The Education Matters Zimbabwe Career Connect Internship Program is an experiential service learning program that matches Zimbabwean students studying in the U.S., Canada and with Ashesi University in Ghana, with Zimbabwean companies and non-governmental organizations during the student’s vacation period from university.
The spectrum of available internship opportunities is broad and responsive to the interests of the selected student participants. The program runs for eight weeks for the months of June and July, and the internship is unpaid. Student participants are expected to source funds to cover their own expenses during their internship and to pay a small administrative fee to cover program costs on the ground.
As part of the program, students engage in group community service and social activities, weekly feedback and workshop meetings and participate in programs in conjunction with EducationUSA including a college fair and pre-departure orientation. Students will also keep a guided journal to record their experiences during the internship.
Career Connect seeks to contextualize the students’ academic experience and aid the student in experiencing life as a professional in Zimbabwe. The program seeks to expose students to fields that vary depending on their individual interests and include but are not limited to biomedical science, computer science, development work, public health, education and environmental studies.
The immersive nature of the program engages students and encourages them to make connections between their coursework, research, community service and place of work. Through this program, Education Matters aims to assist Zimbabwean students studying in the United States to make meaningful connections in order to use the skills and knowledge they gain at university to contribute to positive change at home.
Currently, Zimbabwe Career Connect is fully under way and has placed 25 students in internships with companies and organizations around Zimbabwe for June and July 2017. Current placements include a pre-medical physician shadowing program with Ecosurgica, Pariyenyatwa and Mpilo Hospitals, scientific research with AiBST, engineering and computer science placements with Quest Motors, Liquid Telecom, Econet and ZOL, business and finance placements at the Public Auditors and Actuaries Board, Baker Tilly, Anglo-American, AdvisoryK and First Mutual Holdings, and development studies placements with the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe, Plan International and World Education.