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STUDENT TO EMPLOYEE

Internships key in transition from class to workplace

Training opportunity gives vital insights on what is needed in the real world

In Summary

• Students apply what they have learnt in classrooms.

• Employers assess potential applicants more effectively than using interviews.

Vitafoam Products production department intern Maureen Wangari takes stock of mattresses on the factory floor during her day’s work
Vitafoam Products production department intern Maureen Wangari takes stock of mattresses on the factory floor during her day’s work
Image: COURTESY

Internships are very important for students, as they are able to apply what they have learnt in classrooms to the real world of commerce and industry to help choose a career.

Employers, on the other hand, are able to assess potential applicants more effectively than using interviews.

Maureen Wangari is a second year student at Kiriri University of Science and Technology in Kiambu county. She is undertaking a diploma course in procurement of supplies and management.

As a requirement of her course, she secured a three-month internship with Vitafoam Products Limited, and is working in the factory off Mombasa Road.

She explained, “I now know why it is important for internships to be part of our curriculum. College training leans on theory, but this opportunity has helped me translate what I have learnt into practice. This has added interest and value to my area of study.

“The knowledge acquired to know the purchase flow has enabled me to create all documents without any difficulty. I have now understood that recording and verification of goods received in the factory in a timely manner ensures there is a smooth flow of production.

“I now fully appreciate that the success of an organisation is dependent on teamwork. There is the need to get along with everyone, even those working in different departments as all are responsible for the running of the factory.

“My supervisor at the company and other staff members are very helpful, and I am grateful for their polite guidance when I get things wrong and their willingness to help me out in situations I am not familiar with.

“The transition from college to real work is a challenging step, as they are two different worlds. Unlike in college, where you can be late for a lecture, interns are treated the same as employees, and following the company’s rules is important. I have enjoyed the work I have been doing and I look forward to getting a job in an organisation like Vitafoam once I have completed my studies.”