‘Internship Has Given Me an Eye Opening Experience’

Benson Okello, a third year student of Bachelor of Information Systems and Technology (BIST) has learnt new techniques and got new experience in a different field he wouldn’t have known at an ordinary information systems job.

Benson Okello (left) with a work colleague

He works as a junior developer at Central Public Health Laboratory Services now called Uganda National Health Laboratory Services (UNHLS) in Butabika. The news team caught up with him and he shared how community engagement has helped him develop his career and adapt to the working environment.

Where did you take your community engagement from?

Central Public Health Laboratory Services now called Uganda National Health Laboratory Services (UNHLS) – Butabika

How was our experience like as a student engaging work environment for the first time?

It was eye opening and challenging. Learning new stuff especially laboratory duties and adjusting to a virus infested area (laboratory) was quite challenging. However the hospitality showed by my workmates made it a little comfortable for me to feel at home.

You are working with one of the biggest organizations in Uganda, what skills did you employ to win the favour of your bosses to the extent of retaining you or offering you a job opportunity?

I wouldn’t call it offering me a job or retaining me. Calling it ‘Keep around and learn more’ would sound better to me because that’s what my colleagues and bosses told me to.

However, hard work, not fearing to reach out to higher people to offer a hand in my field of study and career passion, aided get this opportunity. Also completion of tasks in time and giving satisfactory results are some of the reasons I got the job.

What does it take for one to be retained at a job?

I believe being humble, showing the necessary authorities what you can do and show them that you are open to learning.

Benson at work.

Tell us more about your current job, position held and what tasks you undertake.

I work with senior software developers as a junior developer. I write code, develop or design software components as assigned by the senior developers.

Besides the job offer, what other benefits can you site that have come in a result of community engagement?

Learning new techniques for instance QGIS among others. I have made new friends and learnt what I wouldn’t have known with an ordinary information systems job such as handling laboratory samples and collecting samples for lab tests.

Do you think the UTAMU teaching and learning system is effective in making students job creators?

Yes it is, although some strategies used need to be changed. The “unnecessary” course units need to be revised. Some of this information taught just clogs our heads yet it doesn’t help much out there.

Any advice for students going for or undertaking community engagement

Be hard working, respect everyone equally and above all be trustworthy.





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