By Ndayisenga Rukundo
Many people fail to reach their dreams because they don't have a clear vision. This is the perspective of Jackson Habimfura, who works at the IT HelpDesk for the Global Education Movement at Southern New Hampshire University.
Born and raised in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Jackson migrated to Rwanda at the age of five. He worked hard to make his goals a reality because he knew what he wanted to achieve. It was a great opportunity to interview Jackson and hear his advice on how younger generations can excel at having a passion and dream for success.
He started working as a primary school teacher at the Kiziba Refugee Camp. During this time, Kepler’s partnership with Southern New Hampshire University and their new College for America program launched at Kiziba, enabling Jackson to start his university studies.
It was tough to combine both teaching responsibilities and pursuing his studies. In 2016, he was working on his projects as part of College for America (CfA) at Southern New Hampshire University, which are online, competency-based and project-based programs that are directly applicable to the workplace. In the midst of this, he decided to leave the teaching job so that he could have enough time to complete his CfA projects. After completion, he secured an internship at Kepler Kigali in the field of technology.
“I have had a passion to work in a technology related field since my childhood,” he said.
It was interesting that he took on this role even though he didn't study technology either in secondary school or the university. But he did have a passion that set him up for success.
“I believe the way I worked during this internship was noticed by others,” he said. “I think that I demonstrated more commitment compared to my coworkers and this helped me earn a role as an IT Assistant at Kepler Kiziba.”
After an eight-month stint as an IT Assistant at Kepler Kiziba, he was offered a temporary job as an IT Assistant at Kepler Kigali. Following this role, he realized that GEM was in need of an employee to provide support on technology related matters. He applied for this position and was hired at GEM as an SNHU Customer, Technology HelpDesk. He earned this job due to the way he was prepared before entering the exam. He also got this job because he had been an intern in this field for several months.
In his role, Jackson performs initial triage of all calls/requests/chats/online forms/walk-ins submitted to the Technology HelpDesk. He provides analysis, problem resolution and emergency support for business applications. He needs to remain knowledgeable about trends with hardware and software so he attends product demonstrations and trade shows.
During the interview, I was inspired by how Jackson achieved his long term goal and how he developed a clear vision. Some tips for success that he shared with me are the following:
Have a clear vision of what you want. “Students can be passionate and put in a lot of effort because of their vision. It is one thing to have a vision; it is another to actually achieve it. Students must work hard and seek out connections to important people who will support them in developing their vision,” Jackson said.
Stay focused. "Having focus helped me to reach my long term goal. So, the young generation should be focused so that they can achieve their dreams," Jackson said.
Wake up and work hard. The key point here is that after one has clarity around a goal, much effort is required.
Connect to people who can support you. It is important to have good connections of people who can support you. “I was inspired and learned a lot from Chrystina Russell (Senior Vice President & Executive Director, GEM at Southern New Hampshire), Ashley Haywood (Senior Director of Reporting & Humanitarian Initiatives at Kepler), Carrie Ellett (former COO at Kepler), Stella Bonard Ibango (Associate Director of Academic & Administration at Kepler), Sereverien Ngarukiye (Associate Director for Special Projects at Kepler) and Santos Rukundo (former Kepler Operations Director). I approached them because I knew that I could learn from them, since they had more experiences than me,” he said.
Never give up. The advice from Jackson is that people who are committed to achieving their goals should never give up whenever they face any challenges.
Since my childhood, I had a vision of working in the health field as a manager in a powerful healthcare organization. So, the advice I got from Jackson will push me to develop my vision. I also learned that it is important to stay focused. No matter what circumstances will come my way, I have to keep pushing without giving up.
It was also a great opportunity to hear from Jackson on how he started his journey and gained success. I learned from him that knowing what I want to achieve as well as having commitment to other people who achieved their goals will help me achieve mine. This advice will help me develop my vision of working in the healthcare field.
Learn more about Jackson at his LinkedIn profile.
Ndayisenga Rukundo is a student at Southern New Hampshire University, Global Education Movement, University Program based in Rwanda. You can connect with him via on LinkedIn. Ndayisenga wrote this story after going through the Global Innovators Academy Interview an Innovator experience.