP). She has contributed to the positive empowerment of disadvantaged young people helping to reduce poverty level in Nigeria. She is a phenomenal woman and I aspire to be like her.

The first week was strange, unaccustomed to life in a corporate environment, I was a bit unsure of myself trying to get used to the environment. I caught up quickly I guess it was borne out of my zeal and excitement to impact something great into the lives of young people like me. During the induction process, I was introduced to the various programs conducted in Junior Achievement and their respective program officers by the Human Resource Personnel, Miss Rita David. Mr. Afolabi coordinates the Elementary School Program (ESP), which includes six age-specific themes. It highlights the relevance of education to the work place and prepares students for the secondary school lifelong learning. Mr. Akin coordinates the Company program (CP), which is JA Nigeria’s flagship program. It is popular amongst students of public and private schools in several locations in the country, due to its practicality and profit-making potential. Miss Rita coordinates Careers with a Purpose (CWAP). Mr. Ayo coordinates JA It’s my Business, which focuses on conveying entrepreneurial concepts, cultivating entrepreneurship and instilling the entrepreneurship spirit in young people..

After the induction process, I was assigned to the program department where the economic education programs are being organized and executed. Miss Rita took me to Aunty Ayo’s Comprehensive Secondary School to have an idea of the practical aspect of CWAP. I enjoyed every bit of the session and was eager to volunteer for the program.

In April, I had training on the Elementary School Program delivered by the program officer Mr. Afolabi Salaam. I learnt how to teach financial literacy to kids of age 5-11. I visited some schools like, Tomobid School Ikeja, Estaport Gbagada, Chrisland School etc.

In May I had two volunteer training; Career with a Purpose and Company Program.

Mr. Akin delivered the Company Program volunteer training. Company Program is an extremely practical program where students establish and run their own company. I learnt how to guide the students in setting up a company by selling shares, electing company officers, designing, producing and marketing a product and finally liquidating the company and paying out dividends to shareholders.

Careers with a Purpose volunteer training was delivered by Rita David. I leant how to guide students of age 14-17 on how to make career decisions that match their skills, values, interest and fulfill their noble purpose in life.

I assisted Mr. Afolabi in planning and executing the Arts and Craft program. I assisted him in contacting schools and pupils for the competition. I visited a lot of places in order to aid our selection for a venue for the competition like Nigerian Law School, British Council, Terra Kulture and Afterschool graduate Development office. I registered and coordinated the children as they came in for the competition. The program is organized yearly for elementary schools pupils to show case their creative ability. This year’s competition was held at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island on the 27th of May 2009. With the theme “Lagos our Mega City”. It was a wonderful experience watching the kids expresses themselves through their works.

I volunteered for Careers with a Purpose at Eko Akete Grammar School. I visited Eko Akete Grammar School with Miss Rita in order to seek permission to run CWAP in the school. The principal was very pleased with the idea and asked me to return after two weeks and start the program. I was asked to visit the students on Wednesdays by noon. My first presentation was a great experience. During the first session I introduced myself and gave them some information about my background. I shared briefly with the students an overview of JA Careers with a Purpose and went ahead to carry out the instructions in the Volunteer guide. I visited the students on a weekly basis by noon and continued with the program. I assisted sixty students in seeking careers that help them realize their life potential. I guided the students towards realizing the importance of positive values, life maxims and ethical decision-making within the context of career and life decisions.

Apart from the regular programs of the organization, I also carried out other day-to-day general office operations, which included handling daily recording of petty cash itinerary where I learnt how to keep financial record, which is key to business operation and how to distribute meager resources to meet necessary ends. I was able to use basic accounting principles.

Doing my internship at Junior Achievement is one of the best decisions I have made so far in life because it created an avenue for me to learn new and exciting stuffs everyday and in everywhere I go to. I have gotten a unique personal experience that obviously will influence me as a future professional in a very good way.