Brian Kiraga, a very pragmatic and hardworking student who attended the corporate career academy in Kenya. Shortly after his attendance, he shared his key insights on what benefits he has gained and how the academy will help him defining and taking in his hands his professional career.
Where do you see yourself professionally 20 years from now?
“Twenty years is a long time, but that’s not to say I have no clear vision in mind for such a long duration. However, in twenty years’ time I picture myself being the regional manager of one of the financial services and consultant firms or better yet, a chief financial officer. I also envision my myself being a columnist on financial matters in one of the dailies because writing is somewhat growing to be one of my favorite interests. I am also very much interested in real estate and I also see myself as a real estate investor. Nonetheless, who is to say I can’t be an insurance underwriter too? In forethought, my career path looks versatile.”
What were your expectations coming to this Academy? Were those expectations met?
“Coming to the academy, everyone no doubt had expectations. One of my expectations was that I could demystify some notions surrounding the job market, the workplace and what employers look for during an interview. I also wanted to find a mentor who could point me in the right direction in the next steps of my career path as well as building networks that would help me in this. I would say yes; my expectations have been met even if some are still work in progress.”
Which sessions were the most interesting/ had most value to you and why? Would you recommend them to a fellow aidualumni?
“The most interactive and valuable sessions were the coaching sessions that enabled individuals to apply their take-away from the input sessions. In addition, the mentoring sessions which helped expand one’s perspectives. Sometimes it does take a mentor, who is somewhat like your third eye to really get the implications of what is ahead of you in my case, finishing school and exposure to the job market. In short, a mentor in a one-on-one session can be likened to an independent observer who helps us shake off personal bias and view life with a fresh pair of eyes. That being said, I would definitely recommend them to all fellow aidualumni.”
What aspects of the program could have been done better?
“No academy program is perfect. However, mine is a subjective observation. I think we can do better in terms of how we take care of our equipment and plan for contingencies should anything unexpected happen. A good program relies on uninterrupted sound and visuals which further translates to great time management when there are less snags. Being in charge of equipment is not a walk in the park because it is for the most part responsible, for smooth delivery of input sessions which rely on audiovisual means. When such systems falter as they are prone to, the inconvenience is embarrassing for whoever is in charge.”
How did you find the career fair? How many partners did you talk to and who exactly are they?
“The career fair was nicely planned, and executed in the most efficacious way possible. In spite of the absence of a couple of companies at their stands, my experience was satisfactory. I talked to and interacted with Boston Consulting Group (BCG), BDO, Syngenta, Zamara, Uniport, How Do You Tech, Intellecap and the Swiss Embassy, eight partners in total.”
Did you enjoy the one-on-one mentoring with a Swiss Re mentor? How impactful was it to you? Can you imagine to continue this mentoring relationship even after the academy?
“As mentioned before that the one on one mentoring session was one of the most valuable sessions. It was really impactful, I really obtained great insights into readying myself for life after graduation, how to get experience through internships and having a dynamic career path. My Swiss Re mentor also emphasized the importance of a work-life balance, which I admit, cannot be understated. As for continuing this mentoring relationship after the academy, why not?”
How can AiduLink contribute to your continued professional growth?
“All of Aiducation’s academies have been geared towards nurturing me into an all-rounded individual by giving me mentors, networks, skills, exposure and working experience all of which have fueled my professional aspiration. How much more there is, I cannot tell at this point but I am eternally indebted for what Aiducation has done for me thus far.”
Written by Brian Kiraga, edited by Florence Sebara