Four final year students; Anthens Liyali, Ananias Haitembu, Pena Nelumbu, and Ernestine Nkotongo, who spoke on behalf of the rest of the participants, said that working with the Swiss mentors has been one of the most exciting and beneficial parts of the Programme. “The fact that the mentors are sharing their valuable experience has made me test the professional working environment," said Liyali. Nelumbu added that she had learned so much about the corporate world and entrepreneurship. “I have discovered who I am and where my greatest strengths and potential lies," she said.
Concerning the experience, the students said that the online Career Starter Programme, has allowed them to grasp the necessary skills in Curriculum Vitae (CV) preparation and drafting of cover letters, interview training, organisational structure, entrepreneurship, project management, governance and ethics. Liyali, Haitembu, Nelumbu, and Nkotongo, who are between the ages of twenty-one to twenty-six, are in their final year of studies in medical laboratory, supply chain management and computer science.
The students said that another added advantage is that the online Career Starter Programme supports social distancing measures and helps Namibia combat the spread of COVID-19. Depending on COVID-19's impact, the four students have been selected for a three-month internship opportunity at organisations and businesses in Switzerland. They will leave for Europe during the first half of 2021.
The Online Career Starter Programme at a glance
The online Career Starter Programme provides a sequential path through career development, knowledge, and skills essential for success in the job search. Twelve students who are divided into four groups, are now enrolled in the online Career Starter Programme. Each group has a Swiss-based mentor. The first group of students started their online sessions on Monday, 8 June 2020, while the other teams joined on Monday, 15 June 2020.
Bank Windhoek supports the initiative by contributing to the purchasing of mobile data bundles throughout the online Programme. All participants receive weekly prepaid data bundles that allow them to participate in the Programme fully.
Bank Windhoek's Human Capital specialists, such as the Bank's Human Resources Business Partner Manager, Retuura Ballotti engages virtually with the graduates with presentations aimed at coaching them on how to prepare themselves for possible employment in a highly competitive job environment.
Switzerland-based B360 Education Partnerships, a non-governmental organisation comprising a pool of professionals in numerous disciplines across various industries, such as banking, finance, and human resources, facilitates the online Career Starter Programme. The professionals from B360 will mentor the students for six weeks.
The students concluded that the Programme has exceeded their expectations. They encouraged Bank Windhoek, NUST and B360 Education Partnerships to roll out the online Career Starter Programme to more students soon. The sessions will conclude at the end of July 2020.