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Why companies should focus on sharpening interns' skills

By Mumo Munuve | Jan 30th 2020 | 2 min read

A while back, local media personnel was bashed for poor English during live reporting, which brought up a debate on whether companies are keen on equipping interns to compete favorably in the job market.

The journalist sincerely struggled throughout the entire live reporting, and it was evident that a lot needs to be done to equip upcoming professional practitioners.

In many companies, interns are always perceived as 'flower girls' with minor jobs such as typing documents, being sent for small errands, and sometimes accompanying their counterparts in field jobs.

With the rising rates of unemployment in the country, these interns are always ready to perform any task hoping that the company would retain them.

Juma, a friend who recently graduated from University with a Bachelor's degree in Commerce, Procurement option, narrated his experience as an intern, saying the best he was allowed to do was keeping the visitors' book.

"I went to a private company for my internship and was very optimistic that they would sharpen my skills. On the contrary, I was given subordinate tasks which entailed cleaning the office and keeping the visitor's book. I was really embarrassed, and a few months later, I decided to quit," he narrates.

Juma is not alone. Another graduate, Abdi (not his real name), painfully narrates his experience in a company he had always wanted to work for. The communication graduate from Masinde Muliro University says there is a lot of frustration for the interns.

"I was really frustrated as an intern; nobody gave me an opportunity to showcase my skills despite my efforts to prove I was capable of working. I was tasked with helping carrying equipment to and from the field," says Abdi.

Abdi acknowledges that a lot needs to be done to tap these raw talents.

"Sometimes, the best is found among these interns, who are always willing to learn. Solutions to some problems facing companies and institutions are found amongst these despised interns. Helping them to nurture their talents is the best form of humanity," he concludes.

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