By Emmanuel Ndongereye
Good deeds will come back around. Those who are empathetic and support others should expect the same good things to happen to them. In every situation, there is an opportunity to show kindness and support to others through helpful insight and experience, career development, problem-solving strategies, innovative strategies, and many other ways. Someone who has experienced this first-hand is Sereverien Ngarukiye, Kepler’s Associate Director for Special Projects (Kepler is a non-governmental educational organization that works in partnership with Southern New Hampshire University to provide students in East Africa with access to accredited American Bachelor’s degrees).
Sereverien started as a Teaching Assistant Technology and Communications classes at Kepler Kigali. With hard work and the passion to support others, he was promoted to Curriculum Associate and later became an Academics and Career Manager at Kepler Kiziba by overseeing curriculum activities, teaching and coordinating professional development for staff and resolving student concerns, and also supporting students with job application skills by reviewing their resumes and cover letters.
Sereverien has contributed to Kepler's greatest achievements throughout his career such as being part of the founding team of Kepler Kiziba, in the Kiziba refugee camp in Rwanda, in 2015, and Kepler Ethiopia in 2021. He supported the launch of the Graduates Employment Program (GEP) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The program started in January 2021 with the aim to equip more than 700 TVETs graduates with soft skills (technology, problem-solving, communication, & professionalism) they need to secure employment and excel in the labor market.
As a result of the Graduate Employment Program, students are able to secure high-paying jobs since they are equipped with interview skills and receive support on job applications. Trainees who went through the program outperformed their peers who didn't go through the experiences of the Graduate Employment Program.
Interviewing him, it seems to me that Severerien has been successful throughout his career journey in part due to his kind heart. He is always interested in helping people to overcome their challenges, and this has led Sereverien to gain new skills and experience.
"Innovation is trying new methods and ways of thinking without being afraid to fail and make mistakes," he said. “If you are afraid of making mistakes you will miss opportunities to try new things,” he added.
It is always a great feeling to receive kindness from someone else and it is even better to show that kindness to others for us to achieve more. So, try whatever you can to support others regardless of mistakes that you might commit in the process. “Never miss an opportunity to be kind to others, be willing to help them; you will be surprised about the results,” Sereverien said.
Oftentimes, we show support and kindness to those who reach out to us, but we must remember that not everyone is willing to ask for help. We also need to support those who may be too scared or unsure to reach out. Those who receive our support and kindness will send us the same support, fulfilling the saying “good deeds come back around”.
Keys to Success
Sereverien was extremely proud to be part of the founding team of the Kepler Kiziba Campus. Kepler Kiziba started with only 30 students and now has about 150 students on campus. Many graduates from this campus are receiving jobs and gaining success in their careers. Kepler students are competitive in the work they do. Sereverien played a big role in developing the intellectual capacity of students, and the skills and knowledge needed in the workplace.
Kepler students are able to perform tasks quickly and efficiently. Many of these students are determined to become the best networkers, communicators, decision-makers, and professionals as possible. Their curriculum focuses on the skills and knowledge needed in the workplace. This is something that Sereverien dreamed of and today celebrates.
Consciously, all human beings have core values that help them in their success. Sereverien incorporates Kepler’s core value of constant learning and improvement in his career. To him, a day spent without learning or improving on something is a day he regrets so much. He likes to read self-help books, professional development, novels, etc. Sereverien mentioned that reading a book is like traveling whereupon your return you have great insights, perspective, and views.
I have gained crucial and inspiring career advice conversing with Sereverien. Below are four key points from Sereverien that young people should consider:
Problem-solve effectively. Taking time to identify problems in our communities and the steps needed to solve these problems is the key to success in our daily lives. If you are thinking of getting a job, think of how you will contribute to the organization or company first other than how much you will be paid. Think of how you will help them solve a challenge in the community. If you are starting a business, focus much on how you will solve a certain challenge other than focusing a lot on the money you will make out of it. Remember that helping others to solve their own challenges may ultimately help you with your own, so never miss an opportunity to identify and solve problems.
Reflect on your practice. Since we are all facing different problems, we have to reflect on our strategies and our relationships with others at work and in the community. You can learn from challenges and experiences but only if you can reflect on them. Ask yourself the questions: what did you do well; how do you behave in professional situations; what do you need to improve; What resources can help me to improve; and whom can I reach out for support? This helps us understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to be able to learn from our past mistakes and experiences.
Learn continually. Learning never stops and comes in many different forms. You can read articles or books, listen to podcasts, or watch videos (such as TED Talks). You may also need to talk to a person who has much experience or different perspectives than yours. There is no such a shame as always relying on your own opinions and limited views. Although some young people dislike reading articles and books, I would encourage them to start from what interests them. This also helps them to advance in their careers by learning from other people’s experiences.
Maximize current opportunities. Most people don't know how to utilize the resources that are available to them. It could be better to use all resources and materials that we have for other opportunities. Someone might be struggling to get the resources you have to make an advancement in their life. For example, if you can access the internet, you can research relevant remote jobs or internships, take an online course of your interest, or create new connections via LinkedIn, etc.
Sereverien encourages young people to follow the above advice. I recommend everyone to always show kindness to others and always contribute to others’ success or happiness. Share your knowledge and wisdom so that others can be successful and achieve more in their daily activities. Sereverien has done this by helping others, considering others' challenges, and coming up with solutions.
Learn more about Sereverien Ngarukiye on his LinkedIn profile
Emmanuel Ndongereye is pursuing his Bachelors of Art in Management with a concentration in Logistics and Operations at Southern New Hampshire University at Global Education Movement. For more information, please connect with him on his LinkedIn profile. He wrote this article after taking part in Global Innovation Academy’s Interview an Innovator online course.