My Week at the Microsoft Africa Development Center

On 9th August 2023 during the first day of the Tech Opportunities & Employability Training Summit at the Microsoft Africa Development Center, Dunhill Towers, Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya

Unlocking Opportunities

I spent the better part of this week at the Microsoft Africa Development Center, attending a two-day Tech Opportunities Summit & Employability Training. I did so as a young individual who is acutely aware of the shifting global landscape towards technology and is actively seeking opportunities to apply his skills through a fulfilling career journey.

The event was made possible through the sponsorship of Amref Health Innovations, the US Embassy, and Microsoft ADC. This initiative brought together young minds from Nakuru and Nairobi for a transformative exchange.

A visit to the Microsoft offices is not an everyday occurrence, as well as interaction with these organizations of exceptional status. It is for this very reason that the photos we took during the event captivated some of you with the ambient background and the poised manner in which we conducted ourselves. You should have seen how we used forks and knives, and we sipped cocktails, surrounded by fellow young, gracious, ambitious, smiling faces.

Also read: The Locked Doors of Opportunity

Among the highlights of the event, there were a few key takeaways that stood out for me:

Crafting an Effective CV: At the outset of the program, I expressed my desire to gain clarity on structuring a CV. Because the format I learnt in school had become muddled by the conflicting advice I have constantly received from various career \’experts\’. Some advocated for attaching photos, while others cautioned against it unless one looked conventionally attractive. Some advised keeping the CV within two pages, yet mine had ballooned to eleven.

However, thanks to insights shared by Irene Githinji, Kitawa Wemo, Eugene Muchai, and Madi Jimba , the fog of confusion lifted. Their guidance, often affirmed with statements like \”When we are hiring, this is what we check,\” crystallized into a simple principle: limit your CV to two pages. Kitawa shared that even individuals with over sixteen years of experience maintain a two-page CV. It is no longer advisable to narrate too much about a Maths contest or drama festivals in the CV.

The key takeaway was to present a clear, concise CV and during the interview, exuding confidence, taking ownership of the conversation, and elucidating why they need you, beyond the fact that they advertised that they needed someone.

Also read: Africa\’s True Liberation

The panel discussion hosted by the Microsoft ADC team, focusing on the future of work, was not only enlightening but also infused with hilarious anecdotes. We extend our gratitude for that engaging session.

Dr. Meshack Ndirangu, the Country Director of Amref Kenya came with his co authors of the book; Career Choice and delivered a session that was truly inspiring and enlightening on career paths. Furthermore, an exciting avenue awaits university and high school students to establish career clubs, offering them a unique chance to gain insights into various career trajectories through the invaluable mentorship of Dr. Ndirangu for free.

Humor and Camaraderie: Upon entering the room on the first day, I was met with warm smiles and a kind invitation to sit next to two beautiful ladies. Eugene facilitated first class ice-breaking sessions that rapidly dissolved barriers, enabling us to connect as if we\’d been friends for years. We openly discussed our pursuits and committed to supporting one another, starting with subscribing to each other\’s YouTube channels and following social media pages. This budding community promises to be an invaluable resource moving forward.

I have told you many times before about my love for literature. Caroline Mbindyo\’s speech was a highlight. She began with a story that seamlessly transitioned into another, ultimately forming the backbone of her keynote address.  I like stories, even this article is one. So I was very much thrilled by her presentation and in the end, she dissected to us the meaning of the proverbial saying: The World Is Your Oyster- Do you know what that means? 

What\’s on the Horizon? Collectively, we pledged to collaborate, offer mutual support, and perpetuate the sharing of opportunities. Additionally, we beseeched our sponsors—Microsoft ADC, Amref Health Innovations, and the US Embassy—to continue fostering avenues for jobs, internships, and mentorship.

I extend heartfelt gratitude to the organizing team and all the participating organizations for orchestrating such a enriching training. We are truly indebted for your benevolence and are resolute in our commitment to diligently pursue opportunities that not only foster personal growth, but also enable us to give back to our communities.

To my fellow participants, I wish you success in all your future undertakings.

-By Boniface Muema Harrison

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0 Responses

  1. An eye opener submit event it was to us young generation. Bravo for enlightenment posts and interactions.

  2. You are a true legend, a writer and an intellectual. You have highlighted what really happened during the summit in summary. Keep it up bro. Mbele iko sawa 💪💪🤝🤝

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