From Novice to a Star: A Journey of Empowerment and Growth

By Felicite Dusabe

September 26, 2023

HR Professional

In the realm of Human Resources, there's a particular joy in witnessing the transformative journey of an individual within an organization. Today, I share a story that embodies the power of mentorship, adaptability, communication, and empathy – qualities that make a great HR professional.

Some time ago, I had the privilege of meeting a young woman from Canada who was embarking on a Junior Professional Consultant contract within UNDP Rwanda. Her journey began with a suitcase full of dreams and a heart full of ambition. Yet, the challenges that lay ahead were significant. How would she smoothly transition into a new organization, and more importantly, adapt to a new country with a distinct context? These were questions that weighed heavily on her mind.

Recognizing her understandable apprehension, I decided to take on the role of a mentor. It became my mission to ensure her successful integration into the organization. I facilitated her induction, helping her navigate the intricacies of her new environment. It was during this phase that I witnessed her remarkable adaptability. She quickly absorbed new skills, learned to understand the local context, and became an invaluable contributor to our team.

As her contract term came to a close after one renewal, she found herself at a crossroads. The prospect of an uncertain future began to cast shadows of anxiety over her. However, I firmly believed in her potential. It was at this juncture that I decided to provide her with some tools that could help her flourish.

I started by helping her craft a compelling CV that showcased her newfound skills and experiences. But I didn't stop there. Recognizing the importance of effective communication in her job search, I provided comprehensive training in Competency-Based Interviewing (CBI). This not only boosted her confidence but also made her a more attractive candidate to potential employers.

Navigating the labyrinth of job opportunities can be daunting for anyone, especially in a foreign country. I decided to guide her on how to seek new prospects. Through a mix of empathy and practical advice, I encouraged her to step out of her comfort zone and explore new horizons.

Today, my heart swells with immense pride as I witness her transformation from a newcomer in Rwanda to a distinguished member of the United Nations. She epitomizes the spirit of adaptability, seamlessly mastering the art of assimilating into new environments. Her honed communication skills and some rigorous trainings have elevated her into a highly sought-after candidate within her field.

This experience reminded me of my supervisor, who intentionally guided and mentored me in my first professional job, which underscores the value of mentorship in nurturing talent and fostering professional growth.

Today, the young lady stands ready, as I once did, to guide and empower others. In the grand cycle of mentorship, she has become a deliberate leader herself, committed to honing the skills and talents of those who follow her path. As she continues to shine ever more brilliantly, may her story serve as an inspiration for others, encouraging them to embrace their own transformative journeys and reach for the stars.

Felicite Dusabe is a Human Resources expert working with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Rwanda. She uses her skills to contribute to Rwanda's sustainable development and economic growth through the recruitment, training and coaching of talented individuals.