Providence Ingabire studied Hospitality Management at Akilah and graduated in 2012. She excelled in her studies, leading to a three-month summer internship with Thousand Hills Expeditions tour company based in Kigali’s tony Kiyovu neighborhood. She received intensive training in tourism management during her internship and was able to practice the skills she learned in class.
After graduating, Providence was employed full time by Individual Tours, a tour company in Kigali that caters to German- and English-speaking clients. She worked there for eleven months before moving on to Primate Safaris, one of the largest and oldest tour companies in Rwanda, where Providence saw many opportunities to rise with the pioneering organization.
Providence’s role at Primate Safaris is in reservations. She is responsible for invoicing clients, organizing itineraries, and providing specific information on places covered by the tour. Naturally, Providence relies on her fluent English skills for this fully client-facing role:
Before I came to Akilah my English skills were very basic and I had no confidence to try and improve. I was in the French system for twelve years and so had never been taught English at school. However, in my first year at Akilah my English improved so much and this is what got me an internship with a tour company and made it possible for me to manage reservations at Primate Safaris now.
Since beginning at Primate Safaris in March of this year, Providence has built on many of the skills she learned at Akilah:
Studying at Akilah has helped me so much. My instructors gave me the tools with which to develop skills and continue learning even when I’m done with school. I have developed my hospitality skills, such as how to approach and address a client and work in a team with other members of staff. I have also greatly added to my tourism knowledge of Rwanda, which I find very interesting and it makes me proud to be from this country.
Providence loves working at Primate Safaris, and has even bigger plans for the future:
A few years from now, when I feel like I have learned as much as I can from my colleagues, supervisors, and clients, I would like to manage my own tour company. Right now I know that I have much to learn and am so grateful to be here. When I feel I am ready and have enough experience, I would like to try and branch out on my own. I want to contribute to my country by becoming an entrepreneur and owning my own business.
Asked if she had any parting words for her fellow students, Providence encouraged them to jump at the opportunities that Akilah creates for students:
I took advantage of my internship, which all Akilah students are required to complete, and this is what got me jobs at both Individual Tours and Primate Safaris. I would encourage all current Akilah students to do the same: take advantage of the chance that Akilah gives you. I am so lucky to have got to where I am currently and for that I am so grateful to everyone at Akilah – it has changed my life. I have great dreams and plans for the future and none of these would be possible without the help I received in my three years at Akilah.