Graduates of Kepler have been urged to believe in themselves and use the knowledge – both academic and otherwise – to succeed in their respective careers.
Kepler is a university programme that provides students in East Africa with access to accredited American degrees by partnering with Southern New Hampshire University from the United States.
On Tuesday 105 students graduated from the programme and were conferred upon with Bachelor of Arts degrees in different disciplines.
To be able to get the graduates ready for the competitive job market, different professionals and other motivational speakers had been invited to address them.
Per Heggenes, the chief executive officer IKEA Foundation urged graduates to seize every opportunity that comes their way and embrace innovation in everything they do.
He called upon graduates to make a difference in their communities and the country in general by lending a helping hand to those that need their services especially in their area of study.
Dominique Alonga the executive director Imagine We, a social enterprise that aims at promoting the reading culture in Rwanda told the graduates; “every day is an opportunity to express your values and opportunities, it has been long nights of reading but it is time to start another journey with new experience, you should know that every experience is a lesson”.
Alonga added that life might throw graduates in different places but they should not let anyone discourage them or even minimize any job since every experience might lead them to another opportunity.
The graduates say they were exposed a lot during the programme.
“We have learnt many practical and entrepreneurship skills that we got a chance to be connected to different organisations for internship and part time jobs even before we graduated,” said Liza Imbonabake, who said she already has a part time job.
However, she added that her degree is a starting point as she hopes to get a full time job so that she can be able to pay for her master’s degree.
According to Teppo Jouttenus, the vice president for academic affairs Kepler, they teach students academics and communication skills to ensure students are able to properly express themselves.
Jouttenus further noted that graduates are not abandoned after school, saying that they have a career and alumni affairs department that stays in touch with them to help them wherever possible.
“They can always come back and train other students for instance,” he said.
The academic programme combines online learning with in-person seminars and intensive education.