| January 14, 2022

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My name is Babalwa Mpunyuka, from Pretoria, South Africa. I am currently a beneficiary of the Cybersecurity learning track of the Women Techsters Fellowship Program, sponsored by Tech4Dev in partnership with Microsoft

After I graduated from the University, I was unable to secure an internship, and so before the program, I had been a stay-at-home mom for four years. I heard about the Women Techsters program through a friend of mine, who had seen the advert on Facebook. I immediately applied for the program because I was interested in learning a new skill within the tech space.

Being part of the program has been a roller coaster ride. It has also been a unique and exciting journey for me because I have had the opportunity to learn many things, particularly in the Cyber security learning track that I am enrolled in. I learnt all about Microsoft Azure services, Kali Linux, writing bash scripts, analysing and filtering network traffic, and a few. During the program, I also had the opportunity to acquire soft skills like effective communication and creativity, and originality. These soft skills have helped me communicate with other people and network more.

I enjoyed the Women Techsters Fellowship training because of how excellent and very informative the teaching methodology is. The facilitators are well trained and professional. My facilitator played a crucial role in how far I have come in my tech career journey.

She was always understanding, supportive, and willing to assist with any problem I encountered during the program. Being part of a community of women in tech from various African countries has been a blessing to me. There were moments where I felt like giving up, but the other fellows would encourage me to keep going.

I always looked forward to the daily classes because each day was an opportunity to learn about new topics, interact with the other fellows, engage in group discussion, and the practical activities that we submitted at the end of each week. My most memorable moment was when I was part of a community group project where we were required to empower and raise awareness to your girls interested in Technology.

The challenge that I faced was at the beginning of the program was, I had joined the program late, I had a lot of catching up to do. I overcame that challenge by putting in extra hours and staying up at night because I wanted to be part of the program. Now that we are done with the training, I am looking forward to securing an internship, particularly Cyber Security

At the end of the four-month training, I had the opportunity to start my internship at an IT agency that provides support to all the government sectors in South Africa. I want to take this opportunity to thank Tech4Dev for this initiative, Women Techsters, for their support throughout the program. Lastly, I would like to thank my facilitator, Rhoda Mumo, for her dedication and hard work. She is phenomenal.