What is it like to intern at Andela, NG?

Zuckerberg’s first big tech investment in Africa

Editors Note: A lot has changed since I first wrote this post in April 2016.

How kind of them?

My name is Benjamin, a Masters Student at Lancaster University Management School, UK. I recently graduated from my Bachelors Degree in Nigeria where I studied Management Information Systems at Covenant University, Ota.

In June 2015, I had the privilege of interning at a start-up called Andela — extends engineering teams with the most talented software developers in Africa. They run a four-year paid Technical Leadership Program which is simply called a Fellowship. Many of her Fellows (aka developers) have worked for big companies like Google and Microsoft. They also get to visit those companies for 2 weeks at their headquarters. A Macbook is the official Laptop in use there.

Since her launch, they’ve been making waves. From being nominated as one of the 10 Hot Startups in NYC around the close of Q1 2016 to being honored with 2016 Secretary Of State’s Award For Corporate Excellence in December 2016. Only recently, they got listed as one of the 50 NYC Startups to watch in 2017 by BuiltInNYC.

They ended up bringing Mark Zuckerberg to the Andela Nigeria Campus.

Here is an exciting video about Mark’s visit.

Zuckerberg walking the streets of Yaba, Lagos to the Andela Campus.

Now, if you go around with 3 Andela stickers on your laptop (just like me), it is not unusual to get asked the following questions; how did you hear about Andela?, what was the best part about working with Andela? and how can I apply to Andela? In this post, I attempt to provide answers to those questions.

How did I hear about Andela?

Through a colleague at work.

At the time, I was undergoing an intended 6-month SIWES (Student Industrial Work Experience Program) at Softcom (a Nigerian technology company).

At the time, Andela, was reputed to have an acceptance rate lower than that of Harvard.

So, looking through the selection process:

Online Application & Aptitude Assessment -> In-person Interview -> 2–week Bootcamp -> Offer.

I immediately felt discouraged. Wouldn’t you?

But, then, one thing I like about my personality is that I like to prove a point to myself and those watching (yes, I know…lol).

Hence, I applied and the rest they say is history.

What was the best part about working with Andela?

I am re-wording the question to “what were the best parts of working with Andela?” because they are more than one.
Well, in the 6 -7 weeks I stayed there. I attained some of my work goals at any company (with some focus on tech in this case). They include:

  1. To build my professional and social Network. Asides meeting some of the top executives that work at Andela (Jeremy Johnson, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Lisbi Abraham, Nadayar C. Enegesi), I also got to meet Steve Case, Founder AOL.
2015 at Co-creation Hub in Yaba

Other interesting persons I met around that time includes Prosper Otemuyiwa (a Google Developer Expert and an internationally recognized PHP Developer from Nigeria) and stutern founders (Taiwo Ayanleye and Kehinde Ayanleye).

UPDATE: In 2016, I worked with the Stutern founders on their startup.

2. To work in a collaborative environment of smart people, filled with energy and fun: We had team events at the roof-top, Business Improvisation Exercises and yeah we had team Dinner! (any foodies in the house?)

3. To learn from a relatively young and inspiring boss: Ebun Omoni was my boss then, we argued a lot, had lunch together at a Chinese Restaurant and yeah, we played table-tennis together.

One of those days after work with my Boss

4. To get started on my path to professional web development: You know, I don’t think I would end up as a full-time Software Developer but I like the feeling! The autonomy it gives you, knowing that you can think of an idea and bring it to fruitition, all the developer meet-ups you get to attend (Yes, I attended TechPlus event in the company of some other Andelans), the social respect (simply because you can speak another language) and more importantly, the fact that I am in the Computer and Information Sciences department at College. I don’t want that degree to go to waste!

Are you really a developer if you don’t know this site? — Stackoverflow.com

How can you apply to Andela?

Currently, only one Internship role is open and that is in Kenya (yes, they operate in 3 countries currently).

But, you can apply for the Fellowship and other Support Roles here;

They are currently recruiting for there 20th set of Nigerian Fellows and 15th set of Kenyan Fellows.

Best of luck!

If you’ve enjoyed reading this article, kindly show some ❤ (literally). Also, would be happy to chat about anything I have written here.