PAVE Workshop • June 2014
In June 2014, Christine Brown-Quinn and Matt Quinn ran a 2 day workshop with our nine Post A Level and Vocational Education or PAVE students. The goal was to prepare them for a financially independent life post education, with topics at the workshop ranging from building your 'career resource kit' to transitioning to professional life as a young graduate.
Christine, who built a career in the City, is co-founder of www.womeninbusinesssuperseries.com (a predominantly web-based training programme helping professional women globally to take their career to the next level). Well accustomed to running in-person workshops, especially on career development, she was very excited about the opportunity to leverage these skills and experience for benefit of ACU's soon to be graduates.
Matt, a recent graduate and qualified accountant has spent time in Tanzania renovating orphanages as well as leading a political action group at university which lobbied governments on HIV medication. He was delighted to have this opportunity to join his mother in delivering this workshop as he is a recent graduate himself and therefore could share his own recent experience making this transition into the world of work.
To follow them on their journey to Uganda and their progress with ACU check out #acuworkshop, and follow them on Twitter: Christine as @FemaleCapital @womeinbizsuper and Matt as @mqsley.
They are raising all the costs of the workshop themselves in advance. So click here to find out more about their fundraising efforts: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/christinematt
We Are Here
We are here, we arrived safely in Uganda and recieved a very warm welcome from Abbey the "ACU Driver"
There's so much to take in here, everything runs differently. It is common place for the wired internet (and so wifi) to go down for a few days and no-one bats an eye-lid. Apart from us westerners of course (where such an event would cause a riot).
We spent the weekend touring Ugandan historical sites in Kampala with Abbey, and trying to piece together the unclear history of Uganda over the 20th century from a local point of view.
On Saturday evening we met up with Gladyce, Alice and two of PAVE students who will be taking part in the workshop next week.
Their stories of life in Uganda are amazing. The look on their faces was incredibly revealing when we were trying to explain that in the UK education was not only free, but compulsory until the age of 16, and it is a criminal offence for parents to allow their children to skip school.
These students are clearly very bright, and we discussed their work experiences, ideas and goals to help us think about the workshop and what their next steps could be. What was crystal clear at that point having only spent a day in Kampala, is that the work that ACU and Pave do is absoloutely invaluable, and not only were these two upstanding citizens, but also inspiring Ugandans who give you a glimpse of a bright future for Uganda if we continue to help.
We realise how priveledged we are to have this oportunity and look forward to kicking off the workshop on Monday.
Workshop: Transition Into the World of Work
On the Sunday evening before the workshop kicked off, we had a chance to meet all of the students together over dinner in Kampala (we had been told all meetings involve food in Uganda).
What we experienced was incredibly uplifting. When everyone was seated we broke into conversation like we had been neighbours our whole lives. The diversity of the group was so exciting. One minute we were talking about the Ugandan music industry with one student, and then the media industry with another.
The dinner was planned to be an ice breaker, and to try to get everyone in a malleable mood for the workshop, but it went further than that. We really got to know each student personally over the dinner -their experiences, ideas and plans for the future.
When we started on Monday we were able to jump right into the course material as a result of our get together the night before. . Everyone was focussed, willing to listen, learn, and most importantly take action. By knowing more about each student personally we were able to move through excercises productively and efficiently. We could easily connect how each activity was relevant to each student and follow it up with ideas on what they might do to move forward.
The social networking stories and roadmap that we went through really lit them all up. From what we had experienced, it seems in Uganda (perhaps more so than in other countries) people get ahead through their family and who they know in the government. What the students were able to realise through the workshop is that they do in fact have their networks to leverage, including each others' networks as many of the students have come from different boarding schools. The group worked energetically to figure out how to link their neworks with their career goals.
One of the favourite activities of the workshop was the “Mzungu Oprah” interview. Christine (wannabe Hollywood star?) pretended to be Oprah and interviewed the students (acting as their future successful selves), openly, one by one about who and what specific actions had been key to their successEveryone loved seeing each other as a success and looking back at what the key steps were to reach that vision.
By the end of the workshop each student had a clear, detailed career action plan, which they committed to in writing and to each other during the 'consulting trios'. While one student presented their career plan, the other students played the role as consultants, asking open questions to help the presenter clarify certain details. It's amazing how much we learn about our own plans when we listen to the plans of others.
On the final day the students gave us a wonderful send-off by performing an impromptu acapella performance. And each student thanked us personally for the work we had done and the friendships we had made. Thanks to Amazing Children in Uganda for this opportunity to share our career strategies with an inspiring group of young adults.