Newsroom > Blog

Browse more

My Unconventional Path from University to the Investment World  

By Nuhili Girma | Thu Jun 09 2022
What do you want to be when you grow up?” We've all been asked this question when we were kids, and coming up with the most fascinating profession was a competition hoping someone else didn’t say what we were thinking. Fast forward to college, in the process of discovering oneself; every decision turns out for the best or worst. But it is human nature to fail; we must rise from the ashes and keep on going. Although college life has its stressful thoughts, none is like the thought of landing your first job. All the questions come flooding in; “Where should I apply? When should I apply? Sector? Location?”. But the most important question is “Will I get the job?”. Jobs in Ethiopia are very competitive, with thousands of students graduating each year and most employers wanting to employ someone with experience only. Granted, entry-level employees, most of the time, want to build their CVs and leave for a better job. Internships are usually not available, and on top of that, most students don’t get the initiative to apply unless the college obliges them.
My story with RENEW began when I was in a situation most students in Ethiopia find themselves in; wondering what my first job would be after graduation. I didn’t want to blow with the wind as I saw my friends doing. Most saw the banking sector to be the most stable and promising job they could get, but not me. I wanted something different. Although I couldn't put my finger on it, I knew there must be something different out there than the trendiest job for an accounting and finance graduate. I didn’t want to work in a bank starting as a front desk clerk. I said to myself “there's got to be more”. Luckily, I was introduced to RENEW by one of my fellow interns. Just one week before my graduation, I was interviewed and landed an internship opportunity in October 2021. Most internships I had heard of, even with world-renowned organizations, were learning platforms only, without stipends let alone medical insurance as I receive from RENEW.
Some say that you should start your career with a horrible job. Because as you move up the ladder, you will learn to appreciate the good people that come into your life and the improving environment you get to work in; on top of that, challenging jobs make you tough. That is why I think I am going to be a spoiled girl having worked at RENEW as my first job. These past months, I have experienced an environment where people genuinely want me to learn and improve, a  team who is only superior on paper but who has treated me as a friend and equal colleague. My colleagues want me to excel not only in my career but in my personal life as well. This unprecedented environment was new to me. I have never heard of a COO of a company dedicating time to interns to work on projects and advise them on work and life. Everywhere I turn, I see people who are always there to help and teach. I was made to feel welcomed from the first time I walked through the door. This is one of the best places to kick off a career. I have learned about the investment sector, which I had zero knowledge of prior to my internship at RENEW. I also had the opportunity to learn about the different business environments of Uganda and Rwanda. I would say the highlight of my internship would be seeing companies pass through different levels of assessment and coaching and being able to finally pitch to investors; I got to see them grow and improve with each stage. And with RENEW being an impact investor, hearing all about the impact side of the businesses was inspirational.  I also got to work with a dynamic team of people from seven countries that stretched across three continents, and I am pleased with the results in my life from working here. I fully recommend students in East Africa consider applying to RENEW for an internship. 

RENEW received 84 applications and is selecting 6 for the next cohort that starts June 2022 in Ethiopia. Check back regularly for additional internship opportunities in Ethiopia, Uganda and Rwanda.
Renew Capital is an Africa-focused impact investment firm that backs innovative companies with high-growth potential. Renew Capital manages investments made on behalf of the Renew Capital Angels, a global network of angel investors, foundations and family offices who seek financial returns and sustainable social impact. For the latest on investing in Africa, subscribe and follow us at our social links below.

Related Posts