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Late to the party but better late than never. When I left the village for NBO, about 10 years ago, looking for a pupillage position (mandatory requirement by KE School of Law), I knew nobody. I went building to building & door to door but none was forthcoming for various
...reasons. Many of the potential pupil masters either didn’t have space in their offices or couldn’t afford to take on a pupil. I was also a nobody. My dad’s name wasn’t on anyone’s Christmas card invite list. I was desperate. I had a looming KSL deadline. Not getting a stipend
...was the least of my problems. I needed a pupillage position 1st to meet KSL requirements. Would figure out the cash later. Eventually the AG’s Chambers offered me a place (eternally grateful to Abdalla) but there was NO stipend offered. It was such a relief, nonetheless.
My pocket money (from dad) could only cover 20/30 days so there were days I couldn’t go to work. Working as a video cameraman covering weddings in NBO helped a great deal (I’d occasionally bump into former classmates & some of them (ladies) would pretend we’d never met 😜)....
...I played along not to embarrass them in their fancy dresses, but I digress. Around this time, I met someone who didn’t care that she had to jump over a water (more like sewage) logged dump fill to get to my house in Uthiru and I knew that I’d struck GOLD; back to the story...
Over the years I’ve helped a few people to hunt for/get attachment,internship, pupillage positions. It’s not easy. Many have declined simply because they couldn’t afford to hire them. We’ve had to work out certain quid-pro-quo arrangements with others to make it work. One time..
...I offered my pay for deduction. Luckily, the company agreed to cover the pay.With School deadlines looming, it’s always a challenge getting the few available slots. Going by my experience, the following are my observations:
1. Those that can afford to, please pay your interns
2. For those that can’t honestly afford to pay their interns (whatever mode of stipend), please go ahead and offer places (within the confines of the law) to them to learn. Your tutelage and the giving of your time will likely add more value than any amount will ever do.....
3. At the beginning of your career, the greatest focus should be on learning and not earning (to the greatest extent possible). I have classmates who chose a paycheck over the right experience. I remember one coming to me in 2013 requesting me to employ her as a legal officer...
...she’d gone into mainstream banking (not legal) and had worked for 6 years only to realize that it wouldn’t get her anywhere. I was jobless for 2 years while she was working. Prior, we interviewed at the late Okwatch’s firm. She was picked. I wasn’t. It’s not how you start!
4. If 2 opportunities are presented at the early days of your career: one that pays well but offers fewer learning opportunities and another that pays lower but offers great learning opportunities in the areas you’d like to grow your expertise in, take the lower paying job...
...it will pay-off in the end. Money should be a by-product and not the focus. I believe that money always follows talent. Concentrate on becoming the best in your chosen field. This may require that you exercise deferred gratification and great sacrifice on your part....
This thread is not for everyone. There are those that can’t afford to exercise the foregoing suggestions due to various circumstances. There are those that can but will miss out on greater opportunities later because of playing short. Play the long game, always (if you can).
Threads are quite limiting and not everything can be said here but I’ll be happy to interact further with anyone starting out in their careers and who may need to make clarifications. Please DM. This thread is not a prescription, just some of my experiences and observations.
Finally, as earlier stated, I didn’t have a paid internship. Would have loved to. However, I’m grateful, to date, that I got the opportunity. I learnt more about the workings of government in those 6 months than from all my interactions with them in the last 10 years. The End.
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