I am currently a community liaison trainee at Knowledge Pele. I am from a small energy community called Touwsrivier. The community has a population of about 8000 people. Touwsrivier has a low employment rate and with the SED and ED programmes we are implementing, I have come to understand first-hand just how important development services are to my community.
Although I have no work or tertiary education history, working as an intern for a research and development firm has taught me various things. These include a clearer insight into how communities work and it has also given me the opportunity to strengthen my skills and to learn more about myself and what drives or motivates me.
Over the past few months, I’ve learned how to write proper proposals and concept notes. I’ve also had the opportunity to help coordinate events and launches of our programmes and I even get to directly interact with clients in our meetings.
Working at a small company, that is experiencing the kind of growth that Knowledge Pele is, has definitely been a bit of a wakeup call. I’ve been exposed to working with a lot of experienced people, from public relations officers to business school heads!
Finally, the most important thing I’ve learned at Knowledge Pele is how important it is to enjoy coming to work. I’ve had part-time jobs in the past, but this was the first job where I felt like I was a part of a team and not an undertrained/underqualified intern. I’m thankful for the opportunity to grow and develop as both a community liaison officer and as a person. From my manager who who has trained me and works with me everyday to help me perform better, to the senior team who spent time teaching me about the renewable energy sector, and made me feel welcome and valued, you’re the best, and I look forward to us working together for many years to come!
Overall, I have found being a trainee to be a positive experience and one that I would definitely recommend to others.
By Caren Meiring
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