Ingressive for Good partnered with Geneza School of Design to help 1000 women build skills and careers in design. During the training, we realized the need and benefits of study buddies to better help the women learn and complete their courses. So we created study groups. At the end of the program, we recorded over 70% completions. Sugeng Kindness tells us about her experience leading a study group, the impact she made and the impact it had on her.
My name is Sugeng Kindness. I am a final year computer science student, University of Buea. I applied for the design scholarship because I have a thing for designing and I love doing it so I was happy at the opportunity to learn something that I love for free. I was overjoyed to have been selected out of 1000 other women which had seemed very impossible to me. I grasped the opportunity with both hands and did not let it go and so here I am not a newbie to designing anymore thanks to I4G and Geneza school of design.
I opted to be a leader of one of the learning groups. Leadership most certainly is not an easy task and so this one wasn’t just like every other. I applied to be a lead because in our world of today, very few people would actually want to take risks or have responsibility on their shoulders and so I’m one of the few who would want to carry the responsibility and set the pace for others to follow. I have a passion to serve other people and I saw being a lead as an opportunity to be of service to many people.
With leadership, I had challenges. Like when you speak in the group and expect reactions, everyone is quiet and you’re wondering if it’s because they’re offline or something and just for you to check the information about the message you sent and it’s been seen. People would read messages and not say anything and it made me feel bad on some days. I wanted to quit but then I know that quitting gets us nowhere so I had to keep pushing. I’d send more messages and hope that they responded and yeah since consistency is key they responded in the end.
It was also challenging when you go to the inboxes of most of the women to find out how they’re doing with their course and some snob you. It’s also hard to lead people when you cannot solve their problems. So when other ladies had problems that I could not solve I was devastated. It’s truly disheartening and devastating that as a leader you cannot handle the problems of the people you’re serving. Some ladies had problems with their laptops and others had health issues. It wasn’t easy but then we pulled through and most of them finished their course. That’s the joy of every leader, to be able to create positive change in the lives of those you’re leading. I’m sure that everyone who finished the course is doing something great right now or even if they’re not I know the knowledge they’ve acquired will be useful at some point in their lives.
Well speaking about benefits I gained a lot. I had an opportunity to serve others and that’s a big plus to me also I learned patience, not that I wasn’t patient but I learned how to be more patient in dealing with other people, how to approach new people and also to be more responsible. I had to be accountable for the people that were under me, so I had to follow up. It gave me a sense of responsibility because I knew that if I’m leading people and expecting them to behave in a certain way then most certainly I should be exactly how I want them to be. So it helped me correct my attitude, my work approach, my studying approach just so I can lead by example.
As a learner, I learned how to be conscious and accountable with my finances because the videos for the classes were online and you needed resources to get them. I made sure I wasn’t careless with my data so that I don’t spend it on things that will not help me. I became more responsible and managed my income and did something worthwhile with it.
I learned how to listen and be patient because we had to listen for long periods of time. I was also taught a lot of discipline because no one would have beaten me if I didn’t watch the videos. I just had to push myself on my own to watch them for myself. The main benefit of this training was an increase in my knowledge as a beginner product designer.”
You can reach Kindness here