We have a culture of inspiring others, giving constructive feedback and sharing skills and knowledge to support each other.
Regardless of the nature of your work or where you are at in your career, life skills are critical to your success. Life skills might not be highlighted as a formal requirement by companies but they top the list of the unwritten requirements.
Yusudi has been at the forefront of equipping individuals, especially the youth, with life skills that complement academic qualifications and enhance professional development. Yusudi goes above and beyond by providing paid internship placements for their graduates.
We had a chat with Rodgers Owoko, Trainer & Life Skills Program Lead at Yusudi to provide insight on the importance of life skills training.
Tell us something about yourself and what you do at Yususdi
My name is Rodgers Owoko. I am currently the Life Skills Program Lead at Yusudi.
What is Yusudi life skills development program about?
It is a 5-month program that seeks to equip graduates with career skills and entrepreneurship skills. These enable them to package themselves and showcase their skills in relevant environments. In addition, they can proactively self-learn to cover any gaps they might have or work on business ideas that they might have. The first month involves full-time life skills training at our training spaces at Yusudi. Trainees are engaged in interactive training sessions, practical group tasks and personalized coaching sessions.
After training, they are matched with one of our SME partners and intern there for a period of 4 months. A Yusudi coach has bi-monthly sessions with them. Our dedicated team of account managers gather feedback from the employers and this information is shared with the intern’s coach. Based on the intern’s performance, the intern-taker might employ them. We currently have a 60% conversion rate of interns to employees.
What aspects are covered during the training program?
We have categorized our sessions into 6 sections:
● Self-learning for continuous improvement
● Communication with confidence
● Professional approach
● Pro-activity in everyday actions
● Entrepreneurial outlook
● Internship-based skills (Marketing, Business Development, Administration and Customer Service.)
How personalized would you say the trainings are?
We have two groups per cohort of about 15 trainees each. During training, we use different techniques such as Q&A sessions, storytelling, role-playing, case studies and small group discussions and presentations. We actively engage the participants and maintain a comfortable environment for everyone to express themselves.
Another key thing we do is personalized coaching. Every trainee is assigned a coach. We have weekly coaching sessions during the one-month training. We are able to identify the challenges that trainee might be facing and guide them to find their own solutions. The coaching is maintained throughout the internship on a bi-monthly basis, and it helps every trainee to open up and improve under the coach’s guidance.
As a fresh graduate or job seeker, why should I enroll in the Yusudi Life Skills Training Program?
If you are looking to:
● Learn how to package your skills and experiences and present them in relevant environments.
● Enhance your interpersonal skills through practical and fun group activities.
● Discover yourself and figure out how to start and develop your career.
● Grow your soft skills so that you can stand out from your competitors.
On successfully completing the program, the students are placed in the partner companies for paid internships to build up experience. What has the impact been like in terms of numbers?
By end of 2017, we have
80+ total employers
65% job placement rate from our Life Skills Program Graduates
4000+ applicants to our program
400+ full-time program graduates
How best would you describe what you do at Yusudi?
I lead a team of trainers running the Life Skills Program i.e. session development, delivery and coaching. I also continuously research on employers’ needs to adapt our content and gather feedback from our trainees to remain relevant and impactful.
For how long have you been a trainer?
I started as a trainer for 1 year, and then grew into a Program Lead in the past 7 months.
How did you get started on creating your passion into the profession you have today?
Pre-Yusudi, I used to coach my friends on relationships, career direction and business ideas. A friend of mine who currently runs a dance company decided to hire me to be his business coach. I did that for about 2 years. My passion for working with young people and the ability to empathize with them were instrumental in my growth.
What do you like about what you do as an employee at Yusudi?
The fun part is when there is a challenge that needs to be solved. I love ideation and applying some design thinking approaches to come up with solutions. This is all about always considering the customer’s perspective before coming up with a solution. I apply design thinking to crafting engaging sessions, brainstorming with the marketing team on content creation or even helping our SME Service Specialist to grow the value we provide to our partners. We have a culture of inspiring others, giving constructive feedback and sharing skills and knowledge to support each other.
If I am hoping to join Yusudi as an employee, what qualities should I have?
● Exemplifying humble ambition: You are good at what you do, but you don’t rub it in people’s faces. You are open to sharing your knowledge and skills with others. Always willing to challenge others to become the best version of themselves.
● Shaping connections: You are always seeking to develop meaningful connections with colleagues, clients and others around you. You seek to empathize with others.
● Growing ingenuity: You pursue self-improvement and are open to learning from others. You can voice your thoughts to help solve issues.
● Being authentic: You love who you are and accept your weaknesses. You also accept others for who they are. You strive to find your own niche.
● Will to be happy: You don’t let circumstances determine your happiness. You embrace both good and bad times.
How do you keep yourself updated with the latest developments and ideas in training?
● I am very active on LinkedIn. I have connections with people involved in developing innovative and effective teaching and learning methods.
● I want to focus more on networking events where I can increase my knowledge.
● I also seek out online courses that can enhance my skills.