AWiB Internship Program

As competition for graduate jobs increases, students need to think of new ways to set themselves apart from all of the other equally qualified and skilled candidates.  Graduates who have relevant workplace experience tend to be more valued by employers, and this makes internships an attractive prospect.

An internship is an opportunity offered by an employer to potential employees, called interns, to work at a firm for a fixed period of time. Interns are usually undergraduates or students, and most internships last between a month and three months or a year.  An internship should give you practical skills as well as workplace experience and greater knowledge of that place in exchange for the employer benefiting from your labor.

Internships can be paid or unpaid and can take place during the academic year or during the summer.  In the past few years, it’s become increasingly common for college students to have an internship under their belt by the time they graduate.  To be competitive in the workforce and give yourself a leg up in the job search after graduation, it’s more necessary than ever to apply for meaningful internships.

What Do Interns Typically Do?

The majority of interns will carry out a range of support tasks in a junior role.  The specific duties of an internship will vary considerably depending on your employer, the industry and the type of internship.  Unlike conventional employment, internships have an emphasis on training rather than employment itself.  By their very nature, internships are more of a support role than anything else.  However, they are great opportunities for interns to learn how the business operates even if they are only carrying out basic activities.  Typical duties may include processing mail, data entry, filing, sorting through documents or scheduling appointments.  That’s not a given though: some interns have greater responsibilities and can end up becoming a key member of the team, making significant contributions to the company.

What are the Benefits of Doing an Internship?

  • A chance to develop your knowledge and skills in a particular field
  • Exploring different roles to see which one you would like to pursue
  • Getting insight into the way businesses work & what challenges they face on a daily basis
  • Broaden your professional network, gaining contacts & future recommenders along the way.
  • Gaining valuable work experience to set you apart from other candidates
  • Applying the concepts and strategies of academic study in a live work environment
  • Enhance your resume.
  • Turn an internship into a full-time job opportunity after college.

AWIB Internship Program

What makes an AWIB internship different from other internships?

  • The work place: AWIB has a working space called AWIB Resource Center (ARC). As the name implies it’s a working space and has a mini library that has a variety of books, offers free Wi-Fi allowing Internet to access.
  • The internship is not just an internship! While being an intern at AWIB, you will not only be responsible for the support work but also for your personal being.  AWIB offers membership as well for her interns within their time of stay.  An intern will be part of every Round Table Discussion (RTDs), Monthly Panel Discussions, and annual conferences like May Forum while helping organize and attending the Women of Excellence (WOE). From all these programs interns will be able to discover themselves as well learn from others.
  • What will interns do at AWIB: Write program recaps, which will help them develop their writing skills.  One gets a chance to network with different women from all walks of life.  Interns subscribe new members to AWiB Effect, a bi-weekly online newsletter, document and organizing various files, update the membership database and call to renew memberships. Interns usher at monthly events, compile recaps and complete quarterly reports on their experience along with having open conversations with the Founder and Director, Nahu.
  • What will interns gain out of it? Interns will learn how to be organized so things go according to plan, how to present yourself in front of people, be confident, and professional.  One learns about time management, understanding what feminism really is (it is not hating men or that women are above men but about having equal opportunities for tasks you are fit to do), being adaptive and giving no excuses for your mistakes, and being accountable for all of your actions.  Good communication is key to lead others and yourself.  Became more self-aware due to attending the different RTDs/workshops that helped me as we discussed various topics.  Mentorship by Nahu is also of great significance.
  • How does AWiB help with personal development? AWIB will make you a person that can make her own decisions, be reasonable and effective. At AWIB, you will learn to say, “Whatever I do is my choice and I need to make the right choices.”  AWIB will help you learn to say no to things without having “Yelugnta” or people’s will in mind.  You will be able to network with people with diverse careers and backgrounds and have their support when needed.  You will have love and respect for yourself and be able to share what difficulties you’ve had in life and get rid of them.  There is a strong sisterhood and a lot of mother figures.  By the end of your internship, you are able to recognize the change in you, understand there is nothing you cannot be, and that you can contribute a lot to the society around you, being able to lead.
  • How internships help AWiB: Interns help AWiB by helping out in the day-to-day activities of the office, coordinate and assist during events, research various topics to be posted on our website and work on membership attraction & retention.

AWiB Interns from October 2018 to October 2019

Ruth

My name is Ruth Samson.  I am a 20-year-old, 3rd year student at AAU SOC, studying Accounting and Finance.

