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08/11/2013

What are the three most important things that I should learn in an internship or attachment program?

There are many things that you could learn from an attachment or internship job in Kenya. However, here are the three things I think will be the most valuable lessons you could draw from the internship experience.

1. Leaning in the class is very different from practical work.
While in class there is a right or wrong answer to every question, in most work places, the probelsm are very open ended. You could try one thing and fail, still try anotehr, and another, until you find a way that eventually works out.

2. Learn how to network.
It is often said that organization don't hire people, but people hire people. This means that you will have to cultivate meaningful relationships throughout your working life, in order to get ahead in the corporate field.
Networking may be a hard sell for introverts, but there are proven ways that introverts could also network, for instance, many introverts prefer one to one conversations, or talking to an audience, as opposed to talking to groups of threes or fours.

3. Learn to navigate your way round the office politics.
Every workplace has its politics, no matter how perfect the office appears to be. However, you shouldn't necessarily get into every fight in the office, but learn to push your agenda through. All companies, no matter how big, have limited budgets, and the companies are constrained to meet certain targets. You have to identify a sponsor, someone who not only encourages you, but helps push your ideas to the right people, to help you bring the ideas and projects you had in mind to fruition. This is true for the office, as it is for the real life.

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