Three recent graduates of NetHope Academy receive full-time job offers from top companies in Rwanda
KIGALI, RWANDA – July 25, 2012 – In March 2012, NetHope expanded its successful NetHope Academy program to Rwanda. NetHope Academy is a six-month program that trains interns through both intensive classroom instruction and on-the-job IT skill building. This combination produces highly competitive candidates for private sector employment.
NetHope Academy gives preference to underserved groups, including young women, in an effort to increase women’s presence in the IT sector. NetHope Rwanda had the unique privilege of training 18 women in its first class. Three of these women, Mireille Rugwizangoga, Babra Dusenge, and Peruth Mukanshimiye have already received full-time job offers from leaders in Rwanda’s business world.
Mireille Rugwizangoga currently resides in Kigali, Rwanda with her parents and four brothers. Throughout her childhood, her parents always encouraged her to pursue education. Mireille’s parents both completed college, despite the horrific events of the 1994 Genocide; something Mireille saw as a tremendous challenge for them, but also an inspiring example. While in primary school, Mireille enjoyed math and other concrete sciences. She was always interested in technology, but felt it was known as a “boy’s career”. However, once she reached university, she found she was able to study the IT field despite the gender stereotype.
Mireille attended the National University of Rwanda, where she received her degree in Computer Science and Systems. She was also president of the Women Students’ Association. While she enjoyed her classes, Mireille felt that they were not applicable to everyday IT tasks. She wanted training that would provide her with current and hands-on IT experience that would prepare her for her first job. While browsing Facebook one day, Mireille saw a posting for the NetHope Academy program on the University’s class wall. After learning more about the program, she felt she would be able to gain the practical experience she was hoping would augment her education.
After reviewing numerous applications of highly promising candidates, Mireille was granted acceptance into the Academy’s first class in Rwanda. Mireille states that her favorite part of the NetHope Academy classroom experience was the Microsoft courses, the IT presentations, and the learning style, which included real-life workplace simulations. Upon classroom completion, Mireille was placed in her internship with the Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC). Here she provided IT support, network troubleshooting, and website maintenance. She also assisted with network installation when RBC relocated to a new building site.
As a result of her work, Mireille received a full-time job offer from Access Bank Rwanda. She now performs systems backup, provides IT support, monitors e-banking products, and executes end-of-day reporting. Mireille sees her new job as challenging, but rewarding. She says, “What I enjoy about it is that I was not imagining me doing things that the whole Bank is depending on. It is a very huge responsibility and it makes me feel confident.”
Mireille wants future Academy interns to recognize that “NHA is one of the rare programs in Rwanda and in the World that helps young graduates to feel ready to start their careers, it is not an everyday opportunity to find such chances.” In the future, Mireille hopes to specialize as a database program engineer.
Mireille would like to thank God, her family, her closest friends, and everyone at Nethope Academy, along with its lecturer team Peter Maina, Anatole Gahongayire and Kevine Bajeneza (NHA Rwanda Program Director) who always cares about the progress of the interns.
Babra Dusenge was raised in Kigali, Rwanda and is the only daughter among eight brothers in her large family. Babra’s long time interest in computer science and the IT field influenced her decision to attend the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology where she was trained in electronics and telecommunication engineering. Upon graduation, Babra began working as a call center agent at Rwanda’s largest mobile provider, MTN.
While working at MTN, Babra desired to expand her knowledge of technology and build upon her education. Her friend told her about NetHope Academy and its mission to equip new graduates with practical IT experience. After a highly selective application process, she was chosen to join the Academy’s first class. Babra describes herself as someone who never gives up, and during her time at the Academy, she never did. Her dedication to learning and developing her technical expertise while in the classroom landed her an internship at the Broadband Systems Corporation (BSC) in their network operations center. While at BSC, she was able to apply the technical knowledge she gained while in school and the Academy classroom, and develop it into real-world expertise.
As a result of her hard work at BSC, she quickly received a full-time job offer from her prior employer MTN to work in their network operations center. She now does site maintenance and troubleshooting, which she reports she “enjoys very much” and “is doing different things [she] learned while at the NetHope Academy.” In the future, Babra hopes to become a professional telecommunication engineer.
Barbra would like to thank Kevine, as well as, her friend at BSC for recommending the NetHope Academy internship opportunity to her.
Peruth Mukanshimiye, the youngest child of her large family, grew up in rural Rwanda. Peruth saw technology as her way out of rural Rwanda and into the city. To accomplish her relocation, she decided to attend Tumba College of Technology where she studied Information Technology. While at Tumba, the head of the ICT Department informed Peruth of the internship program at NetHope Academy Rwanda. She learned that historically Academy graduates had a high job offer rate upon completion of the program, and determined this would be a great catalyst for her to obtain employment in the IT field.
While at NetHope Academy, Peruth interned with the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Center (IPRC). Here she provided computer maintenance, troubleshooting and user support. This internship flourished into a job, where Peruth was offered full-time placement at IPRC Kicukiro. She now supervises the center’s computer labs, while continuing to provide computer maintenance and support. Peruth reports that she is “very happy at her job because I practice what I learned at college, [and] NetHope Academy helped me to be experienced…and self-confident.”
Peruth advises all new interns of the Academy to take the internship seriously and to explore the opportunity to its fullest.
Peruth would like to thank her parents, the Nethope Academy Team, Kevine, and IPRC Kicukiro.
NetHope Academy Rwanda is currently accepting applications for the upcoming cycle. If interested in applying, please visit NetHope Academy Rwanda Homepage.
NetHope Academy Rwanda is sponsored by the Rwandan Development Board, Accenture, Cisco and Microsoft.