Ruth Samson

Why did I join AWIB?

When I first joined AWIB I didn’t even know what I was getting myself into and it wasn’t my plan.  I had a paid job at AWIB at first and Nahu, the Founder & Director, gave me the internship as a reward for the good job.  I started my internship and joined AWIB.  I always look for opportunities that help me grow and found AWiB interesting because it’s about women and I would refer to that a lot.

How did it change me?  Who I was before?

I was a person who was not comfortable when talking to many people.  I was a person who would not go out of my comfort zone to achieve something and give reasons to whatever mistake I made.  But now I am able to be confident whereever I go and I have understood that I am accountable for anything in my life and would go out of my comfort zone in order for me to grow.

How Nahu did help me?

Nahu helped with this by pushing me to go out of my comfort zone, to not give excuses for my laziness but rather get everything done and learn to manage my time.  She taught me to be responsible for every action I take and for the things I was unable to fulfill.  I would say she was like a bossy mother.  She always tells me to use my opportunities very well and make myself grow through them, be professional, read a lot, network and not give my life to others to lead it but for me to become the leader for my own life.

I learned that accepting oneself is a great deal in life and not to embrace our weaknesses but rather work on them.

I discovered that nothing is impossible if I have the end game in mind to do things and believe in myself.

I noticed that all I need to change and be a better version of myself is to not hold myself back and unfold my inner potential by letting myself walk into a challenging and new environment.

I was surprised that I was able to learn how to manage my time practically in addition to attending sessions on such topics.

I am disappointed that I had passed a lot of opportunities in my life just because I thought I wouldn’t be able to do things in time and thought I won’t be the best fit for a position.  I have changed and know I can be what I want to be.  All it takes is to believe in yourself!

I plan to widen my circle of influence and be a good example for others with all that I do.

What am I doing now (where am I)? I’m in the 3rd year (last year) of my studies, working on my research papers and studying to get good grades.  I have taken bold steps and applied for a President position for my Local Committee in AIESEC in SoC.  I am training myself with the seven highly effective habits because I have learned that my habits are essential for my change and success.  I exercise spirituality because I believe I can keep my inner wellbeing through it as well as doing physical exercises.

What is AWIB to me?  It is a place where I have discovered myself and became more self-aware.  AWiB is a place which has pushed me out of my comfort zone and showed me my capabilities.

Kerry

Kerry E. Irwin

My name is Kerry E. Irwin.  I am a 21-year-old recent graduate from AAU SOC with a BA in Business Administration and Information Systems.

Why did I join AWiB?

I accepted the internship only because I didn’t want to just sit at home and waste my time doing nothing.  When I started, what I expected was to gain professional skills and to build my resume.  I wanted to see how an office environment would look like and what I can learn so I can be employable.

Who was I?

I was never the type to attract attention to myself; I hated it.  I always made sure I was invisible.  I had a fear of speaking up or saying exactly what was on my mind because of the fear of being wrong or being misunderstood and being harshly criticized, so I was always quiet.  About 85% of the time what I thought about and what I said were two very different things.  I had a huge difficulty interacting with people meaning it took long to even be slightly comfortable with people.  Even then I just put in a few words here and there in our conversations to not be completely quiet or be called out on it.  I didn’t know that by “protecting myself from the world” I was harming myself more than anyone ever could.

How it changed me

When I joined AWiB and started working with Nahu I had a hard time interacting with everyone out of the fear of speaking up and being ridiculed.  However, that thought pattern was being shifted every time I went to AWiB.  I learned that everyone makes mistakes and no one is perfect.  Whenever I was given a task at AWiB, like a recap from a Saturday session, I was nervous to hand it in but soon realized I wasn’t being ridiculed.  I was given constructive criticism, which was for my own benefit so I can be better next time.  I started to look forward to the reports to see how I had improved and what I can get better at.  I read a quote online once that said:  “I don’t know the secret to success, but I do know that the secret to failure is trying to please everybody.” I used to always try to please everyone but that was a horrible way to live, always on the edge and worried if I’ll upset someone.  I realized there is absolutely no way I can please everyone, so I just started concentrating on what’s important.  That meant not everyone will like me and I’m ok with that.  Like a famous quote says: “Those who mind don’t matter, those who matter don’t mind.”  So the people who matter will like me just the way I am, including my imperfections.

