An Entrepreneur in Training at Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology: Mentorship Got Me Here
An interview with Derrick Mwiti, Lapid Leader Cohort 3 and MultiMedia University ’17
Tell us about yourself
I have an academic background in Mathematics and Computer Science from Multimedia University of Kenya. I am driven by attaining great results in every task that I undertake. I am currently an Entrepreneur In Training(EIT) at Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology(MEST) in Accra, Ghana. I am passionate about technology and how it can be used in Africa to solve problems, create wealth and employ the African talent. I am also an alumnus of the Lapid Leaders Africa (LLA) program.
Tell us about your journey at LLA?
I joined the Lapid Leaders program in February 2016. Through the intensive program, I was able discover my personality, strengths and weaknesses. This helped me better understand myself and enabled me to work with other people more effectively.
I was fortunate to attend the 3-day Lapid Leaders Career Preparedness Bootcamp II which completely changed my life. I was able to upgrade my LinkedIn profile which has helped me obtain many opportunities. The Bootcamp prepared me with the skills required to ace any interview process.
In addition, through the flagship program, I was equipped with the skills that made me with work and world ready e.g. critical thinking, interviewing, communication, creative thinking, leadership and entrepreneurship skills.The entrepreneurship skills in particular helped me run my business in Kenya better. I was able restructure my business through the design thinking and business model canvas classes.
After completing the program I got a chance to serve in the Lapid Leaders Council (LLC). The LLC is usually made up of Lapid Leaders who have just graduated. They help in running the day to day activities of the organization. I got a chance to work as the President of the Connect and Recruit Docket.
My team’s role was tasked with the responsibility of spearheading the activities that would recruit more young people to join the program. I led my team to see an increase of 83% in the number of people who joined the next cohort (i.e from 30 to 55).We were able to do this by implementing new strategies such going to churches and running university drives etc. This experience helped me during the MEST interview to portray my leadership skills.I also served as a coach for two teams at Lapid which helped me develop my analytical skills and improve my people skills. Lapid has given me a great story to tell and it’s a story of excellence.
What influencing tools acquired in LLA are you currently using?
As a person I am definitely more self aware because of the practical training at LLA. I also have a higher level of emotional intelligence which helps me relate well with people. I learnt how to lead and work in teams at Lapid. It is a very important skill here at MEST because everything here is done in teams. I learnt how to write critically and objectively at Lapid and it is skill that is very useful in my blogging. I learnt how to keep a team motivated which is proving to be a very influential skill.
How did the Lapid Travel Experience assist in getting you to where you are?
As part of the program I got a chance to travel to Ethiopia. I was the project manager for the whole trip. I was in charge of ensuring that the team arrived early for all meetings. I used that experience during the MEST application to illustrate my leadership experience and ability to work effectively in teams.It also helped me show my ability to adjust easily in new environments and achieve the intended results.
The experience gave me a Pan-African mindset in the sense that even when coming up with solutions I think about how they can be applied to the whole African market. The experience in Ethiopia helped me to adjust quickly when I got to Accra since I had already interacted with people with different languages, culture and food in Ethiopia.
Some of the Lapid Leaders have gotten an opportunity to travel to Russia and take part in the World Festival of Youth and Students. Why do you think it will be a great opportunity for the team?
World Festival of Youth and Students will be the largest event in the field of international youth cooperation and will bring together more than 20,000 of young people from 150 countries around the world. This a great opportunity for the Lapid Leaders to learn from over 20,000 other young people. It is bound to change how they think and view the world. They will definitely acquire a global mindset which is crucial in creating solutions for the world. It is a chance for them to learn cultures from 150 countries.
The Lapid Leaders Experience got me here! I would highly recommend it to other young people. Sign up here.