When my friends and I first saw the advert, we laughed. How does an electrical engineer fit in a Non-Profit organization? Aren’t those positions intended for human resources and applied sciences students? However, days later it occurred to me that it wouldn’t kill me to try it out. So, I applied, and weeks later, boom! I was a Global Minimum Inc. (GMin) intern.
Two weeks after I joined was the boot camp, and it was all hands on deck. Have you ever heard of an elevator pitch? I hadn’t. I got to practice, practice and practice some more till I got it right. GMin’s feedback helped me get better every day.
Then came the August boot camp. I worked on running workshops, general running of the camp, getting students to write project budgets, and gave motivational talks. Here, I learned design thinking that is building a product/service with the user in mind, and how many ideas fail at this level. In the August boot camp, participants worked on projects addressing challenges in their communities such as helping amputees navigate, food security by freezing, and solving garbage collection in Kibera slums. In September we began shortlisting the over 85 applications to 12 finalists and provided constructive feedback to those who didn’t make the cut.
In October I attended the Grace Hopper Celebrations conference focused on Women in Computing and had the opportunity to take part in Women Techmakers Berlin and Golab conferences where I gave a talk on my experience of overcoming adversity. I was also part of the outreach program to secondary schools using visits, online campaigns, and word of mouth through our alumni network. As a result, we had many new applications in December; most notably GMin’s first-ever application from a Street Rehabilitation School in Kibera Slums.
I would gladly do it all over again! GMIn work in low resourced schools to expose students to such programs as Scratch, Arduino, robotics, design thinking, and provide a platform for students to solve their own community’s problems is incredible: Moreover, it instills values, virtues, and skills in those students which they will draw on for the rest of their lives.
In GMin the culture, the team, and the work environment make you want to wake up each morning and come to the office. Not only is there space for engineers in Non-Profit Organizations but fun fact, 50% of GMin staff are engineers! Ha! sometimes, all it takes is an application. A step. A leap.