Intern: Wezi Mulenga, 10,000 Able Interns 2022/23
Organisation: Ford – Creative & Culture – IT Summer Intern
Hey Wezi, nice to meet you! Congratulations on your Summer ‘23 internship with our Able Interns programme. Tell us about yourself?
My name is Wezi, and I finished the Able Interns programme at Ford. My interests are poetry and spoken word – I like writing on my notes in my spare time about my personal life. I also like going out to networking events in London and having conversations with others on industry related topics. I look for different ways in which companies operate and see what I can contribute to.
I’m also interested in diversity and inclusion, particularly for ethnicity and neurodivergence. I want to help out people who couldn’t get to where I got to and want to share my experience with this testimonial.
What made you apply for an internship with 10,000 Able Interns?
I’m neurodivergent, but it is hidden. So many people see me as part of the Black Interns programme. But I wanted to find work experience in an industry that I’m interested in by connecting with companies who can help me and I can add value to in the future.
I applied for 10,000 Able Interns because I wanted to see what I actually like and what I don’t like in an industry through the programme. Not many companies hire disabled people through an internship programme that guides them in the hiring process but also the onboarding process that comes after.
Thank you for the kind words, Wezi. An evergreen part of our mission is nurturing our interns’ skills and sense of self.
Which leads me to my next question. We encourage our interns to recognise and be vocal about their strengths. What’s your biggest strength?
Networking. I love speaking with others irrespective of their job title and how senior they are. Curiosity is also my strength – I look into different industries and companies to figure out who I can speak to and network with.
Skilful communication is really valuable, for networking or recruitment itself. How was your experience of the recruitment process?
The process was quite nice. I got the interview questions beforehand from the company and received pre-recording training and information workshops from 10,000 Able Interns to prepare myself. I could apply the information I learned about CV’s and interviews to the recruitment process right away.
That’s really good to hear. We want to make sure training and reasonable adjustments (like advanced access to interview questions) happen at every stage of our recruitment process.
So, you ended up interning with Ford. What were some of your best moments during your internship?
About half of my intern cohort was from 10,000 Black Interns, and I was from 10,000 Able Interns. The best part about the internship was that I could reach out to people, anyone in the organisation, no matter how senior they are. Having the flexibility to say “Hi” to the CTO, director, and manager of managers.
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to apply for an internship?
Apply with your best self. Don’t apply with the perspective of “I can get rejected”. Add everything that is relevant as possible to your application as if it’s the only job available, so that you can give it your all and not have any regrets.
When you get an interview, bring up different experiences. As long as they are somewhat related to the questions in a clear way, your responses will be able to see you through. Try to turn your interview into more of a conversation – I talked about my neurodiversity to bring questions towards my experience.
There’s a lot of rich wisdom in your responses. Who/what inspires you?
I’m inspired by the different inequalities that exist, especially in terms of social mobility, class systems, ethnicity, and neurodivergence. I think about what I can do – not only am I affected by it, but it is also something I can change by working in my career in a different way. It develops my character and mentality, and I want to help others who are also stuck in developing their character or mentality to make change.
There’s that wisdom again.
On a final, and much lighter note, what is your comfort food and why?
The food that I run to is Starbursts, the sweet, especially the red strawberry flavour. I go to different Sainsbury’s to get different Startbursts. Eating the sweet, I like to look down and look up, just reflecting and contemplating on life.
Is there anything else you would like to say for our readers?
Look! I’m neurodivergent and I’m working at Ford. If I can do it, why can’t you?