My Internship journey with  MPI

When I prayed to God for an internship place, I did not imagine how kind he would be to me. I simply wanted a place where I would grow my journalistic and communication skills, and build lasting professional relationships that would make me a good fit for the corporate world after my graduation. It has been eight weeks down the road at Meeting Point International (MPI) as an Intern and I cannot ask for a better internship opportunity.

Before I started my internship, I was worried about what I would put on because everyone at the university was stressing about shopping for clothes. We were all trying to ensure we impressed people as much as we could. It was not that I was walking naked or my wardrobe was empty but the pressure from my peers could not let me rest. In my quest for a placement, I applied to different organizations but it was all in vain. To my dismay, my colleagues were even paying money in order to be able to practice their journalism and communication and it was frustrating.

When Alberto (the technical admin of MPI) interviewed me ahead of my placement, I was amazed by his interest. It was as though all I was trying to do was not helping much with the impression. He wanted to dig deep into my personality which I found uncomfortable at first. That day marked a new journey of self-discovery for me.

I answered all the questions to my satisfaction until I stumbled on a simple yet tough question, “What does it mean to you when they say you have ‘a value’?” asked Alberto. I started explaining my efforts in seeing to it that I have a meaningful life. I talked about how I have fought all my life to break the glass ceiling in my family by working hard in my studies and career. I can now imagine how pitiful I looked before Alberto that day as I explained the plight of a firstborn child who was trying to change his family’s story.

This is me at the MPI offices working.

Nothing I was doing was wrong in itself but I had reduced myself to how far I could go with my school and career. I had declared myself an unhappy young man because I later learned that none of these things would fulfill me.

Later when I met Auntie Rose (the executive director of MPI), I was even more enlightened, I realized that the education Auntie Rose was giving me was not because I had to fit into the norms of the organization but because these were things I would apply in my own life lest I cheat myself. She spoke to me like a mother who was offering their child an antidote to a slow-killing insidious poison. In my context, this insidious poison is the state of having our happiness hinged on what we possess. Auntie Rose said that the desires of man are infinite yet only God can satisfy them. We do a lot to feel fulfilled yet we never get there. I learned that happiness is free and you can choose to be happy every day.  I am content because where I am right now is somebody’s prayer request so I ought to be gratefully happy. Auntie Rose lives a life of gratitude where she does not grumble about what is going wrong. I have learned to not lose my peace amidst any storm because I know I am not alone, Christ is with me.

Thank God I did not get the money to do my shopping in time because it would have been useless. No one at MPI judges you because of how you dress, walk, or talk. Value is denoted from the standpoint of humanity. The simplicity that Auntie Rose and Alberto exhibit alone is awe-inspiring. It took me a while to accept that Auntie Rose was not faking her lifestyle but it was who she was from the time she also discovered her value.

A picture of myself with the Italian student visitors at the AVSI head quarters.

I wish I could explain my transformation in words. I feel new as though a burden was lifted off of my shoulders. I am free and happy because the happiness I encountered at MPI was in itself contagious. I was given an opportunity to learn things that my course mates are dreaming of doing in their final year. There is no doubt that I am going back to Makerere University as a transformed person. I have honestly learned more than I could imagine, above all, my heart has been educated on top of my skills being enhanced.

I am so grateful to MPI for contributing towards not only my career but also my personal life. I would be an ingrate if I complained about my experience.

Written by Vancy Tomson



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