While going about our day to day classes with our catalyst class, we came to the understanding that we needed to open up more and engage the students at the university while they wait for the schools to be opened.
The chat was aimed at enabling university students(specifically) and all those in waiting due to COVID19 to use time wisely and invest in learning and growing. We also intended to shade some light on the need of employers and what skills they needed to become employable.
On the panel, we had Joan Nkiriki a PHD student at Carnegie Mellon University and a research assistant in Engineering and Public Policy, Patience Ankunda; Student pursuing bachelors in Computer Science at Uganda Christian University, Lead at Developer student club , Olive Mwende Muteti BA design student at University of Nairobi,Reigning Miss University of Nairobi, Entrepreneur . On the panel of the sector experts we hosted Mrs. Florence Mawejje the General Manager Human resource at Centenary Bank development bank and sits on many boards of corporate organization, Benjamin Rukwengye the founder and CEO of Boundless Minds and Elizabeth Ntege the co-founder and group director NFT Consult. The moderators of the day were Michael Niyitegeka the Program Director and Joanita Nassiwa Communication and Marketing Lead.
The conversation lasted 2 hours which were utilized well and left the audience wanting more. This also allowed us have a great understanding of the needs of the students at that point and allowed us craft away forward.Baring in mind the questions we received prior to the conversation, it was important for us to note the fears expressed by the different attendees. (What does the future hold, What is an employer looking for in a fresh graduate, What experience do I need to have one foot in the door, What activities can I be apart of as we wait out the pandemic to mention but a few)
The discussion was a well-rounded one, touching pertinent issues from mentorship, employ-ability to the needs of the ecosystem. Panel one had students at different levels of learning but with experience that was suitable for the target audience we had in attendance. They shared the different opportunities available for students at the university in waiting including internships, fellowships and even scholarships. They also shared the different things that they were doing to keep them occupied while they wait for the university to resume. One of the key take away points was made by Joan Nkiriki “Learn, unlearn and keep learning because knowledge is power.” She said
Panel 2, also presented a vast wealth of knowledge in the employment sector with Mrs. Florence Mawejje emphasizing the need for soft skills and experience and not your academic qualifications. “When I am hiring someone to fill a position, I am looking out for their problem solving skills,their communication skills, their ability to work under different environments– say under pressure and under little to no supervision what so ever and whether they are result oriented ”. On the issue of mentorship, Benjamin of Boundless Minds pointed out that there should never be an excuse to not learn and grow. Use this time to learn something new don’t wait to be asked. Ms. Elizabeth said “Make yourself indispensable to your employer.”
In summary the virtual conversation was a success with the numbers averaging – on Facebook Live and – on the zoom call. This was also done in part to address the need for info sessions that we couldn’t do in person due to the pandemic. Incase you would like to watch it, visit our facebook page here
So if you are interested in joining a team of problem solvers who look at every challenge as an opportunity, then visit our page here we can’t wait to start the journey with you come September 2020.
ByJoanita Nassiwa, Refactory
April 19, 2021
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ByJoanita Nassiwa, Refactory
May 6, 2021
"They say that every journey starts with a single step and for me, that step was believing that we could contribute to building IT capacity in East Africa." Michael Green, a founding member at Refactory shares. Refactory's story can be told in many ways, In this post, Michael Green, one of the founding members shares the journey Refactory has been on and the very critical role that YWAM plays from its inception.Read more
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