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Skills for Projects: Huda's Internship at HWA

Huda Ise, is a 2023 Business Management graduate from Hargeisa University. She was hired to support the Project Administrator of the SDF-funded Hargeisa Water Expansion Project as an intern at the Hargeisa Water Agency (HWA). 

Huda heard about the internship from Hargeisa University's Ignite Center, where graduating students learn how to find jobs.

After winning the internship, Huda was placed on a three-month reflective internship as part of the Project Management Team that run the SDF-funded Hargeisa Water Expansion Project. She received induction training about how SDF works and her new role. Before landing the internship, Huda anticipated that the new job would help her improve her communication skills, office work, and learn new skills to lead her to gainful employment.

According to her, the best part of the internship was when she visited the project site and saw how people are working on the water expansion activities. Whenever she had difficulties, the Project Administrator offered direction. During this internship, Huda learned and developed a thorough understanding of the procurement processes of the project operations, petty cash management, maintaining records, and improved her communication skills.

"I remember studying petty cash as a simple accounting concept, but during my internship, I discovered that there are numerous processes involved, making it more complex than I initially thought. At university, we only learned about the concept, but during my internship, I gained hands-on experience in its procurement and compliance sides, as well as the documentation required," says Huda, highlighting the difference between theoretical learning in the university and practical learning during her internship.

"I have contributed by improving the office's filing system," says Huda. "The biggest impact of the internship is that it has increased my confidence. I no longer have doubts about handling similar roles. Additionally, I have learned how to work effectively in a multicultural environment. As a result, I feel career-ready, even if I don't end up being employed here. I am well-prepared for another role after the internship, with improved skills and, most importantly, enhanced communication skills," says Huda confidently.

Huda advises young people to improve their people skills and improve their personality and attitude to be successful in their careers. "I would advise young people to focus on their communication skills and be confident in themselves. It is also important to have a positive attitude and always be willing to learn new things."


Huda's internship experience has been a success story. She has gained valuable skills, improved her confidence, and is now ready for a next step of her career. The project's capacity-building initiative has helped Huda and 50 other interns in Somaliland to build their skills and confidence to lead successful career.

The Somaliland Development Fund (SDF) has a strong capacity development strategy aimed at increasing government departments’ capacity in public resource management through planning and implementation of projects. It is also intended to strengthen the skills base in Somaliland and contribute to building the future workforce by helping recent graduates who face difficulties finding good internships and apprenticeships to put theory into practice, as there is a clear mismatch between demand and supply in the labour market.