As Kenya’s digital economy propels the country’s economic growth, a lot more needs to be done to prepare citizens and businesses for the economy, society and jobs of the future.
According to the World Bank Report of 2019, Kenya has seen its Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector grow an average of 10.8% annually since 2016, becoming a significant source of economic development and job creation with spillover effects in almost every sector of the economy.
However, the 20th edition of the Kenya Economic Update: “Securing Future Growth,” notes that for Kenya to keep pace with technology innovation and the growth of the global digital economy will require stronger digital foundations, such as scaling digital skills at primary and secondary education levels to spur competition, expand access to digital know-how and narrow the digital divide.
Bolt, an inclusive mobility company, recognizes this fact and has made efforts to empower youths with much-needed knowledge, tools, and hands-on experience to expand their career paths. One of such efforts is its #Drive4WITech immersive internship programme launched in 2021 to support young women in Africa who have chosen to pursue a career in the technology sector.
Sara Badru, one of the outstanding interns who was selected for the program, speaks about her experience interning at Bolt.
Bolt’s Drive4WITech programme is in its second year having been launched in 2021. How did you find out about the internship and what inspired you to apply? I found out about the internship through social media, Instagram to be specific. What inspired me to apply was that the tech industry is known to be quite male dominated and once I saw this once in a lifetime opportunity I knew I had to jump in.
Bolt announced the receipt of hundreds of applications of which three of you were selected. How does it feel to be among the chosen few? Honestly, I was quite shocked at the large number of applicants. I’m sure they offered the best too but I also believe that I put a lot of effort into my application that made it more noticeable.
What area did you specialise in during the programme and what skills were you able to gain? I specialized in marketing and throughout the internship, I have gained quite a number of skills which include teamwork, flexibility, a knack for research, specifically market research, an essential awareness of search engine optimization, an idea of influencer marketing and a good comprehension of target audience and demographics.
How has the internship programme affected or enhanced your decision to work in tech? The programme has enhanced my interest in working in the tech industry because I believe women in this industry create value through diversity of thought and can foster growth of women related tech products. I would very much like to be part of that in the long run.
What was your biggest learning curve? Were there any challenges during the programme? My biggest learning curve was learning that marketing is not just based on creativity but is also a science on its own. It’s not just selling a product or service, it includes keeping existing consumers happy, communicating, building mass trust and making the customer remain for a lifetime. Because this was my first marketing job, I had a steep learning curve. I started this work slightly overwhelmed by the amount of new information I had to take in, with plenty of meetings in between but quickly became in sync with the work environment and learned pretty quickly.
As the Drive4WITech programme comes to an end, how was your overall experience? The intern experience I’d say is quite different from any other because of the ownership we are given. I take responsibility for some projects and I am involved in a wide array of marketing activities. This has enhanced my commitment along with curiosity and has shaped my impression of the company, employees and the company’s culture.
What are the biggest lessons you learnt from participating in the programme?
- How to put my knowledge and skills into practice, conducting comprehensive competitor analysis.
- Benefits of networking.
- Understanding workplace culture.
- How important good communication is.
- It is very essential to be enthusiastic and open to learning new skills.
Will you recommend the Drive4WITech internship programme to other young female Nigerians? Yes!! I would highly recommend it.
What is that one thing you will miss about interning at Bolt? Working at Bolt makes me feel like a trusted employee as I am constantly encouraged to bring up new ideas and empowered to contribute to the organization. I set goals for myself at the beginning of the internship and I’m quite pleased to have achieved most of them and for that I am thankful.