Changing lives, changing the IT profession, one woman at a time

Adapt IT’s Internship Programme

Adapt IT’s intern programme is playing a role in opening up opportunities to young people, especially of those from rural areas where opportunities are scarce.

By Angeline Mthombeni, Manager: Client Support Adapt IT Education

Former President Nelson Mandela is often quoted as saying: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” It’s a lesson that we at Adapt IT Education have taken to heart, and are putting into action via our internship programme. An added goal is to use the programme to help redress the gender imbalance in IT, traditionally a male-dominated industry.

With that in mind, it’s no surprise that of the 2019-20 intake of 16 interns, nine are women. Most interns are drawn from educational institutions that are Adapt IT clients.

Black women carry a heavy burden when it comes to raising children and looking after the extended family, so giving them opportunities to build a career has a potential impact on many people.

We need a broad set of skills to support our products; we achieve this through a partnership approach where we collaborate and co-create development opportunities with clients. In this way we pilot new solutions and assist with the commercialisation of products developed by partners which benefits both.

For the interns, the first step is to undergo an interview, either in person or telephonically. If budget allows, we do try to arrange accommodation for the first month—that can be a big help.

It’s worth mentioning that one thing that we’ve noticed over the years is that many of the interns lack the skills to put together a good CV that presents them and their career aspirations effectively. It seems likely that most young people would benefit from some help in this important area, which is crucial for securing that all-important interview.


Winning the war for talent

I always like to emphasise that the internship programme does not benefit only the interns—Adapt IT and its partners also score. Of the current 2019-20 intake, two are jointly sponsored with a customer.

Luxolo Rubushe, our Divisional Executive, Adapt IT Education, puts it well: “For Adapt IT and its customers, it’s very important to be able to attract and retain the best IT talent. This programme allows us to reach out to a largely untapped talent pool, and supports our strategy to become an employer of choice. In turn, this means we are better placed to attract recruits from elsewhere in the industry.”

For the recruits themselves, the internship opens up numerous opportunities not only within the Education division but across the whole Adapt IT group. We hope to continue opening doors for young people – especially women – in IT for many years to come.

A Story of Hope and a Passport to the Future

Examples of what these internships can mean to people abound. In just one case, the internship programme gave one individual the means to build a fence around her parents’ dwelling—and since she was taken onto the permanent staff, she has begun building them a house.

One of our current interns, Simamkele Madlangati, got her chance when she placed a post on LinkedIn – seeking employment and  looking for ways to advance her career after completing a diploma in IT (specialising in communication networks). Up to that time she had failed to secure a position and resorted to selling oranges on the street in an effort to support herself.  Our Divisional Executive, Luxolo, saw the post and was hugely impressed by Simamkele’s drive; determination and spirit. He recommended her for the internship programme and she was offered an interview.   She joined in August and we hope it’s the beginning of a successful career for her. 

Written by Amanda Gibbs

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