Unleashing potential: The impact of internships on TNE youth

In Nigeria, there is an expectation that graduates should have work experience before entering the job market, but in reality the culture of work experience is relatively new and many people leave the education system without having any practical experience. Internships provide an opportunity for graduates to explore what value they can bring to a company, and ensure the company can find the best fit for a permanent position. 

Pyemwa Deshi worked as a facilitator with the Next Economy, and seeing the impact that the programme has on young people, decided to take on interns at her own company, King Preston Consulting, to continue to foster an environment where people can upskill while making real contributions to a company from early on in their careers. 

“I told my interns, you need to create your value here, find out what you are great at, and work out what you can bring to the organisation. My first Next Economy intern was Denis, he came on when we didn’t even have an office. As soon as I had enough funds he was the first person I called to offer a job. I joke that he is my right hand, he is a superstar.” 

Denis’s focus is on Communications and Graphic Design, but what struck Pyemwa most is his ability to understand what was needed of him in the workplace.  “Often, people leave education and don’t have digital skills, don’t understand workplace etiquette, and have no expectations of a workplace. The Next Economy opens up that conversation”.  

Through the Next Economy, Pyemwa has now taken on 5 interns, some of whom have gone on to receive permanent jobs or were able to leverage their internships to find work elsewhere, with the full support of Pyemwa. Pyemwa has found all her Next Economy interns to be reliable, enthusiastic and committed to their roles, and each has identified how they can best bring value to the company. 

“People ask me often, do you know someone I can employ and I always say one thing, go through The Next Economy Programme. Participation in the programme shows you are willing to work on yourself.”