The path of a fresh Ugandan graduate can be reinvented this way. You leave university with your qualifications and instead of walking the streets in search of employment, you are ushered into a dynamic company that builds onto the hard skills you have for a short period of time to make you a bestseller in the job market. 

This path would differ from the usual ordeal where fresh graduates are rejected during recruitment owing to their lack of experience.

The dream of employed graduates is held by all. The Innovation Village believes that training youths within various aspects of its operations including The Future Lab, Ventures, MoTIV, Programs, Tech and Data among others, would help them identify their strengths and maximise their full potential. 

To change the narrative and culture of excluding young passionate graduates from work opportunities, a Fellowship Program was established in 2020 with sixteen fellows who came from a variety of academic disciplines including education, engineering, social science, accounting and finance. 

Throughout the six-month intensive program, the fellows were immersed into the world of present-day work with skills that can help them thrive in any field regardless of their degree. 

Attracted by the idea of working in the Energy Lab, Petroleum Geoscience and Production graduate, Susan Asiimwe, applied for this fellowship. Almost 11 months later, she tells a story of great lessons. 

“This fellowship helps you realise that at the centre of the arts or science disciplines, there are those skills including  digital communication skills, project management skills, marketing skills, public relations among others, that are transferable from this fellowship,” Asiimwe says. 

The young graduate explains that she has been able to pick up on these skills through the rotational schedule that enables her to work with different departments. 

Asiimwe is currently celebrated in her department for coordinating and overseeing multiple projects with the flawlessness of a Project Management graduate, a skill that many pay millions to achieve.

Asiimwe who works full time as an Innovation Associate at The Innovation Village recently emerged as Operations Star. This win, according to Asiimwe, is an indicator that her growth journey, though challenging, has not been in vain. 

Leah Anthea Nafuna recently graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism and Communication, months after participating in the Fellowship Program. She is currently a digital account associate within the communications and marketing department of The Innovation Village.  

Nafuna recalls the reassurance that she would not be subjected to the culture of other workplaces where fellows or interns spend their time on trivial errands of getting coffee for their superiors and file paperwork. Nafuna says, “When they said it was an intensive immersion program, they did not lie.” 

During this period, the graduate was able to try her hand at multiple forms of media, photography, digital communication and storytelling before she settled for what she calls, “her poison”- digital communication. In her words, the fellowship has given her clarity on her career path and a vision of where she is headed. 

Once again, the call for fellows has been put out by The Innovation Village and Tevin Rwamahe, a fellow from the first cohort, is responsible for the success of this year’s program. 

According To Rwamahe, a business analyst at The Innovation Village, this program is an idea birthed by the need to help build world-class skills in addition to hands-on experience in this fast changing business world. 

“We are interested in finding young, agile curious graduates who are willing to be reskilled so that they can be problem solvers in the workplace,” Rwamahe says while speaking about some of the critical skills in today’s workplace. 

The benefits of this initiative, Rwamahe says, contribute to the greater national cause to utilise the young and abundant labor force while also providing young people an opportunity to transform their nation in this race to the future.

At the end of the six-month program, the fellows should expect to have a borderless list of opportunities to tap into. Responding to the call is as simple as expressing interest on this link

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