A Year-long Voyage of Uncovering!
AWiB 2022 Interns
Since 2016, AWiB has been bringing at least 3 young college students for an internship. Throughout their year-long stay, they acquire fundamental interpersonal, soft, and networking skills. Moreover, these young girls get familiarized with the professional world, a culture of dialogue, public speaking, sisterhood, an essence of a supportive community, consistency, excellent work ethic, and responsible leadership. The monthly networking programs, flagship events, and round table discussions on pertinent topics afford them a glimpse of an ideal corporate world. These exposures help them broaden their perspective of the world.
Ladies and gentlemen, AWiB’s 2022 interns:
The AWiB internship opportunity for me is the same as panning for gold in a stream, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for enlightenment. In my 11-month-long stay at AWiB, I can say that it is a life school that taught me various interpersonal skills that I could not get anywhere else. Throughout the internship, I was able to come out of my shell and do the unimaginable things that the ‘Heran’ from high school would be so proud of. I have developed personally and professionally. The networking events coerced me to learn how to network, create connections and understand the value of networking. I used to be so shy to approach strangers, but now I find it facile to go and mingle with a new crowd. Moreover, I was able to incorporate writing as a hobby which I eventually fell in love with. AWiB allowed me to work rigorously on my self-confidence through continuous self-assessments, to be honest with myself, and know who I really am.
For me, AWiB is not just an association for women to come and work together; it’s a community, a place where I would find myself when I needed solutions for my problems, where I was able to make amazing friendships and sisterhood, and a place where I was able to broaden my network, hence, my net worth. It showed me the way to success: to be honest with myself and accept who I am.
In AWiB, I learned to celebrate my achievements without comparisons with others because we are not all destined to have the same life purpose. I learned to focus on the bigger picture and destination while loving and enjoying the journey.
I remember when I first saw the post for an open internship position at AWiB, it took me a while to finally build up the courage to apply a year later. It still surprises me that I waited that long for the opportunity that ended up transforming me for the better.
It was very early on when I realized that interning at AWiB was like no other, and I had to adjust my expectations to reflect a much higher standard. From the first day of the program, AWiB taught me that it was never too late to start working on oneself and that we are capable of change. I would continuously find myself asking tough questions that allowed a lot of self-reflection. I began to be more self-aware. I started to navigate the extents to which I had let fear interfere with my life and the decisions I made which had held me back from stepping out of my comfort zone. Slowly but surely, I gained the confidence to explore new things without the fear of failure holding me back.
AWiB opened a safe space to open up and learn from the experiences of all the wonderful people I’ve met. Hearing all the obstacles and life hurdles AWiB members have overcome to be here has truly been inspiring. My time in AWiB will be an experience I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. Being part of the beautiful community AWiB has built has been a privilege.
It’s been such a journey, and I am forever grateful for what AWiB has given me and added to my list of experiences. When I was first called to be an intern at AWiB, I had my expectations. My expectations were highly influenced due to my understanding of the internship program in Ethiopia. Internship programs in Ethiopia are given to students or fresh graduates to practice in the environment of their area of expertise. So, I was expecting how I could apply my expertise (law) to AWiB. I was wrong. I remember Nahu, AWiB’s Founder and Executive Director, said at our internship orientation, “It’s not about what you can do for AWiB; it’s what AWiB does for you”. She was right.
AWiB gave me a chance to understand who I am as a person. She healed me. AWiB gave me a safe space to be my most authentic self without the fear of judgement. AWiB is HOME. A home where I can feel seen and appreciated for who I am. Throughout the past 11 months of interning at AWiB, I have been equipped with pertinent soft skills, adjusted my lenses to the world, improved my circle of people through the networking programs, and shifted my reserved and shy character to an outgoing and sociable personality. AWiB has immersed me in an environment that is contrary to my comfort zone. My AWiB experience is extensive. I have witnessed excellent women being celebrated and supported, and as a female youth, I find that to be an uplifting experience. AWiB, for me, has been a friend, the best one.
My stay was informative, inspirational, and fascinating, and I am beyond grateful that I was given this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of having exposure of such kind.
I knew very little about AWiB when I applied for the internship opportunity. I came across the internship post while I was on a self-discovery journey where I randomly applied for positions where I improved my soft skills and, lastly, figured out my purpose. I took a chance on myself, and the risk paid off well.
I joined AWiB with the premise of “how can I help the association”, but as soon as my internship commenced, I realized that AWiB was actually taking me in as an intern to help sharpen my soft skills and bring out an all-rounded woman. This was done through improving my network, helping me challenge meeting new people and teaching me sales, bettering my interpersonal skills through sit-down sessions for my writing, and also believing in me and giving me a chance to prepare my own round table discussion where I sat around with spectacular women to discuss my chosen topic.
The resourceful women in AWiB were very kind and supportive during my stay and have become an awesome addition to my network. In short, AWiB, for me, is a place where you can come to better your personal and professional life by connecting with women who are willing, optimistic, and energetic. When I was interviewed, I was asked if I had figured out my purpose, and I answered that I was still looking for it. I have now understood my purpose is to be a voice for the voiceless, and I thank AWiB for helping me find it during this duration of my stay.