Hi! (Habari! – in Swahili language)
I’m Giacomo, a student recently graduated in Management (master degree) at the Università Cattolica of Milan. Last year I went to Nairobi (Kenya) with the desire of seeing the tangible side of what I was studying and I experienced a real adventure.
I took off from Milan early morning and after a long journey I arrived in a totally different reality, the one I’d chosen for my internship: Nairobi, the heart of Africa.
Kenya is a wonderful Country and even if there are some negative aspects (like the constant traffic jam), when you look at the sky and at the landscape around, you forget about everything.
From Tangaza University College (where I spent the most part of my internship), we visited so many beautiful places, inside and outside Nairobi: the Ngong Hills, the Nakuru Lake, the hills of Eldoret (north-west), the coast (Malindi, Watamu, Mombasa)… all so amazing!
We’ve done many safaris too, and this was the greatest experience ever! For example we visited the Nakuru National Park, where we saw rhinos, zebras, giraffes; but also the Tsavo East NP, famous for the lions and elephants.
From a working point of view, my internship role was to assist the Business Coach of the Global MBA in Impact Entrepreneurship run in collaboration with ALTIS and Tangaza University College of Nairobi. With him I went through lots of coaching sessions (one-to-one meetings) focused on helping the entrepreneurs of the MBA in writing and implementing their Business Plan.
This type of one-to-one consultancy requires a strong participation to the business realty, so we focused on each aspect, from the marketing plan to financials (cost analysis, budgeting, income statement, balance sheet and cash-flow). The final part of the MBA was all dedicated to the proper Business Plan.
It was really interesting for me to work in this position, it enabled me to go deep into the business and to figure out problems, starting from an extremely tangible reality. Working in a team was great, I’ve learned to be flexible, adaptive and precise, to listen and understand, to work under pressure and uncertainity, to take decisions and dialogue and, most of all, I did my best to deserve the responsibilities that the management gave me.
At the end of the experience, with David Cheboryot (E4Impact East Africa Manager) and Francesco Pirola (another intern) we went to Masai Mara, the most amazing park ever. We slept in a tent and woke up at the African sunrise: an experience that impressed me a lot!
What have I learnt? Of course a lot about me. What I like, where I’m strong, what I lack… Kenya forces you to be radical with life, to catch up the great question of it and go deep into reality. Everything is important, starting from the water of the shower, ending with the light of the sun; everything it’s a gift for Kenyan people. They all have this great perception of life and living in this way is like walking on a fabulous path to the discover yourself.
Kenya hides somethin majestic, it’s a place of mistery and peace, where you can live an experience that will give sense to your studies and will change your life forever.
Go and see!