This update is a very special one to me and the whole iHub leadership and stakeholders as it captures the full lifecycle vision of what we have been working hard to implement with the Innovation Hub Africa – graduating students with the readiness to apply for a real digital marketing job with our employment partners.
All of these seven amazing students who graduated on March 19th were part of either the original 2019 iHub launch cohort or those that joined the program in early 2020. You can see the students taking their weekly training at the iHub below, as well as screen shot of some of the specialized marketing analysis tools they learned to use during their Comarketers Kickstart Growth Marketing Traineeship program.
Comarketers, one of the employment partner organizations we’ve built relationship with over the past year, is headquartered in the Netherlands and is a growth marketing company working alongside B2B companies to drive growth. They help build, grow and scale their European customer’s pipeline by strategizing and executing growth marketing as a side-by-side partner. Their operating philosophy and values that aligned with the iHub was that of impact sourcing – purposefully looking for talent to join their organization from developing countries. And creating innovative traineeship programs to accelerate the productivity of interns like our iHub graduates so that they can quickly assimilate into their regional work teams and begin supporting their client base – and get a well-paying role from it! You can read more about Comarketers by clicking here:
The two certificates shown in the photo above depict the partnership between the iHub and our employment partner Comarketers. We continue to work hard to identify other employment placement partners like Comarketers which align with our values and vision and are operating either locally or globally in the digital economy.
Floor Weenan, seen on the TV monitor screen in the photo above is the Program Director for Comarketers Dakar, Sengal operation. She oversaw the 12-week Kickstart Growth Marketing Traineeship program that our seven iHub students undertook as part of their phase 3 specialized training – where after developing fundamentals and some advanced digital and soft skills in phases one and two of the iHub program, are taken “under the wings” of our employment partners (aka. Comarketers). For 12 weeks, 3 days per week student are immersed in the employment partner’s corporate culture, given real world assignment to complete as they are trained on their specialized digital toolkit, and readied to apply for a paid internship role upon passing all modules of the program successfully.
I was privileged to share some remarks on behalf of the iHub leadership. It was humbling yet extremely satisfying to be part of the ceremony as we celebrated the achievements of the students through a culmination of 18 months of study.
Covid-19 continues to leave its mark, as what was originally designed as a 12-month program got elongated to eighteen months due to shutdowns and having to adjust to remote learning. And as you can see in the photo above, the customary handshake upon receiving one’s grad certificates was replaced with a fist pump by masked students and the iHub Managing Director, Steffan van der Male.
In addition to the hard work of the students, I need to recognize Brandon Vergotine seen in the centre of the photo above who has been our Philippi Village iHib Coordinator (and played many other roles) since our launch in 2019. Brandon has built a special relationship with all our students and is a pleasure to work with as part of the iHub core leadership team.
As for next steps since the graduation just this past week on March 29th, Comarketers held interviews with six of the seven grads who applied for three open internship positions. If you’re interested, you can view/download the role position documents here. We look forward to hearing which three were offered paid, three-month internships with Comarketers based out of Senegal. Landing a position will be a life-changing career opportunity for these students and a dream come true from when they joined our iHub program over a year ago. If they continue to perform well through this next stage of internship, they’ll most likely be offered permanent employment with Comarketers – a leading, global digital marketing company.
While these seven iHub program grads are in many ways just beginning their formal career journey in the digital economy, they are off to an excellent start, full of hope and promise – you can see it on their faces (and some relief to be finally finished this part of their training!). More updates to come as we follow their progress in the real, working world of Digital Marketing!