Confessions of an Amani Alumni
February 11, 2014
This post was written by Marcis Vanadzins from Latvia, an alumni from the 2013 class of the Certificate in Social Innovation Management. In which he warns prospective Amani participants about what to expect from their Amani experience.
How it is different from other educational institutions out there:
- Much more engaging. Internship, studies, mentors, peer-to-peer coaching is an intense, but also rewarding combination.
- No grades, no exams or tests so people get out of the academia mindsets and understand that they learn for themselves.
- Networking, networking, networking. Nairobi is THE HUB for NGOs, foreign companies and organizations and besides the Amani network, it is very easy to network on your own. People are very open and easy to approach.
- Learning to focus not only on career and social issues, but also to understand yourself as an individual. Not to burn out or lose control of one’s life. It is so important for future leaders – otherwise rehab awaits.
- The location. Nairobi has its own rules of the game, it sometimes drives you nuts, but I can’t think of a better place to experience so much in such a short time. Africa is back on the global investment map big time and Nairobi is the place where it all starts for East Africa.
The ideal profile for an Amani student:
- Curiosity is key. A bit of courage. Add creativity and a spoonful of independent thinking. Voila!
- Amani students are not satisfied with the ‘normal’ lifestyle. They are people who go outside their comfort zones often and shake people up, try new approaches and are good analytic observers. They can be artists, economists, programmers, teachers, doctors or businessmen. The profile is not important, the aforementioned mindset is.
- When I hear the word ‘family’ used in a corporate environment, it makes me think very sarcastic thoughts, however, Amani manages to create this family feeling right away. It is a very, very, very personal, intimate and enriching experience based on sharing, therefore an Amani student should be open and willing to share.