Discovering Myself through My Internship Period

University degree is a 4 year sandwich course which involves a working placement during the third or fourth year of study. If this wasn’t the case I believe I would have still taken the time out to complete a placement. As I see it being vital experience required to help me gain a greater understanding of my chosen studies as well as being able to put into practice the things that I’ve learnt whilst at university. It is also very appealing to prospective employers to see that a potential employee coming straight out of university already has experience in the field of work.

My Internship at Stretchers Youth Organization is a total duration of 3months. During this period as an Intern i learnt a lot, not just about the specific of the job but general things in the organization that will be useful to me for future employment. I met a whole load of very friendly & interesting people in and out of the organization, my supervisor Mr. Evans Ouma and the Executive Director, Mr. Dickson Okong’o just outstood the friendly and interesting people I’m talking about, which made my stay in SYO worthwhile. My experience was fantastic! It really was a learning curve. I have learnt so much about sustainability, Sexual Reproductive Health Rights, leadership and governance, advocacy skills and many more. I wouldn’t change a thing about my Internship if given a chance to. I think my internship is success and I would do it all again given the chance. I have learnt some valuable life skills that I will remember and make use of for the rest of my life.

Apart from putting into practice what I’ve learnt throughout my course, at SYO i got a chance to attend several trainings that advanced me skill-wise and made me a Champion too. An example of these trainings were Advocacy skills training, health and safety skills, peer educating skills among others which were as a result of a number of ongoing projects in the organization. SYO, how best can i brand this organization and its people? I guess no words can describe it enough but to sum it all up, it’s an organization that stood out as a platform for my exposure to the political and social life at large. Through them i got a chance to attend public participations i.e. County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) validation, Family Planning Costed Implementation Plan 2018-2022 (CIP) which was being launched in Mombasa County.

It’s a great walk through to my career path. I got to meet several policy makers and county health committees one on one and shared different challenges we had come up with during trainings. As a champion, i was nominated by my fellow champions to personally hand over our memorandum to the chair of Health Committee Mombasa County. The document touched on a number of pressing issues that were, provision of youth friendly services, distribution of free sanitary towels to young needy girls and ladies etc. The feeling while handing over the document was epic. There were times we were in the fields with a number of staff members enjoying ourselves as we carryout tasks, one place I’ll live to remember is Kitangajuu where we had gone to assess a certain organization. Damn the rain and the mud there left us with no option but to walk barefoot, what’s more fun than that.

SYO is not only building my career skills but has also greatly empowered me, improved my self-esteem and also helped me learn more about myself as a person, but has also brought lots of positivity in my life. As much as everything has its positivity, i won’t miss out on the challenges I’ve faced through my course at SYO. It’s been difficult and a bit hectic commuting from miles away (Bamburi) to where SYO offices are (Changamwe) but I’ve concentrated much on the saying “after every hardship, there’s ease.” and this has proved motivating all through. I being the only Muslim in the staff could have also been a challenge but I’m grateful to all SYO members for accepting me for who i am and respecting. They’ve gone to an extent of troubling themselves to remind me prayer times. What a sweet family Stretchers are.

The advice I could give to students and graduates is to give everything they possibly can to the company, as well as taking away everything they possibly can to help better themselves. I’m very happy to have spent some months in SYO and have gained too many things during my internship stay including practical skills, professional working attitudes and career network connections.

Author

Azmina Ayub

Intern

Stretchers Youth Organization

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