Monday, October 3, 2016

The Challenge, Next Opportunity

Someone would wonder where and when to get the next opportunity? Who do you need to talk to? What needs to be done? How do you apply? And so on. Today I want to share lessons learned and the plan that I have developed over many years in pursuit for the next opportunity. As much as we are seen to be interwoven in the digital realm our action is still much needed in terms of filtering all the information to find the ideal opportunity that matches our expectations, dream, passion and goals in life.  I'm a beneficiary of great programs that have transformed me in the right direction in terms of values, ethics, networking, career prospects just to mention but a few, for example the Do School in Germany, NairoBits Trust, Amani Institute in Kenya and Creative Entrepreneurship by the GoDown. The latest, have applied for the Acumen East African fellowship 2017 where I’m in the final round, wish me luck!

So what are the lessons learned or what is in common in my diary in getting the next opportunity? Below are great lessons that I have documented and practiced over the last 15 years;

Digital foot print / online presence

Nowadays interviews are done even before you apply, the evaluators go in depth to see if you exist in the online sphere once your application is received, this is a common practice and the evaluators are interested in your past, present and future and this can be done through online reviews before the in person interview. 

Some of my digital presences are as follows;

1. Facebook
2. Blog –
3. Youtube 
4. Flickr
5. Pinterest
6. Linkedin-
7. Websites-
8. Portfolio –

And many more, the best test is to Google yourself!

May be you are asking yourself, when do I get time to update these platforms? Well, it is a matter of doing it for the first time and making it a routine that eventually will develop to the mastery level of detecting when, what, why and how.  Most of all having a strategy and loving what I do!

Be Authentic / what’s your story?

Your greatest asset is your story; remember, nobody can tell it better than yourself. Tell us about yourself? You can’t escape this question in any interview, what I can say is never fake it, be you and that is the authentic part and if you have done it in the past it's never hard to explain it, for example ideas, project, achievements and future plans.

The interview 

There are many forms of interviews from in person, Skype and online questionnaires. My advice is to prepare for all possible situations and sometimes the evaluators might use all or two of the approaches.

Understand the program 

Before you apply for any program, you need to research about it and check if it fits with your desire, passion, mission etc. Remember to read the instructions before applying. Give yourself a good time for application and never do it on the day of the deadline, last minute rush isn't a guarantee of a successful application you never know the unexpected like power blackouts in some of our areas. During your online research never forget to join relevant social media networks and newsletters for information alerts on your next opportunity.

The Acumen East Africa fellowship experience is one of those moments that will go the memory lane as a process that applied the 360 degrees approach towards getting the best twenty change makers in East Africa. The application process received close to over five hundred applicants from Kenya, S. Sudan, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania. I learnt this during my interaction with my fellows during the selection conference that happened on 1st October 2016 at KCB leadership centre in Karen. Making it to the last fifty isn't a minor achievement for me and I’m looking forward to the final results somewhere in mid November 2016.

My introduction biography during the Acumen selection conference

Anyway, reflecting on the journey, it is a worth to share experience which might help you prepare for your next opportunity; below is a summary of my experience;

1. Online application 
2. Confirmation email 
3. The telephone Interview 
4. The selection conference: Pitching, teamwork, networking, personal interviews and fun

Lastly, always be authentic and do what you love with passion and the rest of the things will fall in place. We live in an interconnected World where information is accessible through many devices and of great frequency or bandwidth, even though there are still many young people who have been left behind in joining the digital band wagon especially from the rural setting in Kenya because of social economical issues.

The Vision

I would like to be part of a team that would help in the establishment of digital literacy in the rural setting in Kenya with a vision of having all the young people accessing quality education and at zero cost, whilst this will enable them be makers of quality digital content in different formats. I encourage young people to embrace and be champion of technology despite their situation and they must acknowledge that the next big thing depends on their participation rather than waiting on the fence not knowing what to do.

My Key highlights;

There are 3 things about you; #TheDoersCommunity

1. What you DO
2. What you SAY you can DO
3. What is expected of you to DO & what you think CAN DO

Most of all DO IT and never stop learning, saying things can take you to some limited level, and DOING THINGS will take you to the world of untapped potentials with unlimited discoveries.

As much as we are seen to be interwoven in digital realm our action is still much needed in terms of filtering all the information to find the ideal opportunity that matches our expectation, dream, passion and goal in life.

Your greatest asset is your story; remember, nobody can tell it better than yourself.

Have a great happy October 2016

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