Sanlam Namibia last week held the official handover of bursaries and internships in the capital, through its bursaries and internship programme. At the event, the life insurance company awarded bursaries to six students and granted internship opportunities to nine students. The programme was introduced in 2002 – and to date, 50 students have benefitted from it.
Speaking to Youth Corner, one of the beneficiaries of the internship programme Cara Ellen (22) said she is willing to bring a youthful outlook to Sanlam, which might be necessary to shake up the legal system and structure of the company or Namibia at large.
“The legal framework here might not always be aimed in one direction, and this allows any law student to broaden their skills. I am aiming towards litigation and hopefully become a prosecutor general or a supreme court judge one day,” shared the University of Namibia (Unam) Law student.
Johannes Iileni Shikudule (22) is another beneficiary of the programme and a finance management student at the International University of Management (IUM). He said he values the practical knowledge provided through the programme.
“Most of us are exposed to a lot of theory but not practice, and I am over the moon about this opportunity. I can’t wait to show Sanlam what I am made of and to learn as much as I can about the finance sector. It is a big deal to be here as a finance student at one of the biggest companies that deal with finance and investment,” said the enthusiastic Shikudule.
Internships provide an opportunity for students, usually in their final academic year, to gain practical knowledge in their respective fields. Research has proven that many companies prefer hiring candidates with work experience, and internships are an opportunity for students to gain experience before the completion of their studies.
In addition, internships have the following advantages: students are provided real work experience; they get to have a taste of their chosen field; they provide networking opportunities; they boost the CV and market value of students as prospective employees, and they create an opportunity for them to be hired by the company in future.
A previous intern and now bursary holder Joel Kagola said: “There is no way you can sustain the economy if you don’t invest in young people. You need to invest in the youth for the economy to grow. When you see developed countries, for sure they have invested in the young ones”.
At least 2 000 students applied for the internship programme and over 110 for the bursary programme.
Sanlam’s intervention in the education sector is not limited to bursaries and internships. Sanlam, through its Blue Ladder School Project, has committed funds for teacher capacity building, school furniture, hostel mattresses, textbooks, computers, science labs and libraries.