In line with the ethos of the MTN Group of making a meaningful impact in the markets that it operates in, MTN Namibia launched its inaugural Graduate Trainee Programme this year. There are five graduates from recognized universities accepted from over 200 applications.
The 24 month initiative by the telecommunications company is designed to give graduates the best hands-on training specific to MTN business units. The program particularly focuses on Finance, Information Technology, Networks, Marketing, Sales and Human Resources. It’s also part of the company’s contribution to skills development in Namibia. Below is a brief interview with one of the trainees, Petelina Frans (PF) on her journey thus far.
Q: Tell us about yourself and your area of study?
PF: My name is Petelina Frans. I am a 23-year-old Business Management graduate from the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). I have a background in social media marketing and can be found working on small social media advertising campaigns for SMEs and upcoming businesses. I am particularly keen on learning how to maximize business efforts through marketing and customer service. I also like to tackle projects that have an impact on the community such as environmental awareness projects and youth engagement on social issues through both active and passive projects.
Q: How did you hear about the MTN management trainee program and what motivated you to apply?
PF: I first saw the advertisement on social media (Twitter). I applied because it was one of the very few programs that was specifically aimed at graduates of all fields of study who had little to no prior work experience.
Q: What impact has the MTN initiative had on your life?
PF: As one of the youngest here, the MTN initiative has allowed for somewhat of a head start into my career. I’ve learned how to navigate my way around professionals who I would otherwise never had the opportunity of engaging with if it wasn’t for MTN. The opportunity allowed for access to several platforms of learning and engagement. My working methods with colleagues and my approach to business has completely changed for the better. I truly believe the lessons I’ve learned here will stay with me throughout my career.
Q: How do you describe your journey so far since you joined the program?
PF: My journey has been truly exciting. I am tasked with something new almost every day and given the opportunity to learn and do more than my scope of study. It’s especially exciting to be surrounded by industry professionals who are more than willing to teach you the ‘tricks of the trade.’
Q: In terms of learning, would you say it’s providing the much needed on the job training you expected?
PF: Definitely. In the four months I have been here, I would say the transition into the job has been fairly smooth and this is because of the continuous training, mentoring and support I receive on a daily basis.
Q: What would you say are the five things that you have learned and stand out for you?
• You cannot remove the administration process from your business, no matter how unconventional or different it may be
• Transparency, in terms of business process and end goals, creates trust, comfort and boosts work ethic amongst employees
• Company culture plays a big role in how employees in all departments interact and ultimately, the success of the organization
• Do not limit yourself to only what you studied
• Know your industry, especially your customer and how to best meet their needs
Q: What can you say has been the most challenging aspect of the program?
PF: I only recently completed my Honors in Business Management. Time management has been very challenging. I had to balance both work and school.
Q: What would you say to those that might want to apply for the program?
PF: Go for it! If there’s any program that helps boost your career and allows you to be fully involved in the industry and business, it’s this one.