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Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Community Day Part II

03.04.2011 - Community day continued into Friday, with a morning trip to the Kimathi University of Technology, which is just outside of Nyeri.  Students listened intensely to presentations on IBM, interviewing and career management, and a workshop on creating your own inactive whiteboard.  Dave Sloan (US) provided a great overview of IBM and Smarter Planet.  The students, faculty, and I were intrigued by Francesco’s (Italy) presentation on how to create an interactive whiteboard which typically costs $10,000 using just a Wii remote and an infrared LED pen which the students built.  They were eager to listen to recruitment and career management strategies provided by Luan (Switzerland) and Reka (Hungary).  Unlike my experience in the States, where hundreds of companies actively recruited on campus, students here are nervous because they were not sure if they will find a place to work after graduation as companies are slowly developing their African strategies and looking for more experience.  Coincidentally, one our team projects here is working with local companies and universities to develop the IT and leadership skills necessary to lead Kenya under their 2030 economic goals.  After the presentations, I had the chance to talk with fellow faculty and students, and hopefully provide some valuable insights while learning from them few things about the Kenya economy and education system; I even took a couple email addresses to serve as a mentor.  You can sense the country is investing a lot of resources into education, such as requiring by law all children go to primary school and expanding college campuses, which in time, will lead to investments by companies and hopefully property for Kenya.

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