How did Nahu help change you?

Nahu is a generous, insightful and an absolutely incredible woman who knows what she wants and doesn’t accept anything less than what she deserves.  She knows herself and is always truthful and goes straight to the point.  She is an interesting lady with a unique personality to say the least.  She’s very vocal and will call you out on the spot—doesn’t matter who you are or where you are.  If she sees something that doesn’t agree with her or something isn’t right she’s going to let you know about it right then and there.  She is herself and isn’t afraid to speak her truth.  She helped me realize that I can’t keep doing what I’ve been doing my whole life, which is playing it safe.  Nahu once said, “If you’re going to play it safe you’re not going anywhere.”  That is absolutely correct because I had always played it safe and so I never improved.  I was always the same, stuck in the same self-dug hole.

So slowly but surely, because of AWiBs’ sessions like RTDs, Nahu, and many more AWiBers, I was able to get out of my muddy hole and start walking in the pretty meadow.  I am incredibly grateful that I was one of the lucky few who got to work so closely with her and experience an AWiB environment.  I am certain that AWiB will get the recognition it deserves and continue helping women excel in their lives because AWiB is here to help women reach their full potential.

I learned a lot.  I learned that I should rely on myself and be confident enough to take risks.  I want to keep improving myself every day and that is what AWiB helped me do.  That is what AWiB does; it helps you open your eyes and see your life in a whole new way.

I discovered that people shouldn’t rely only on themselves to do everything but to ask someone to help; there is no problem with that.  No one can do everything and everyone needs help.  Teamwork is necessary to achieve success.

I noticed that I’m eager to try new things now because I like to see how far I’ll go or how much I can handle.  I also noticed that AWiB is slowly getting more and more recognition, which means it has access to countless, different women who might possibly transform Ethiopia into something better.

I was surprised that AWiB isn’t known by a lot of people even though it is an amazing organization that is worth knowing.  It was because AWiB opened my eyes and I saw that I was in my own way.  I thought I was helping myself but I was terribly wrong.  So it was a surprise to me that I was able to do so many of the things I had always convinced myself that I couldn’t do.

I am disappointed that even though AWiB is an amazing organization that focuses on helping women reach their full potential, a lot of people don’t know about it or that such an organization exists.  But I plan to make that my number one priority and hopefully create awareness through AWiBs’ very 1st Town Hall Meeting.

What do I do now?  I am currently working at AWiB which is incredible for me because not only do I increase my skills in a lot of ways but I also get to interact with a bunch of women who are at different stages of their lives and use their experiences and wisdom to try and figure out what I really want from my life or what kind of path I want to take.

I plan to take everything AWiB has taught me and continue to teach me, and always apply it to my life so I can keep improving myself.  I plan to always believe in myself and never doubt my abilities.  No matter what the situation is like I always have to center myself around my values and surround myself with people who’ll lift me up.

What is AWiB to you?  AWiB is a place where you go to transform yourself.  It pushes you to become a better version of yourself and doesn’t give up on you.  Another one of Nahu’s sayings is, “AWiB is for you; if you can’t make time for AWiB then you can’t make time for yourself.”  If any woman wants to really help herself she can join AWiB and tremendously transform herself into an incredible, upgraded version of herself.

Meklit

Meklit Mitiku

I’m Meklit Mitiku, a 21-year-old economics student as well as intern at AWiB for the year 2018-19.

As a child, I was very introverted and lived in my own little imaginary world.  Eventually I learned skills to help me communicate with others.  Now I honestly enjoy other people’s company as well as my own.  I’m what you can describe as an ambivert.

Perhaps one more thing about me is that I see life as a journey, one big adventure where we learn constantly. Thus, I value personal development very much.

Why did I join AWiB?

I joined AWiB to put my time into something productive. I understand today that it may not be a “good enough” reason to join an organization, but I’m glad I did.  At AWiB, I did not just spend my time and became productive, but I invested in my personal growth and myself in general.

Who was I before AWiB?

Let’s go back to my senior year in high school.  To be quite frank, I did not enjoy my senior year.  I believed it was not challenging enough so it bored me, leading me to fantasize about university.  I imagined university as a place where I go to seek wisdom and not mere points, a place that would give me a glimpse of reality, a paradise where I can use my full potential.  When I finally joined the university, I found it to be quite the contrary.  I was always just studying to pass the exams and it didn’t give the “glimpse of reality” that I so desperately wanted and needed.  I passed most of my free time just by watching movies and over sleeping.  I wasn’t happy with my situation and I wanted to change that.  I joined AWiB to put my energy into something constructive.

