Library Intern’s Work Pays Off in Afghan Government

Sayeda Korga during written test of USAID Promote: Women in Government internship program.
Sayeda Korga takes a written test as part of USAID’s Promote: Women in Government internship program.
USAID
Assistant gains skills, proves her value, wins job
“I achieved my dream job, and this proves to me that other interns will also get their desired jobs.”

June 2017—Sayeda Korga began working as an intern with the Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture in March 2016. She describes her experience as very challenging, but a learning process.

As an intern working in the ministry’s library, Korga learned to be flexible in sharing office space, to coordinate with other employees, and to be comfortable working outside the home all day with male colleagues in one department. She also gained technical knowledge and the skills of a professional librarian.

Korga was one of the pilot interns participating in USAID’s Promote: Women in Government program.

As she became familiar with the working environment of the library, Korga researched different approaches to library management, added other employees to her professional network, and demonstrated her ability to the library director. As a result of her dedication, hard work, and willingness to work in government, the director encouraged her to apply for a permanent position.

Within 10 days of completing the internship practicum, Korga officially became the first intern to advance to full-time employment. She applied for the position of library assistant at the ministry and passed the initial written test, which provided the chance to compete against 35 other applicants. Korga was then selected for an interview and was one of five to move on to the next phase of the recruitment process. Finally, she was chosen for the position.

Korga shared the good news: “The ministry hired me! This is an exciting job!”

In this new role, Korga will assist the public library director in carrying out daily functions of the library and assisting librarians with the acquisition, preparation and organization of literature and information.

Korga was initially discouraged by the complexity of the government recruitment process, but she is now completing the onboarding steps before starting her new job. After receiving the job offer, she now feels she has accomplished a great deal. “I achieved my dream job,” she says, “and this proves to me that other interns will also get their desired jobs.”

USAID’s Promote: Women in Government program offers a 12-month intensive training for young female university and high school graduates for professional jobs in the government. The training takes the women through all facets of civil service work for six months, trains them for leadership in another three months, and immerses them in hands-on office work in various government offices in their final three months with the program.

As of April 2017, the project has graduated 118 women, 32 of whom are now employed, while an additional 27 are completing the hiring process in various agencies. The program, which runs from 2015 to 2020, is currently training 1,600 women in Kabul, Herat, Balkh and Kandahar, with plans to expand to Nangarhar.

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Last updated: October 31, 2017

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