Kepler & Southern New Hampshire University | Gaining Professional Experience with the CLCC
Kepler | SNHUAuthor: Kepler
The COVID-19 pandemic has not been an easy time for refugees, especially for those graduating. Fortunately, with the support of the Kepler academic team and refugee college guidance counselors, I managed to graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) during this difficult time.
Finding professional experience during the pandemic, though, was another challenge. Luckily, Kepler’s career team and guidance counselors tirelessly supported me in finding a professional experience that would help me become independent post-graduation. They reached out to me during Rwanda’s COVID lockdown and collected updates about job opportunities that I had applied for, offering extra support as needed.
Previously, I was connected to the Connected Learning in Crisis Consortium (CLCC) through Kepler’s career department, and I landed a virtual opportunity as the Communications Committee Intern. During my time with CLCC, I networked with partner organizations, drafted social media content, collected and published refugee testimonies and stories from around the world, and monitored the CLCC website. Through CLCC, I gained global exposure, polished my communication skills (particularly with CEOs and those working at a high level), and improved my writing, photography, video editing, and time management. I also learned a lot about CLCC partners’ plans for refugee higher education.
My supervisor at CLCC assigned me various tasks depending on the ongoing events. There were 15 STUDENT ENGAGEMENT & LEADERSHIP times I would map each partners’ activities and locations via Google MyMaps tools. Tasks were varied and sometimes complicated, as I was still learning and required supervisor support through virtual training, but I was proud to deliver high-quality work.
The experience I gained from CLCC was a major card that I held when applying for opportunities. I always made sure to emphasize my experience with CLCC. Now, it’s easy for me to demonstrate to recruiters that I have a background in communications work as well as experience working with both local and international organizations.
Consequently, my experience with CLCC has led to other opportunities. This month, I completed a paid internship with World Vision, a major international NGO, in their Communications and Public Engagement Department, allowing me to both grow professionally and cover my monthly expenses. I also completed a highly competitive apprenticeship with Siriforce, which aims to leverage refugees’ skills and provide them with jobs finding bugs in company websites, mobile apps, and software. Now, I work full-time with Siriforce as a Quality Assurance Officer as I continue to build valuable professional experience.