Vanessa Atim is phenomenal. She’s also one of the sweetest people I have ever met. She exudes kindness, positive vibes and confidence. I don’t think I have seen her without her high heels on, perhaps her high heels serve as a metaphor for excellence, high standards and aiming higher in life. I hope you will find inspiration in this interview.
- Why did you choose this type of business?
The idea of ProInterns was inspired by a cousin who was unemployed for 2 ½ years, he had struggled to find a job after graduating from university in Uganda and I advised him to look for a training opportunity instead, such as an internship.
I wanted to create something that provided help and guidance to students and graduates who aspired to further develop their skill set and gain hands on work experience.
Ultimately I like to help others, whether it be through helping write a CV or connection to an opportunity. Serving others, especially youth is the most fulfilling thing.
- What skills are necessary for your business?
- Believing in yourself in life is key, especially when you are running your own business! You must believe in yourself and your vision because along the way you will get discourage by nay sayers, failure, mistakes and clients who don’t ‘get it’ and sometimes friends but you have to believe first in you and your abilities. Work hard and continue encouraging yourself. It’s so easy to quit, but then what was the point of starting? God has planted a vision within you, see it through.
- Having a positive outlook in life and in business, understanding that yes not all things go to plan, not all meetings have your desired outcome but you have to look on the brighter side of things, and you must keep going, iterating and perfecting your craft. Learn, grow and persist in the face of adversity.
Side note: can you tell I read a lot of personal development books! Ha ha
- Oh determination is pretty self explanatory, but you need this to fuel your business, to fuel your goals so that you can accomplish what you set out to do. When you fall down, dust your shoulders off and try again. This time harder!
- Why do your clients select you over your competitors?
Efficiency – being able to deliver in a timely manner
Friendliness – people first have to like you before they do business with you, emotional intelligence is key in business.
Differentiation – we connect clients with entry level talent, specifically students and fresh graduates who are seeking to gain experience. If clients are seeking this type of candidate ProInterns is the place to make that happen!
- What do you look for in an employee?
* Willingness to learn – you have a degree which is great! There is still SO much more to learn working for start up or organization. Be willing to learn and learn some more (It’ll build your portfolio).
* Going the extra mile, oh this is one of the major keys! Going the extra mile will help you cultivate great work ethic. When you are given a task or project to work on go above and beyond.
* Team work – team work makes the dream work.
- Who do you seek business advice from?
My older brother is an experienced business man and so is my uncle so I normally seek business advice from them, in addition to that I read articles and business orientated books e.g.
The Lean Start Up – Eric Reis
Zero to One by Peter Thiel
Oversubscribed by Daniel Priestley– teaches you how to implement effective marketing strategies (buy it now!)
I speak to others who run their own businesses, its great to be able to share experiences, learn and apply.
- What strategies do you recommend for making the best use of one’s time?
* Be social
* Listen to podcasts
* Watch movies
* Take a walk or run (whichever you prefer)
* Surround yourself with people who motivate you and lift you higher (that’s a quote from Aunty Oprah)
- What’s your mantra?
“Whatever the mind of a man can conceive it can achieve” – Napoleon Hill
Keep going, create social impact, keep going, Pause. Keep going, keep climbing. Look up, you are there.
- What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made as a business owner that you’d want anyone considering starting a business to avoid?
– Stop working for free. Understand your value. Place in strategies. Market your business well. If they say no, understand why make your product or service better and go back to secure your yes.
- What do you do when you feel drained?
Thanks for asking this:
- Sleep (rest your body and your racing mind)
- More sleep
- Watch a movie or 3
10. 3 life lessons you want to leave us with?
- You are limitless, whether you think you can do something or whether you think you can’t you are right (Henry Ford quote).
- Fail forward, you will make mistakes learn from them, make changes and come back better.
- Invest in your personal development, smile more, don’t settle, surround yourself with great people, you only live once and, make sure you build a life that makes you happy.
Bonus tip: smile