The Youth to Work Junior Associate Experience — Sharon Aguti

What were you doing before applying to Youth to Work?

I was unemployed.

How did you find out about CW Youth to Work? What inspired you to apply to CW Youth to Work rather than another programme or any other opportunity (like a job)?

I found out about the programme from the Standard Chartered Uganda website. After reading through the program and what it offered, I was interested in improving my management and leadership skills while at the same time trying to find a job.

What did/do you expect to learn from your placement? What were you worried about?

I expected to build my networks, improve teamwork, entrepreneurial, and leadership skills. I was worried about finding it boring as I consider myself not very entrepreneurial, but my thoughts were completely flipped 100%

Enterprise name: Code Clinic

Where is it based and what social impact do they have?

Plot 137A Kira Road, Kampala. CODE clinic offers dental services to the community with their main focus being on preventive treatment and dental care.

Describe your work with your enterprise — what were the main aims of the support you offered the enterprise?

As a Junior Associate, my role was to analyze the business, identify gaps in their operations and offer recommendations to support the business to achieve strategic growth.

What area did you focus on?

People management and Welfare.

What tools did you use?

I used the Human resource tool and the workbook designed by the Challenges Worldwide team.

How were you supported by mentors? What did you learn from them?

My mentors guided me on how to effectively analyze the company and offer practical recommendations while being cognizant of the business’ current ability to implement. They also guided me on how to build relationships that will be impactful to the analysis and implementation process.

What did you learn from working with your enterprise? What was your proudest moment?

I learned how to effectively communicate with people at different levels, got a better understanding of some dental procedures and understood the importance of frequent dental hygiene. My proudest moment was creating an employee appraisal template for the company which I shared with the CEO, and he implemented into the business.

How do you think your enterprise will change after your involvement?

The enterprise will improve its sales and marketing areas, which was its biggest challenge.


What transferable skills did you learn? Could you give examples of situations where you learned something new?

I learned research and analytical skills, teamwork, and resilience. Upon being placed at the enterprise, I learned the process of studying teams; identifying gaps, and coming up with suggestions for improvement to increase profitability. It was challenging but I did it!

What was the working environment like?

It was very private and comfortable.


What did you learn from the CMI training?

I learnt various attributes of being an effective leader and manager and how to mobilize teams to optimize productivity within an enterprise.


Would you recommend Challenges Worldwide Youth to Work placement to other young people? Yes/No: Why?

Yes. The skills you will learn during the program will impact your career journey and personal life.

Would you recommend CMI to other young people? Yes/No: Why?

Yes. CMI opens your eyes to career possibilities you never ever thought of, such as leadership.


Were you retained as an employee at your enterprise? Did you secure employment after the Youth to Work programme/ did you pursue your own entrepreneurial endeavor?

I was not retained at the enterprise I worked with during the programme, however, I secured employment upon completion.

How have your skills from Youth to Work supported you in your current role?

Professionalism and teamwork, which I learned through the Youth to Work programme, are at the core of my daily duties.

How have you seen your team members change during their placement?

I have seen meek and shy people jump out of their shells and speak out. I have also seen people get recruited for other opportunities while they were still at the Youth to work program.

Thinking ahead

How has CW Youth to Work changed you?

I am a better listener and more tolerant to different situations and people.

What impact has it had on your career plans or your personal life?

The program brought me a step closer to my dreams of leadership by presenting similar smaller leadership opportunities to me during our meetings and activities. The personal diagnostic helped me to understand myself better.



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The Challenges Group

A family of social businesses committed to building a more prosperous world.