For the past nine years, I have been travelling twice a year to Southern Africa in my role as president of B360. On each trip, I usually visited two of our partner universities in Namibia, Zambia and South Africa. At the end of August this year, I once more headed South, a full program and a very tight schedule for my visits to Namibia and Zambia in my luggage.
A report by Sabina Balmer.
The goal of my trip was to recruit seven students for B360 internships at Credit Suisse and Mediaschneider in Switzerland in the first semester of 2019. As you can see in the pictures shown below, staff members of the Namibia University of Science and Technology NUST and University of Zambia UNZA supported me with the selection of the best candidates. This is a complex process which involves the preliminary screening of applications, putting together a shortlist, interviewing the candidates on the shortlist (no less than 37 in total!) and conducting follow-up interviews (19 in total). Based on the interview results, recommendations are submitted to the partner companies in Switzerland and the final selection made.
It was a special pleasure that Mukuka Mulenga, the president of the Zambian B360 Intern Alumni could be on the panel for UNZA Economics students. Mukuka was an intern in 2014 at Credit Suisse. Since his return to Zambia and graduation, his career working for the Zambian Revenue Authorities has taken off.
The Successful Seven - Spring Interns 2019
Another important part of my visit consisted in meetings with the different departments at NUST and UNZA to plan our Southbound program for 2019. Matching schedules and topics and meeting special requests for the expert assignments from both sides, i.e. the B360 experts from the North coming South and the local lecturers in the South is quite a task. But meeting face to face regularly has proven very valuable.
B360 Intern Alumni
A very special and quite emotional topic on my agenda was a meeting with our former interns. This time, a dinner with the Zambia alumni was held in Lusaka. In addition, I was able to visit two of our alumni, Bupe Chitumbo and Mukuka Mulenga at work and spend a delightful evening with Mukuka and his family. It is very rewarding for our organization to see the careers of these young people developing in their home countries.