Internship Report for Five (5) ICPALD Interns


Internships are formal programs within organizations whose primary purpose is to offer practical work experience in a particular occupation to people who are new to that field or are recent / fresh graduates. Internships strengthen resumes by giving students/graduates visible work experience and providing older job hunters with much needed credentials to change careers. Would-be interns are always advised to evaluate internship programs carefully, to see if those programs offer the training they need.

Internships represent a cross-over point between university and career, and will not only help a fresh graduate in their career, but also in planning their future studies. The experience they gain during an internship will indicate how they should structure their future studies, particularly when it comes to deciding what aspects they should focus on. An internship and their study focus will thus help them establish their individual career profile.

Internship programs are very important

There are very few courses at university that provide graduates with a specific professional qualification. It is generally down to the individual to define and implement their own personal career plans. An internship can be of considerable benefit to a fresh graduate in this respect. Internships will introduce the graduate to potential future work environments and the graduates will be able to decide whether these meet their career aspiration, needs and interests. The graduate can also acquire important supplementary skills during an internship and make contact with potential future employers.

Expected outcomes of internship programmes

An internship will make it easier for the intern to find work and get off to a good start in their career. In many sectors, such as the IT and communication, infrastructure development, law and registrable professional courses, successful job applicants now need to demonstrate that they have already completed an internship.

The internship programme at ICPALD was to provide Professional skills development. This was provided at the ICPALD offices in Nairobi, Kenya to a select group of five fresh graduates.

Report of the Professional skills development at ICPALD

With support from the IGAD Institutional Strengthening Action Plan (ISAP) JFA, ICPALD embarked on the internship program where young professionals from the IGAD member states were admitted and mentored in fields of expertise and programs that are within the institution.

ICPALD has a wide database of various Curriculum Vitae of young professionals who have been applying for internship in the institution through email, post and/or physically bringing their Curriculum vitae’s to the office. Based on a criteria outlined in the draft internship policy the following five candidates were selected for the six (6) months internship programme:

  1. Charity Gichuki          Information Technology
  2. John Thuo                    Information Technology
  3. Tonny Ashibwe            Natural Resources Management
  4. Stacy Zani                    Political Science and Linguistics
  5. Betty Mong’are           Operations and Business Management

The interns reported on 1st of November, 2014 and left on 30th April, 2015. Upon arrival the interns were paired with their technical and professional mentors as indicated below:-

  1. John Thuo and Charity Gichuki – Dr. Joseph Magona and Oliver Salehe
  2. Ashubwe Tonny – Dr. Adan Bika and Caroline Agosa
  3. Betty Mongare – Rose Tsuma and Christine Cheptoo
  4. Stacy Zani – Dr. Ameha Sebsibe and Dr. Agol Kwai

Summary of activities to date

All interns were exposed to basic IT principles, practices and software available in IGAD and in general use. They were also given basic lessons in Google applications, socio-economic, M and E and GIS. The interns were all shown how to work with ARC GIS software and how ICPALD uses GIS in mapping.

    1. John Thuo and Charity Gichuki worked under Information technology Department where they were mentored on what the department does and how it is done. They also assist in various tasks undertaken by the department in the office e.g. trouble shooting various IT related issues.

      John Thuo (L) and Charity Gichuki (R) receiving certificates of completion

      John Thuo (L) and Charity Gichuki (R) receiving certificates of completion

    2. Tonny Ashibwe works under the Pastoral, Dryland and climate change adaptation Department and he was tasked with doing the various tasks as assigned by the mentors in relation to the activities that they do. He also participated and attended various meetings that the department has organized or is invited to by the partner organizations.

      Tonny Ashibwe receiving a certificate of completion

      Tonny Ashibwe receiving a certificate of completion

    3. Betty Mongare works under the Administration, Human resources and Communication. She was tasked with assisting in the organizing of various meetings , assisting in the drafting , sending and follow up of invitations as well as other logistical arrangements involved when organizing meetings. She also assists in filling of various documents as allocated by the mentors.

      Betty Mongare receiving a certificate of completion

      Betty Mongare receiving a certificate of completion

    4. Stacy Zani assists the livestock Department on various tasks as allocated and also participates in the various meetings organized by the department including the Livestock working group meetings. She also assists in meeting preparation for meetings organized by the department.

      Stacy Zani receiving a certificate of completion

      Stacy Zani receiving a certificate of completion