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in loco fellows blog series #6: When opportunity presents itself, don’t be afraid to go after it

It’s a friday afternoon and my tertiary ex-classmate whom I hadn’t spoken to in a while drops me a WhatsApp text. To my surprise, the text is an invitation to the in loco fellowship which at the time, I had not heard of. This was my cue to do a little research. I searched it on Facebook and guess what? I got so excited about the fellowship and wished I had known about it earlier and applied. Before I knew it, I was called for an interview and here I am today, an in loco fellow at rise International.

Amo varnishing the IDAL pavillion

From my research, I saw the fellowship as an integral part of my long-term career or academic life goal. I saw it as an ideal way of taking my civil engineering expertise from one level to the next. However, the greatest reason I wanted to pursue the fellowship was my desire to change my current path towards something I’m passionate about- Entrepreneurship.

Few weeks into the fellowship at the participatory design workshop, I’m all excited, learning but eager to go on site. And now we are on site as three girls from thirteen fellows. How challenging!

Through the fellowship I have learnt to work with different personalities, although it hasn’t been easy. But now that we know each other, I know how to handle each of them.

Amo in the back with other two fellows – Lits’oanelo (left) and Peter (right)

 By nature, I am an introvert and having to work with other fellows was a bit challenging at the beginning. I struggled to express myself but as I get to know them, I’m opening up a bit and I love how they have changed my perspective on a lot of things and on life in general.

 One of the most beautiful things about this cohort is that we motivate each other but with a dash of humour attached. I remember this other time when I forgot where a file in the Google Drive was located, and they said, ‘Really Amo?! A month into the fellowship and you still don’t know where the file is?’ From that moment onwards, I made sure I knew where every file is saved and paid attention to even the smallest details. Funny thing is, they also couldn’t remember where the file was!

Three months into the fellowship and I have acquired soft and technical skills I never thought I would have. I have acquired communication and negotiation skills and carpentry to name a few. I now know a bit more about construction from foundations up to the roof and I’m excited about my experience.

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