Alumna Spotlight: Ernestine Mukundiyukuri

ernestineErnestine has always been a hard worker. When she first arrived at Akilah, she was a French speaker with little experience communicating in English. While studying at Akilah, she worked part-time as the Customer Liaison for Azizi Life, and during the summer before her last year at Akilah, she completed an internship as a Human Resources Administrative Assistant at CORAR Insurance Company in Kigali.

As Ernestine approached graduation, she went through a competitive application process with Marriott International. She was offered a position as a Human Resources Clerk at the Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal, a Marriott Hotel based in the United Arab Emirates. Immediately following graduation, Ernestine flew to Abu Dhabi to begin her exciting new career.

In her new role at the Ritz Carlton, Ernestine’s daily responsibilities include internal event coordination, new hire tracking, overseeing the employee locker room and dining hall, and helping to train and acclimate new employees.

My favorite part of my job is that I am constantly learning something new.

IMG-20140806-WA002Ernestine says that she applies the leadership skills she learned at Akilah to her job every day.

My biggest challenge here is that everyone has different perceptions, as we come from 60 different countries. But I use both my nature and the skills I learned at Akilah to earn credibility. By working hard with great attention and confidence, as we learned in Akilah’s leadership courses, I have now impressed everyone!

Not only has Ernestine gained the respect of her co-workers, but she has also made many new friends from around the world.

They gave me the nickname ‘Rwandan Queen’ as I am the only Rwandese of the 500 employees we have.

Ernestine also relies heavily on the English skills she gained at Akilah.

Everything I learned at Akilah I am using now, especially English. Today, I don’t have any problems communicating or doing public speaking in English.

Ernestine’s career has shown her that nothing is impossible and she hopes that all Akilah students reach for the stars.

I want to tell all Akilah students to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more.