Reuben Kadé's iKapa experience
Updated: Mar 26, 2021
We caught up with past intern Reuben Kadé who is socially-minded and technically-trained. Read what he had to say about his time as an intern in Cape Town.
4 fun-fact questions:
1. Favourite South African food/snack?
2. Most memorable “tourist activity” you experienced while in SA?
Voelklip Beach in Hermanus (with a decent Surf)
3. Funniest/quirkiest/most interesting South African saying or slang word that you came across?
4. Describe your internship experience in South Africa using only 3 words…
Veritable learning eruption
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I grew up in Stellenbosch, a small town outside of Cape Town. This is where I studied industrial engineering. After a little while working in Johannesburg I moved to London where I currently work in finance. My work uses technological and quantitative methods to model financial markets.
What led you to volunteer/do an internship at iKapa Impact?
I wanted to apply the theory I learnt in my engineering degree in a practical setting. However, I wanted to do this in a socially impactful way that would hopefully in some shape or form add value to my community. The internship through iKapa Impact seemed like the perfect way to achieve both these objectives.
Tell us about the project that you worked on while doing your internship.
I worked on designing and writing up the specifications for an information system that was used at Connect Network (the organization I interned at) to manage affiliate/member/stakeholder information. This involved understanding the needs of the organization’s staff and areas of improvement within the current process. In the final stages I had discussions with vendors to gauge their offerings and senior executives within the organization to understand financial constraints and strategic direction of the overall NGO.
You helped the NGO map their data management systems, what are your thoughts about how NGOs could be better at this?
In my opinion a major problem faced by NGOs is a technological skills shortfall. This is driven by multiple factors, for example good technical expertise is expensive. I am not sure of a way to completely address this. However, possible first steps could be enrolling selected employees in Coursera technology courses and/or finding a tech-lead (engineer) to voluntarily provide strategic guidance.
Did your internship influence your career path in any way and if so, how?
It is very possible but it’s too early to tell! I can say it further encouraged me to pursue my passion of using technology to add value to an organisation.
What was your biggest take away from your time as an intern/volunteer?
I saw the importance of communication across a diverse organisation and more importantly that many people make big personal sacrifices to make a small difference in the world, which is inspiring.
What piece of advice would you give to new interns thinking about applying to iKapa?
If there is a clear career path in your mind, like working in finance or becoming a researcher, the internships through iKapa Impact provide an amazing opportunity to make a meaningful impact while broadening your horizons and taking an “internship” less travelled. I think this unique experience ultimately benefits you in the long run. Rather than pursuing a more conventional internship experience the types of internships you could do through iKapa Impact will give you unique insights that others who followed the road most travelled would not have.