Friday, June 13, 2014

Getting to iHub: Lessons Learned

So this will be a post just recapping some of the things I've said in the last four posts. Think of it as the tl;dr of them

Find and follow companies that inspire you. I've been a white member(registered) at the iHub since it's inception in 2010, I follow them on Twitter, read the email newsletters they send and have their blog listed in my feed. I would never have found out about Umati without all these measures. I do this with other cool companies. 

Find out something really cool the company does that you want to join and help with. iHub has four main arms the community, the UX lab, consulting and research all of which do really cool exciting stuff. Research, where I work, also has several different projects that we work on but I was interested in Umati and I think that being that specific helped.

Write a good cover letter.  The cover letter is where some of your personality needs to shine through. Potential employers need to know why they should hire you other than a impressive resume. I think this is particularly important for interns because most of us don't have much experience to offer but we can show our enthusiasm.

Make use of your connections. I didn't know anyone personally at the iHub but when I met them I did ask them to put in a word for me there. Rachel certainly comes to mind. So if you know someone at the organisation they may prove invaluable in pushing your application forward.

In connection with the point above build out your network and brand. I've been on the internet for a long time since I was maybe 8 or 9 but in terms of what I may call branding and networking I've been on Twitter since '09 when we just a handful compared to the numbers today. I've meet a lot of cool people because of it. I've been blogging since about then too. Leo probably followed me on twitter because of one or the other and she proved invaluable in getting me in the door at iHub. So go out and use the tools available to you. You'll never know if your future boss will be one of your followers.

Research the company you're hoping join. Before your interview and even as you think of places to apply find out everything you can about the company so that you can answer questions about it and perhaps more importantly begin to think about what your role in the company maybe and how you may help them in that regard. When I went into my interview I knew that other than the technical aspect of the project I could help with documentation and writing blog posts. It also helps you get to know some of your potential interviewers.

Keep calm and smile. More than anything else during your interview how your personality comes of may clinch you the job. Remember to smile and maintain eye contact. Keep your voice steady and audible. Remember you've already done everything in your power to prepare for this it would be sucky for you to have come so far only to get rejected because your awesomeness was obscured by your nervousness.
In case you get denied at the interview stage(wanted to use rejected but it seemed to harsh a word) or your application doesn't get responded to remember it's never that serious. There's always the potential that you may fail but you shouldn't be dejected about it as it is never personal and there may be a myriad of reasons you didn't get it. Keep your chin up and your ears to the ground for more opportunities.

So there you have it the best way to get internship at iHub, which is probably one of the coolest places to work at in Kenya (Disclaimer: I have not worked with any other companies so this may be wrong but I seriously doubt it). I hope this helps. If you have any other tips or tricks you used to get your internship or just have a question please sound off in the comments or you could email or tweet me. Peace!!

Reread the series: part 1(The Search) part 2(the Letter), part 3(the Pitch) and part 4(the Interview)

1 comment:

  1. This really does sum it up for those of us at KTN (Kenya Tarmacking Network) and those of us planning on moving on up. Great stuff Sid!

    Also for the record, since you're working at iHub (Cool iHub); that makes you cool too! Never forget that youngin!

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