Following this visit, we spoke to participants about their experiences with the program, the skills they’ve acquired so far, and their plans for the future.The following interviews have been lightly edited for clarity and accuracy.
Q1. What surprised you most about the class?
Lokuruka: "Several things surprised me in class. First, knowing different skills like extracting data from online database to my laptop, which can make me financially stable in life after this course. Second, how to format a given document by using formatting tools like Font type, where you can choose any type, like Times New Roman. And third, Excel formulas like RANK, where you can arrange the position of students from first to the last or vice versa. The surprising part of it is that if you have not written the correct formula, it cannot give you the correct answer, because it would give you repeated numbers like 1,1,1 or unorganized numbers like 2,3,1,4,2."
Abuk: "The fact that our facilitators are so friendly and they’re actually teaching us very well, making sure that the entire class is on the same page."
Fabiola: "In class, the thing that surprised me most are the skills that I have never heard of before, like data scraping and transcription."
Q2. What has been the hardest for you or easiest for you?
Lokuruka: "The easiest part for me is scraping data by using different methods like web scraping, creating and formatting a form, and more. I think it's hard to create a pivot table to make work easier, because it contains all the Excel formulas. What you have to do is to group them so that your work is presentable."
Abuk: "Well, there are some parts of the courses that are very technical and require more commitment and attention to be specific. Web scraping has been challenging to me."
Fabiola: "From my point of view, our program is not hard so far. But maybe Part Two includes some difficult topics, like things on Remotasks."
Q3. What is another digital skill you would like to learn?
Lokuruka: "Graphic design, because I want to know on how to design logos for a particular institution or organization."
Abuk: "Web design, web development, and coding."
Fabiola: "After our program I would like to learn web design."
Q4. Do you know each outside class?
Lokuruka: "Yes. I know them by interacting with them and by asking and answering some questions either concerning the course, or other things that are useful for life, like advice."
Abuk: "No, we all come from different communities and different places."
Fabiola: "Yes, I know many people outside the class."
Q5. How do you pick which job you are going to apply to?
Lokuruka: "[I pick] the job that I’m best at. [These jobs] also requires a person’s interest and practicing everyday so that it won’t be too challenging. Once you do [the job] each day, even once a day, you will soon be familiar with it, and ready to do it without complaint."
Abuk: "Well, we have been equipped with different skills, so choosing which job to do depends on which skill you are the most competent in."
Fabiola: "I first assess my skills and interests, and then my qualifications. I consider what I’m passionate about and where my strengths lie. I also like to set clear goals and research industries and companies."
Q6. What field are you most interested in pursuing?
Lokuruka: "Something on Freelancer.com. Through [this site] I will be able to get some jobs that match my skills like data entry, data and web scraping, transcription (where it involves transferring an audio file into text and vice versa), translation, copy typing, copy pasting, data analysis, Excel, etc."
Abuk: "I’m competent in Google Workspace, data scraping, data entry, formatting, transcription and Excel."
Fabiola: "I’m most interested in data scraping."