It’s amazing to think that I’ve officially been ‘on the job’ for a month and a half! It seems like just yesterday that I stepped off the plane and moved into my housemum’s place. I feel like I’ve integrated well in Gaborone in general and also settled into my position at WUSC, which has already been fun and rewarding.
Since I split my time between offices, I only spend a couple of days a week in the WUSC office here in Gabs. On these days, I am lucky enough to avoid public transportation because I can walk to work in just under an hour (it takes practically the same amount of time to take the combi to work… the traffic is busy!). Even though it’s getting hotter outside, I still enjoy getting some fresh air before the sun gets too intense.
At WUSC, I am here to support the international scholarship management (ISM) program. The ISM program is a partnership between WUSC and the government of Botswana, which has a program called “Top Achievers” that sends the most successful Batswana high school students to universities around the world. WUSC Botswana, of course, helps facilitate the scholarship students who choose to study at Canadian institutions.
My job is mainly to help with the promotion of Canadian post-secondary education institutions. Many of the top achieving students haven’t even thought about Canada as an option for their education abroad so it’s fun to start that conversation with them. We do this through education fairs and presentations at high schools in the area. I really enjoy presenting in front of a crowd, especially when the audience is so eager for information, as most of these students are because they have inspiring ambition for their futures.
The second part of my work here is more about personal academic / career counselling services for students who are serious about exploring their education options in Canada. I will be doing a lot more of this in the coming months, once exams are over so students can turn their attention towards selecting their desired program and school of study. I am really looking forward to helping students find out which school in which part of Canada will suit them best. I know I will enjoy being a part of planning for their futures.
I work with an amazing woman named Ona, who has done a great job of both showing me the ropes and also letting me have independence. I have several ideas that I’m excited about implementing such as building a more comprehensive online profile including social media and a website that is tailored to the students, based on their questions and concerns. I should be moving forward on these ideas very soon.
I’ve already had a great time motivating the students to study hard and disseminating to them information about Canadian universities. I hope this happy momentum continues throughout the coming months. I’m slated to finish my placement at the end of February 2015 so, until then, I plan on making the most of my time at WUSC. So far, so good!