Young Africans at their best

by Tracy Hart

Frank Odwesso Photo: Frank Odwesso

Now in its second year, ESSA kicked off its paid summer internships programme for African students in July.  Partnering again with the African Leadership University, Mauritius and Jacobs University, Germany and new for this year with the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT), Germany and Ashesi University, Ghana. 

The 14 first and second-year undergraduate students were a fantastic group from: Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zimbabwe studying subjects such as Computer Science, Social Science, Business Administration, Chemistry and Electrical/Electronic Engineering and joined by two MBA students from Cameroon and Nigeria studying Business Analytics and Management/Technology and Innovation. 

They were split into four groups working on ESSA programme strands such as the Scholarship Impact Hub and also researching education and education data in the Global North.  Under the direction of ESSA team members and MBAs, although the teams worked remotely, they very soon bonded with frequent virtual team meetings and conversations.  Working extremely well together and supporting each other they covered a lot of work in a short space of time.  Their enthusiasm, ideas and dedication were amazing to be a part of and their questions certainly kept the ESSA team on their toes!

When asked at the end of the internship how they will apply what they have learned during their time with ESSA some commented:

I feel a responsibility now to make changes in whatever capacity I can towards higher education. I am also more excited about research now”

“This internship has improved my desktop research and information finding skills. Also, working in a team with members in different time zones taught me a lot about coordination and virtual teamwork”

The end of the two months always arrives so quickly, but with both sides learning from each other, the great work the teams achieved, and the insights gained, it’s now become an important programme for ESSA.

At ESSA we are driven by having Young Africans at the heart of all we do, our summer interns certainly fulfilled this.