I am Emanuele Napoli, a student of “International Management, Legislation and Society” at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Piacenza. Last summer, I’ve had the amazing opportunity of living four months of internships in Nairobi, Kenya, with the E4Impact Foundation, as assistant of the local business coach at Tangaza University College.
The chance to participate to E4Impact Internship Program came to me during the second semester of my post-graduate program. As soon as I came to know about this possibility, I understood that there was no time to lose: I immediately got in touch with Luca Colombo, who, together with the other members of the E4Impact Foundation, after an appropriate selection process, gave me the chance to embark on this adventure in Nairobi.
I felt very excited because this internship would have allowed me not only to improve my technical competences about Business Plans development (which is one of my passion), but also to visit an unknown (to me) African country as Kenya.
During the initial phase of my internship I have been exposed to a completely new environment, inside and outside the office. Therefore, I had to learn quickly how to face workplace changes and challenges. Luckily, the former interns, who were still on the site, helped me a lot mastering this shocking initial period: I had to adapt myself in an unknown city in a different country, with a different culture and in a brand-new workplace. But, as it generally happens, I gradually started to feel comfortable and in about two weeks I became able to carry out tasks individually, while relating with both co-workers and students in an efficient manner. The welcoming and motivating atmosphere on the workplace made me soon feel right at home, or, as I used to say in Nairobi “Jisikie nyumbai”, which in English means “I feel at home”.
Creating a business plan, motivating people and structuring documents for investors are just a few of the competences I had the opportunity to acquire while being an intern of this MBA. I learned how the Kenyan working and political environment runs and I put in practise the theoretical knowledge I gained during the years of university; but most important, I had the opportunity to meet many fantastic people and discover a country which richness is bigger than you can even imagine. My curiosity for this new experience in a new and fascinating continent as Africa, brought me to spend most of my time in getting in contact with local people to discover everything about the local culture and customs. This, in fact, for me was the biggest value added of the experience at the end, and for which I will never be thankful enough to E4Impact.
I may conclude this article explaining how my professional asset got enriched with this invaluable opportunity, but what I’ve learned during those four months go far beyond the technical knowledge: in this awesome country, between this charming and welcoming people, I really grew up as a person. I shared overwhelming experiences with locals and with my working partner Alessia (that I’m sure would confirm my words!) and I’ll never stop thanking this place for all the things I’ve learned about people and also about myself.
Hope to see you soon, Kenya!