Had Sylvia Ohaga had an inkling what career best suited her 20 years ago, she would probably have chosen a different course when she joined Day Star University.
Like many people, Ohaga chose a course either through coercion from parents or on a trial-and-error basis.
“I studied business management and after school, I landed a job in the marketing department of an insurance firm,” she says. It was something she did not want to do, but stuck with it for two years.
“I could not even meet half of my target. I literally could not sell insurance because it was not what I was meant to do. I did not know how to go about it,” Sylvia says.
She resigned and trained as an air hostess. For eight years, she waited on people until she decided to break out and do something that she actually enjoyed. “I have since become a certified career coach. I studied human resource. Her specialty is in the Murphy-Meisgeier Type Indicator for Children (MMTIC). “I give guidance on career choices along personality traits,” she explains. Her idea to launch her company, Ramani, came about after talking with her niece in 2016. “She wanted to find out what kind of career she could enrol in,” she says.
Convincing parents to let their children pursue what they want has been one of her challenges.
“Getting the information available to the child early enough has been one of the things we have had to work through. Usually, when children need that kind of direction, they are advised and may end up fulfilling the dreams of their parents instead,” Sylvia says.
Her platform is online-based and users can download the app and then pay a fee. They then do a few tests to determine what they are best suited for. The platform is based on the principal that each student’s path is unique and through understanding themselves and what careers are suitable for them, they build confidence and are more focused in their academic success.
The test is based on Swiss psychologist Carl Jung’s research on personality types, based on one of the 16 types. Each type has analysis of careers that people with those type traits are happy in and work naturally. The test takes about 10 minutes and the results analyses the personality type and links it to a list of suitable careers.
The app has four options: Self-discovery for the personality tests. Find a course; Find a college and Get Advice options.
Once you do the test you can search for suitable courses from any level – certificate to doctorate, then find a college offering the courses you are interested in. One can also get answers on any career-related queries.
“Being a career coach, I have interacted with young adults and I see the confusion they have to battle with,” she says.
It is a social enterprise and the fee goes towards running the application. Before the idea came about, Sylvia had been to about five schools since 2016 and the students all had similar questions about careers.
She says not all of them could make it to see her and pay for her services and that is why she decided to create the app so that they can get access to the right information from the comfort of their homes.
For Sylvia, seeing a remarkable change in those that have used the platform is what keeps her going. “That would easily avert a lot of financial as well as psychological turmoil for both a child and their parent. We are looking forward to reaching more than 600,000 students over the next five years,” she says.