A strong tree is aided by a strong tap root that digs the soil deep for its essential nutrients
Getting into the local NGO sector in Uganda can be tricky if you’re applying for internship placement. The field is competitive to the extent that many are willing to intern at their own cost as long as they get that initial foot in the door.
Internships are more structured towards career development. They’re for a specific duration and require a greater commitment in a short time. At least that was my thinking when I applied for an internship with Institute for Social Transformation (IST).
I joined the organization on 1st March 2017, as an intern under the transformational learning and leadership programmes. This was hinged on my academic background having graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Adult and Community Development from Makerere University.
Upon joining, I was given real responsibilities, such as managing the secretarial section where I was in charge of providing staff with stationery services like photocopying, typing and printing documents.
I was also engaged in different field capacity enhancement and mentorship sessions; such as the trainings for the market women on business and leadership; during which I acquired relevant knowledge and skills such as report writing as I would be tasked to offer rapporteuring services. In addition, such platforms gave me the chance of developing new friendships, most of which subscribed to different cultural traditions thus enhancing my multi cultural skills.
I cannot praise IST enough because these experiences changed my career ambitions and shaped me into a much stronger and knowledgeable individual since I was treated as a valued member of the team, not just an intern who is there for just a short time. If I thought that something had to be done differently, I was given the freedom to do it. This challenged the stigma I always had about internship placements, thinking that interns were at the bottom of the organization or company’s chain, where they would be given monotonous and meaningless tasks, such as getting tea and coffee for staff. Where as this may still be true for some organisations, IST smashed this stigma out of the park and beyond.
As told by Tuhaise Jesca
IST Intern Alumni