Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Career Fair and roles models

Each year TechKobwa features a panel with Rwandan women leaders in technology, business and government.  Students identify strongly with these women and find their stories truly inspirational.

The Career Panel at TechKobwa 2015 took place Wednesday afternoon.   It included:

  • Crystal Rugege,  Director of Business Strategy & Operations at Carnegie Mellon University-Rwanda
  • Lucy Mbabazi , President of Girls in ICT and Business Leader VISA
  • Emma Marie Ndoringoma,  Founder of Fidalix Ltd. and Product Manager at Promelec
  • Happiness Uwase,  Operations Manager and Membership Coordinator of PSF ICT Chamber
  • Mariam M. Muganga , Chief of Operations at Academic Bridge
  • Vanessa Mutesi, Miss Geek Rwanda 2015

We are truly grateful to these accomplished and busy women for making the long trip to Kibuye to talk about the paths that led them to where they are today and the satisfaction they derive from their careers.

I could not understand the talks (they were in Kinyarwanda).  But I could appreciate the intensity with which students listened to the panelists—and that students certainly did not lack for questions!

After the panel, students gathered around Vanessa to learn more    
The presentation by Vanessa Mutesi , Miss Geek Rwanda 2015, elicited an excited exclamation from the students. Rusty explained, “She just told them that she is 16 years old!”—not something you would have guessed from such a self assured and well-spoken young lady.  We could not have asked for a better role model for our 60 students ages 12 through 20!

This year at TechKobwa, students made the most of two other opportunities to connect with inspiring role models. 

Two students from the Akilah Institute—a non-profit, accredited women’s college offering professional degrees in technology, business, and hospitality management with campuses in Rwanda and Burundi—visited overnight.  We thank Aimee and Sandrine for presentations on their goals and aspirations and on their experiences at the Akilah Institute.

We were also fortunate to have a representative from Kepler Kigali with us for the entire camp.  Simon Niwemugizi spoke to students about opportunities for continuing their education through the Kepler Institute.

Thanks to all volunteers, teachers and guests for their mentorship, and for igniting the imaginations of 60 young Rwandan women.   The message came through loud and clear:  Determination, work, and education can change the course of your life, opening the way for fulfilling careers.

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