Bridging the Gap between Graduation and Employment: Interning with JIGI
Though many young people graduate through Mali’s public university system, graduates rarely complete their education with the skills needed to secure a job. Many graduates find themselves having to return home to assess their next career steps.
Makandjan Traore came from a rural family, and worked in farming and animal husbandry when he wasn’t studying for his degree in Bamako. “After graduating, I looked for a job in vain, but ended up having to go back to my village and continue farming”, despite his degree. Makandjan learned about The Next Economy programme and submitted his application.
Makandjan’s story is not unique, The Next Economy Programme in Mali received 3000 applications for each cohort of just 300, as Mali’s graduates quickly realised they needed more than a degree to stand out in the job market.
“We [Malian youth] graduate with a Diploma degree but we can’t complete a job application, we don’t know how to get an internship. And if you don’t have a network, you can’t get job experience.” says Assitan Traore, Project Coordinator at SOS Children’s Villages, Mali.
The Next Economy Programme with its dedicated employability track is able to provide young graduates with the practical skills they need to excel in the job market. Makandjan was accepted into the programme where he was able to learn how to write a strong, tailored resume, how and where to look for a job, how to succeed in an interview and how to build a professional network.
Following an internship that Makandjan was able to secure with the support of SOS Mali and The Next Economy, he is now working as a translator, interpreter, and trainer at Citraco, a Language and Studies firm.
Makandjan has been proud to share the skills he gained from The Next Economy with his personal and professional network, and is able to support interns at Citraco as they gain practical experience.