Finding confidence and new friends

Emmaculate took part in one of our i2i workshops in Nairobi. She tells us about her experience of job hunting and what she learned from the experience.

A woman on the phone in front of a laptop

Emmaculate is studying for a degree in community development. She dreams of working for a charity once she has graduated. 

In her third and final year, ambitious Emmaculate wanted to build up her career experience to help her land her dream job after graduation. 

Applying for jobs

Emmaculate began applying for jobs around her studying and spent long hours perfecting each application. Despite the time and effort, months went by, and she did not get any job offers. 

She felt her confidence wane, and she began to wonder why she was not getting a job. 

‘I was searching for a long time. I was finding it so disheartening and discouraging. I have dealt with discrimination in my life, and I wondered if I was being discriminated against again,’ she says.

The impact of working with i2i

With her confidence at an all-time low, Emmaculate was invited to a soft skills training course in Nairobi, run by Innovation to Inclusion (i2i). The week-long course covered CV and cover letter writing, interview preparation and how to present yourself. She decided to sign up. 

As a student with no work experience, she found the practical skills helpful. But for Emmaculate, it was the chance to meet and befriend other people in a similar situation to her that she really benefited from.

‘For a long time I felt like I wasn’t normal,’ she says. ‘But at the training I met lots of people and I was relieved to know that I’m not alone. It helped me a lot with my confidence.’

One new friend from the training was Evalyne. ‘It was helpful to find other persons with disabilities like Emmaculate in the i2i programme as it provided motivation and we had all experienced similar setbacks in our job searches.’ Evalyne says. 

Finally getting that job offer

After the training, both women signed up for the NCPWD Career Portal – established by the Kenyan National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD), i2i and recruitment specialists Fuzu – and bagged interviews with 4G Capital. After the second interview, Emmaculate and Evalyne were both offered jobs in Nairobi. 

‘I was nervous about starting but it was better knowing there would be people I’d met at the soft skills training like Evalyne,’ Emmaculate says. ‘I felt at ease knowing I wasn’t the only one who had a disability.’ 

Despite being on different shifts most of the time, the two friends often talk on the phone and can support each other. 

‘Working with fellow people with disabilities such as Emmaculate is useful, as it provides moral support,’ Evalyne adds.

Working at 4G Capital

Emmaculate has been encouraged by the culture at 4G Capital. ‘They are very inclusive and don’t discriminate. They are trying to include every person including me. The staff made it easier for me because of inclusiveness and warm embracement.’

Needing to balance her role at 4G Capital with her studies, Emmaculate has a busy year ahead. But she is looking forward to graduating in 2022. Emmaculate believes her work experience at 4G Capital will help her take the next steps in her career. 

She says: ‘I’m looking forward to securing a good job related to my degree. Thanks to i2i, in the future I will have more skills and experience within a workplace, which will help me get to the next stage in my career. I strongly believe I can and will have a meaningful career.’