Student perspectives

Never settle for less


Joanita Nassiwa, Refactory


May 19, 2020

After a 3-year course at the university, Phyllis knew she wanted to grow her skills and become an IT/Data analyst. Working for her mum for a while, caused her to desire for more. A month or two later, she heard of an opportunity to further her studies at an all-girls training program called Educating the Children at Innovation Village.

Nabangi Phyllis is an IT Analyst with TATA Consultancy Services in India, a job she’s held since 1st December 2019. I got a chance to speak to her in an interview about her journey since joining Refactory and how it has shaped the woman she is today. At first glance and listen (on the zoom call) she is very humble and soft spoken yet under all that lies an intelligent, ambitious young woman determined to succeed at all costs.

Before joining ETC and Refactory, Phyllis had some history with coding after pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology but the bigger part of her time at the university was spent learning systems administration and networking.

“I came to Refactory through a partnership between Refactory and Educating the Children (ETC). One day, as the program came to an end, a team from Refactory came to share with us what the program was about and what it had to offer. From then on, I picked interest and wanted to learn more.” Phyllis recalls.

With the knowledge that her time with Refactory would be fully funded by ETC,Phyllis jumped at the opportunity to further her studies.

At Refactory, we pride ourselves in the diverse training approach we take that allows students to attain not just technical but non-technical skills as well.Things to do with Leadership skills, communication skills, critical thinking and teamwork to mention but a few that prepare them for gainful employment both locally and globally.

“I saw mother’s going the extra mile to learn and I knew that there was no room for excuses. When we started, one of the facilitators helped map out our career development plans and this helped paint a picture for me that I wanted to see come to life, a very big picture.” Phyllis emphasized  

“The facilitators were very hands-on and left no one behind. They were very relatable which made it easy to approach them when I had any questions. One of the facilitators encouraged me to apply for jobs and have the courage that with all I had learnt I could achieve my goals,so I went ahead to apply. Little did I know that I would soon be invited for interviews.”

“How did the interviews go?” I asked. With a giggle Phyllis said, they were very tough but I kept a positive attitude, plus with the support from the facilitators and individuals from AIESEC I was able to go through them successfully.

When I asked her about working in a new and multicultural environment altogether, Phyllis said at first it was difficult but then she drew on her knowledge of understanding people and applied all her soft skills training and within 2 to 3 weeks she had settled in.

“Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. I mean, I saw mother sacrifice a lot to learn and polish their craft. If they could, well so can you” Phyllis concluded our very lengthy conversation.

Now, you must be wondering why we share such stories with you. Michael Niyitegeka, our program director, once said, “Our success is not in the number of certificates we hand out, it’s in the type of individual you become after going through the program.” Students like Phyllis are the reason we continue to adapt and refocus our energies in remaining Uganda’s blueprint for tech hires.We remain committed to training, equipping, and skilling young techies through lean and agile methods of teaching that will see them go on to become forces to be reckoned with.

While paying attention to the ecosystem and the ever-changing technological environment, our curriculum is constantly reviewed to fit the need and maintain relevance. Phyllis is just one of the many examples of amazing talent that has been through the Refactory program and now goes on to become an inspiration to others.

Would you like to join a community of like-minded individuals passionate about using technology for problem-solving? Click around our website and find out how you can take part as either a student or a partner.

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