Co-founder and Managing Director of mTena Ethiopia
Master in Social Entrepreneurship and Management, January 2016
What are you working with?
At mTena we work to provide contextually relevant, timely and accurate maternal and infant care information to women in Ethiopia via Text. We are a social enterprise that aims to provide various human centered and tech based solutions to problems faced in the Ethiopian context. My role as Managing Director is very diverse, from partnership creation and maintenance to representing the organization at different events to organizational structure creation and strategy formulation and implementation among others.
Why did you choose Roskilde University?
I chose Roskilde University because of the SEM programme, I had always wanted to study Social Entrepreneurship and I found that the approach RUC took was one that I could learn most from. The ideals of group/project work and the freedom/responsibilities that come with it were one of the many things that attracted me to the university. I was also attracted by the idea of an open structured education system that allowed me to concentrate on topics I found most fascinating and gave me access to the right educators, who were there to guide me in a free and nonhierarchical manner. Finally, RUC’s nontraditional way of education and teacher/student interactions was also a huge incentive in choosing the university.
"My time at RUC shaped me in many ways, as an academic I was guided into a mindset of critical thinking, as an individual I was able to open my mind and heart to view and understand things with a fresh set of eyes"
Finally, RUC staff both Administrative and Educational were nothing but helpful, understanding and always went above and beyond their call of duty to help me and guide me in the best way they could.
How do you use your competencies from your education in your current job?
Though there are many competencies that I gained from my education at RUC, there are two that I would like to talk about. The first is critical thinking which was the foundation of my education at SEM. As part of a team running a social enterprise start up in Ethiopia, we are constantly faced with numerous challenges on various aspects of our work daily, as such we are constantly finding new and innovative ways to meet the challenges we face and still deliver the impact we aim to deliver. Critical thinking has therefore helped me find solutions to the challenges my organization faces and moreover it has helped us stay relevant and visible in the social enterprise eco system in Ethiopia.
The 2nd competency I would like to talk about is writing skills. As a social enterprise that works with several societal stakeholders from the 3rd sector, the public sector and the private sector, there is constant demand for written documentation on various aspects of our work. I am able to use my writing skills that I further developed in RUC to deliver on these and other written documentations that are demanded of us.
Do you have any good advice for someone thinking of studying this master’s programme?
I would highly encourage anyone thinking of joining the SEM programme to do so, it is an international program that helps expand your consciousness as an individual and will also give you the skills you need to peruse a fruitful career in various sectors of society.
"The teachers are nothing short of brilliant and their dedication to the program is not only inspiring but it also means that they go above and beyond in giving you a positive learning experience. "
I would also suggest you undertake some extra curricula’s like volunteering at the many social enterprises that are found in Copenhagen and its environs, in your time at SEM. As this will also help you know more about your possible career options. Finally, my parting shot would be, dive head first into the experience of SEM there are so many things to learn and the best part of it is that you are able to shape your education as much as it is able to shape you.
Learn more about the programme
Social Entrepreneurship and Management