My New Beginning

As I prepare to spend eight weeks of my summer living and interning in Johannesburg, South Africa, I am filled with excitement and nerves. I know that these upcoming two months will be full of new experiences and memories, but I am nervous about living in another country with all new people!

This summer I will be interning at Tshimologong Precinct, a digital innovation hub in Johannesburg!

The Tshimologong Precinct is a community of future thinkers re-imagining digital innovation for a brighter, more equitable future. Setswana for “new beginnings”, Tshimologong is one of Johannesburg’s newest high-tech addresses in the vibrant inner-city district of Braamfontein, where the incubation of Digital entrepreneurs, commercialization of research and the development of high-level digital skills for students, working professionals and unemployed youth takes place.

Ultimately the innovation hub establishes a place for the community to engage in the digital revolution and create technology rather than just be a consumer, in essence creating a new beginning for African youth and more. My internship role is focused on student engagement through operational research such as key informant interviews, flash surveys, and development of a campus activation strategy and campaign.

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Focused on creating new beginnings, the Tshimologong Precinct is helping bring individuals and the country into the tech space. Upon learning about this internship opportunity I knew that it would help drive a new beginning in my own life. Despite feeling that I’ve found a home at Kelley, I have always felt some distance from the “typical Kelley path.” Unlike many, I did not begin investing in stocks at the age of five nor did I decide at age 15 that I would grow up to be a consultant. It is so easy to feel the need to immediately follow the masses to Wall Street and other corporate sectors, and I felt that as I began my internship search for this summer. I’ve always thought about working in the non-profit sector and my interest in business has been guided and motivated in part by my commitment to social justice and interest in non-profits. Last year I lived in the Civic Leaders Learning Center, where I was surrounded by students who wanted to tackle world issues and unjust policies by entering the legal field. I was constantly motivated by their passion but knew that my interests are less in the policy-making and more in the intersection between non-profit and business practices. When I learned about this internship, I quickly felt enthusiastic about the chance to do something bigger than myself. I am excited to use my business skills and experiences for a greater good in order to make a difference in the digital innovation community in South Africa.

As I embark on this new experience, new home, new job, and new friends…  I want to keep in mind what a new beginning means to me and how my internship experiences will change that meaning.  Right now, a new beginning means to me…

  • Remaining curious
  • Taking on new challenges
  • Developing a broader perspective
  • Discovering how the Digital Revolution impacts my future career

I am looking forward to immersing myself into the community I find myself in for the summer and take the time to get to know my fellow interns, co-workers, and community members. I have lots to learn from the Tshimologong Precinct and I am looking forward to sharing my experiences with family and friends! Thanks for following my journey as I develop my own new beginning.

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One thought on “My New Beginning

  1. Sophia- as you go through your research, actively avoid the pitfalls of technology, distribution and new media. Focus instead on the substance, the content, how they communicate, how they engage. Technology is a distraction that too many get tangled up in. This is a story that is human. Good luck and I can’t wait to see what you discover about a different culture and ultimately what you discover about yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

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