Accenture Volunteer and NetHope Academy Learning Manager
Learn more about NetHope Academy Haiti
Krista Tracy, Accenture volunteer (center), with NetHope Academy Graduates Natalie Norgaisse and Evenil St. Vil
October 2011. Krista Tracy, a project manager with Accenture, has been instrumental in creating the curriculum for the NetHope Academy Internship Program and setting up a Learning Management System (LMS) that allows interns to continue their studies between classroom sessions. She traveled to Haiti to launch the new curriculum and LMS, and saw in person how the program is changing lives. Read her impressions from this trip and her work with NetHope:
“Dye mon, gen mon.”
by Krista Tracy
“Dye mon, gen mon.”
Beyond the mountains, more mountains.
This is an apt proverb for not only the geography in Haiti, but also the challenges facing the country. Over the past few months, I’ve had the privilege and joy of working with the NetHope Academy Intern Program, which is helping young people climb one such mountain—getting that very first job.
The program is unique because it provides three components to build capacity and empower youth in the developing world: training, internships, and opportunities to secure full-time jobs in the IT sector. Last year’s pilot program in Haiti was highly successful. More than 80 percent of the interns received job offers of $10,000 to $18,000/year. That’s impressive considering that Haiti’s unemployment is estimated at 70 percent and the average income is $1,900/year.
While the Haiti pilot was successful, NetHope wanted to enhance and industrialize the program before scaling it to hundreds of interns across multiple locations in the Caribbean and Africa.
My role was to focus on making the learning aspects of the program more robust and scalable. In September we rolled out a new 6-month curriculum and a new learning management system.
Curriculum – Building Job-Ready Skills
The curriculum is a mix of technical and non-technical skills to prepare interns for their internships. We sourced and secured donations of over 300 curriculum hours from Microsoft, Cisco, Accenture, Vervago, Cornerstone, ElementK and other providers. We also tailored the training to be more relevant to interns in developing countries.
While most NetHope interns have degrees in computer science, both interns and employers say their university training is fairly theoretical and they need better preparation for the job market. Our program focuses on the more practical, hands-on skills needed by local employers, such as desktop support, network administration and troubleshooting. This is the first professional job for most interns, so they also need to learn about customer service, communications, office etiquette, precision questioning and answering, time management, and status reporting. We are also helping them build skills in resume writing and interviewing to help them prepare for the competitive job market.
Learning Management System – Single Point of Access for Interns and Metrics for NetHope
We also selected and implemented a Learning Management System (LMS) from Cornerstone. Last year, NetHope offered a few web-based courses, but they were cumbersome to access. NetHope also didn’t have a good way to track usage or satisfaction. Now, the LMS serves as a single point of access for the curriculum, which also includes a greater mix of web-based training. The LMS also tracks intern progress through the curriculum and helps gauge learner satisfaction, so NetHope can target future efforts and investments.
I had the opportunity to attend the launch of the new intern program last week in Haiti. It was great to see the interns engaged in the training, working through our activities and scenarios, and building new skills. Despite cramped quarters, power interruptions, and occasional language barriers, the interns stayed engaged and energized throughout the two-week classroom Boot Camp.
For me, it was great to be able to take the skills I’ve built with Accenture Learning’s corporate clients and use them to help young people in the developing world. I’m so grateful to Accenture for sponsoring me on this project. It’s definitely the highlight of my 25 years with Accenture, in terms of impact and inspiration.
Feedback from one NetHope Academy intern says it all, “This learning experience is a golden opportunity for me to improve my knowledge in communication technology. And I think that this experience is all I ever wanted.” Dye mon, gen mon.