Before AWiB I was simply the kind of person who simply couldn’t say, “No.”  I preferred to say, “Yes,” just to be polite and please people even when it doesn’t go with what I have planned to do.  I was also too naive that anyone could manipulate me, convincing me to do the things they wanted.

I was also the kind who never planned for contingency.

But, I was also beginning to question my own ambitions and who I really was in life.  Even though I joined AWiB to be productive, deep inside, maybe it was because of the beginning of my quest to self-inquiry that I joined AWiB.

How did Nahu help me?

Nahu is one of the most driven, committed and efficient people I have ever come across.  Nahu taught me a great deal about time management.  I am now better at managing my time because of her.  I also learned, from her, about not giving excuses.  Nahu critically assessed my recaps, helping improve my writing skills and her mentorship helped me become a more self-aware person.

At AWiB, I learned that I needed to more organized.

While working at AWiB, I discovered that unlike many events, AWiB events were extremely organized.

I was surprised to find out that an organization dedicated to the development of women at the corporate level exists in Ethiopia.

Perhaps one thing that disappointed me at the internship was when I spent an hour or so doing some task and another intern came along and did it again because of the lack of good communication.  Eventually this problem was fixed.  In addition, I’m also disappointed at myself for not using the opportunity as much I could have.  But I’m thankful for the opportunity and all the things that I learned from it.

It was at AWiB I discovered where I needed to take my career path and what I needed to improve to be the person I wanted to be.

I plan to finish school and pursue a career in marketing.  I plan to take more leadership roles in youth organizations such as AIESEC, and I’ll definitely come back to AWiB, but this time as a member.

Where am I now?

Currently, I am on my senior year at the university.  The soft skills that I gained at AWiB have helped me land a part-time job.

Because of AWiB and my internship program in general, I am now able to say, “No,” without guilt when something isn’t my priority.  I have also learned about proper planning and planning for contingency although I still have a long way to go.

I’m also more confident about myself than I was before.

What does AWiB mean to me?

AWiB is a platform that pushes women to use their full potential.  It is a place where one learns to set one’s own goals and work towards them.  AWiB is also a platform to network and learn.  It is a platform to practice leadership, and it possesses an excellent executive board unlike many other organizations in Ethiopia.  Whereas many organizations might focus on developing certain useful skills and tricks, AWiB goes one step further to assess and examine one’s own motivations, ambitions, and meaning in life.

  • The winners of AWiB’s Internship Program 2020:
Kiya Girma

Kiya Girma is a 22-year-old 5th year Civil and Environmental Engineering student at Addis Ababa University (AAiT). She heard about AWiB from various sources—people and social media—but she specifically heard about the internship opportunity from Lina Mohammed, a previous intern and former employee at AWiB who is in an AIESEC group.

Hellina Hailu

Hellina Hailu is a 22-year-old 5th year Electrical and Computer Engineering student at AAiT. She heard about AWiB at an AIESEC event where Meti Shewaye came as a speaker.  She heard about the internship from a previous intern and former employee, Lina Mohammad.

Heran Mebratu

Heran Mebratu is a 22-year-old 5th year Urban and Regional Planning student at EiABC, AAU. She heard about AWiB through her network in an international organization named AIESEC from a former employee and previous intern of AWiB, Line Mohammed.

Hermella Frew

Hermella Frew is a 22-year-old 5th year Software Engineering student at AAiTs. She heard about this internship from a former AWiB intern and a current AIESECer when she shared this opportunity with the AIESEC group that Hermella was part of.

Nesra Abdulshikur

Nesra Abdulshikur is a 19-year-old 2nd year Business Administration and Information System student in AAU (School of Commerce) SOC.  She heard about AWIB from her aunt who will be a board member in 2020.

  • Selection process, criteria

Interns must be university/college students.  They must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above.  They must know English well, having writing, reading and listening skills.  They have to be dedicated to their internship and hard workers.

  • Orientation

When interns get selected they have an orientation to familiarize them with AWiB and know exactly what is required of them throughout the year. They are told what is required of them and the terms of disqualification.All AWiB wants is to help these interns excel in their lives.

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