Nicole Kamikazi Gatete graduated from West Virginia University in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering. Not long after graduating, she moved back home to work at East African Power (EAP) as a Business Development Officer.
In this role, Nicole works with a variety of people, from interns to senior project managers and EAP’s executive team. She coordinates grant applications and develops business plans for upcoming renewable energy projects in Uganda and Rwanda, and works with the marketing team to redesign the company website, create social media content to make EAP’s social pages more active and engaging.
What is a significant project or experience you have had on the job? What did you learn? How did you grow?
One of my biggest achievements so far was mapping a comparative analysis of the solar industry that ultimately led the senior management to adapt the whole company’s solar strategy according to my recommendations. I improved my communication skills and gained confidence from approaching our different solar partners to get information about their work and solar system technologies.
What role has The BRIDGE played in helping you find a job in Rwanda?
The BRIDGE helped in my job hunt from the first week I moved back. They helped me edit my resume and sent it to different employers that best fit my background. I also got to know about my current job through them. They helped me prepare for interviews and invited me to different professional events.
I have recommended The BRIDGE to many friends, so far. It is a great initiative because most graduates don’t have a wide network when they move back and that is what The BRIDGE helps with.
What do you love most about your job?
I love that it is flexible and that I get to do completely different tasks every week. I also love that I get to be the liaison between EAP and its partners on some of the projects.
Why did you decide to return home to launch your career?
I decided to return home initially because I really wanted to work with a Methane gas start-up company and I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to be among the few engineers that will start and grow with the company.
What advice would you give university students and graduates who are looking to launch their careers back home?
First, they are making the right decision because home is always best and their skills are VERY much needed.
Second, before starting senior year, I would recommend doing their research and decide what they want to do and where they would like to work. Then start reaching out to those companies and The BRIDGE as early as possible. It is always best to have a job aligned before moving back.