With technology rapidly changing the landscape of the workforce, employers worldwide are seeking a labor force that is increasingly digitally skilled. However, while the importance of digital skills has been recognized, there has been less of a focus particularly on gender inclusion.
All around the world, initiatives are multiplying to champion for equality, propelling women to be leaders in their fields. Programs that seek to promote social and gender inclusion for the tech-enabled opportunities have also consistently been on the rise, transforming societies and economies in order to generate inclusive economic growth and stimulate job creation.
One such initiative is Bolt #Drive4WITech immersive internship programme launched in 2021 to support young women in Africa who have chosen to pursue a career in the technology sector.
Vicky Oyare, one of the outstanding interns who was selected for the program, speaks about her experience interning at Bolt.
Q1: Bolt’s Drive4WITech programme is in its second year having been launched in 2021. How did you find out about the internship and what inspired you to apply?
I found out about the internship through a billboard in Westlands. I decided to apply because at that time I desired a place where I can apply my skills well and grow. I felt Bolt had a good thing going on encouraging ladies to join the tech world, seeing there are very few ladies in the field.
Having had a background in tech, I decided to join.
Q2: Bolt announced the receipt of hundreds of applications of which three of you were selected. How does it feel to be among the chosen few?
To be honest, I feel favoured. I felt special and realised that I need to be more appreciative of myself and continue to do my best in all that I do. I am ever grateful to the Bolt team for the great opportunity to be a part of them.
Q3: What area did you specialise in during the programme and what skills were you able to gain?
I have been a part of the operations team under rides. I worked on checking the compliance of drivers. One of the main skills I learned was data analysis and the impact it has on the progress of the business. Having performed my tasks, I would see the data being used and analysed to tell the trajectory of the business and decisions made to grow the business. This helped give worth to my activities.
Q4: How has the internship programme affected or enhanced your decision to work in tech?
It has enhanced my interest in tech. Having come from a tech background I took the opportunity to expand my knowledge and exposure and I have loved the experience. I have seen my colleagues work on different projects and perform analyses on data and use the data to grow the business. This has been a breathtaking experience.
Q5: What was your biggest learning curve? Were there any challenges during the programme?
Learning how to do car applications was my biggest learning curve. The process involves a lot of if statements and each application varies. The only challenge was the long learning curve. Once I mastered the process, the rest was easy.
Q6: As the Drive4WITech programme comes to an end, how was your overall experience?
It has been lovely. I have learned so much, met so many new and amazing people, and grown so much. I would do this all over again given the chance.
Q7: What are the biggest lessons you learnt from participating in the programme?
- Be confident in yourself.
- Do not be afraid of taking challenges, you grow through solving problems.
- No idea is shunned. Brainstorm and brainstorm again with your team and aim at optimum results at all times.
- Always do your best.
The work ethic in the people at Bolt is infectious. I love it and attribute the success Bolt has to it. Great people over great processes indeed.
Q8: Will you recommend the Drive4WITech internship programme to other young female Nigerians?
Yes, by all means. This is an opportunity that no one ought to miss. As long as you are a lady and are interested in tech, this is an opportunity that you should take advantage of. You gain more than just technical skills and make meaningful interactions with people which transcend into amazing friendships.
Q9: What is that one thing you will miss about interning at Bolt? The quality of people you meet at Bolt. The community around you as you work is just so amazing. I would miss the warmness around work merged so well with diligence and an amazing work ethic.