PAICTA is an exceptional nonprofit organization that has continuously demonstrated its commitment to guiding and supporting the youth. Since its inception, PAICTA has never wavered in its mission to provide hope, digital skills development and employment opportunities to those who have felt lost or lacked hope. With a strong belief in the potential of every individual, PAICTA tirelessly strives to make the youth more employable through various training and opportunities. Inclusive and welcoming, PAICTA warmly embraces students from different faculties, assuring them that it is never too late to embark on a career in the tech industry. Recognizing the vast scope and impact of technology, PAICTA not only focuses on the technical aspects but also emphasises how it can improve people’s lives. Therefore, the organization offers mentorship and growth opportunities to support young individuals in the industry and fosters a nurturing environment for all youth.
Recognizing the pivotal role internships play in shaping the careers of young individuals, PAICTA strives to provide valuable opportunities and resources to help them thrive in the tech industry. PAICTA understands that internships serve as a stepping stone towards a successful career, and through its dedication and commitment, the organization ensures that intern students receive relevant and practical experiences that contribute to their professional growth and development. With its vast network of industry experts and mentors, PAICTA offers mentorship, training, and hands-on projects to equip intern students with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their chosen field. By offering a nurturing and supportive environment, PAICTA empowers intern students, setting them on the path to success in the tech industry.
In order to provide unemployed graduates with opportunities in the tech industry, PAICTA has partnered with MICT SETA in an internship program. Together, they provide graduates with mentorship, coaching, networking opportunities, and access to information. PAICTA interns also share their working experiences, growth, mistakes, and advice with other interns looking to enter the field.
From software developing to designing and coding, interns at PAICTA are receiving the full working experience to gain experience and kickstart their careers in technology. Many interns shared the benefits of working at PAICTA from job experience, exposure to software development, research training, mentorship, and guidance in career goals, just to mention a few.
The opportunity to work with others proved to build confidence in many, especially when working in a team, not only did they develop technical skills (on their own and in groups), but they also developed personal skills that they can now use outside of a professional setting and build long lasting working relationships with others, some interns admitted to lacking communication and teamwork skills before the internship, but now they excel in various areas and can express themselves effectively.
Others learnt new things about themselves, they have proven growth, others even unlearning “bad habits.”
In an interview, interns share their experiences and what they have gained through their internships.
Sanelisiwe who is one of the interns at PAICTA shares his perspective on his internship, and how every day has been an opportunity to develop his skills and explore new things. Sanelisiwe gained leadership, communication, and writing skills, as well as new programming skills during his internship, and these various skills have since shaped his life for the better. “I believe that an internship program is a need for all graduates, especially if you are fresh from varsity, as it gives you the necessary tools to transition from the classroom to the work environment, the space is not too harsh while teaching you how to be efficient and to survive the working environment, and internships are important for self-development and being a team player,” says Sanelisiwe.
Another intern, Yandiswa admits to having done some mistakes at the beginning of her internship and is grateful for the opportunity and mentoring it took for her to change to new healthy habits. She says that she used to procrastinate quite a lot at the start of her internship as she was not used to committing, and with the proper training and mentoring she realized the importance of acting promptly and decisively. Yandiswa also says that she specifically chose a career in the digital space as it is out of the norm in the rural areas, and she wanted a change from the usual careers people are known for, and she says that it is the best decision she has ever made.
In her interview, Precious says that being a software developer was not her first choice in varsity, she in fact wanted to do psychology yet she was only accepted for her second choice, and she is now grateful for that second choice as she enjoys this challenging space, and it was made for her, she is thankful for the career change as she does not see herself doing something else.
In an interview with Zimkitha, one of PAICTA’s interns, she states that she believes that the government hasn’t done enough to help graduates who are sitting at home without jobs, but she is grateful for MICT SETA and PAICTA for “stepping up and bridging the gap, and helping the youth with funding and job opportunities, especially in the digital space,” she says.
Yonda realizes that this internship opportunity was is exactly what she needed as it helped her face some of her deepest challenges she had in her own personal life. She even says:
“At first I was overwhelmed as I was not used to doing anything because I did not have a job for such a long time, but as time went by during my internship, I realized that I needed this challenge in my life and pressure is like mold, the more pressure you give it, the more perfect you will be shaped, and working under pressure shapes you in the corporate world.”
Working together in a team and having emotional intelligence to understand what is required from all of you as a team is one of the challenges that interns face when working through an internship, but the same challenges that interns face later become one of their strong strengths and skills, others even develop great leadership skills that assist them in their career paths, and the most rewarding part of the internship for most interns, if not all, is the new skills they never thought they could master because they simply thought they could not do it, yet when they succeeded, it was the most rewarding and encouraging aspect of their internship journeysꓸ
The interns at PAICTA exemplify the transformative power of perseverance and determination. Originating from disadvantaged or rural areas, they defy the odds and demonstrate that success knows no boundaries. These interns serve as living examples that it is never too late to redirect one’s path, even if they may have taken a different course in university or pursued unrelated subjects in high school. PAICTA’s inclusive and supportive environment welcomes individuals from diverse backgrounds, allowing them to explore and excel in the tech industry regardless of their initial academic choices. These interns prove that with the right opportunities and a nurturing workspace, an internship can be the spark that pushes them towards achieving their dreams and forging a fulfilling career.