Nene Henshaw: Exploits of an intending intern [NEXT]

by Nene Henshaw

Few months ago, I went to look for a job as per, final year, long summer, let me make it fruitful by interning. After sending copies of my curriculum vitae to numerous companies, I finally got a scheduled interview from a HR department.

I was super excited, never been interviewed before. I got all dressed up, serenading the walkway with my heels which I don’t wear so often being a 5″11 that I am.

Arrived at the recruitment agency thitry minutes early, sat with the 10 others that arrived before me in a hall filled with broken plastic chairs as we watched a motivational speech by Les Brown. I paid vivid attention to every detail on the screen because I had a good mood to portray throughout today. After the speech two people  were walked out on the grounds of indiscipline as they were using their phones while the speech was on.

Awkward thoughts crossed my mind to laugh, but that wasn’t going to happen, not Today devil, not today!!! A lady walked in and said that the interview would last four hours and anyone who couldn’t wait through should please leave now; four people left. As at this time we were 24 remaining. I could see the desperation building all around me.  We then proceeded to do some tests online which consisted of time management, English, mathematics, logical and critical thinking. I scored 89/100 (well because, smart kid). I was already beaming with smiles.

Next was the one on one interview which I would say went well because I’m a talker and answering all their questions came easy as earlier expected. After this stage, they let go of people, we were precisely 20 people remaining.

We were asked to write stories that we regarded motivational; this again wasn’t work for me. I could say I have an overactive imagination and with writing being my passion, I just flowed.

After this task, 17 names were called out, mine included. We stood up and were led to another room where the 32 year old “CEO” of the recruitment agency came to talk to us about her personal experience and why we didn’t need to work at 9-5’s and all  (story for another day) and most importantly inform us of the 14,000 naira we needed to pay on the spot for “medical license”.I had a lot of questions but sat still.


What did we need medical licenses for? I didn’t study anything biology/ science related. What was this about? Anyways, I was inquisitive enough to ask and she went on to say that it was to include us in a Poverty Alleviation program that would enable us to travel to Dubai and South Africa. Immediately 5 people paid because she had also said it would determine the rank of your office and that while in office, you could earn 1 million in a day. Over 20 million in a month. People could not possibly be this gullible. What was our economy driving people to do? Or should I just blame it on greed, the government for lack of adequate infrastructure or the “economic recession” as an avenue to exploit innocent citizens?

I was still processing all this. How was this possible? What type of work was this? What type of poverty were they alleviating that would give me 20 million in a month. If money was flowing like this why would we still be having “recession” and lack of employment. Could I refer to this as tyranny of the masses?

The CEO requested for the POS machine and 6 more people paid.

Our economy has dwindled so bad that people are ready to buy whatever lies you serve, be it on a plastic or golden tray. What exactly was happening to Nigeria? What is the point of wasting money on years of education with no job possibilities after when you might have as well just invested the money in a business as that seems to be the movement these days. After graduation, most companies require previous job experience. How would I get that if no one was even hiring now? What difference would graduation even make? Considering going abroad with the current exchange rate could spell high blood pressure for my single mother.

The CEO with her POS in one hand walked up to me and asked why I was still contemplating, that she really could help me and that with my height and figure why hadn’t I considered modeling. I just smiled and she went on ” you know if you pay this money now, see it as an investment. You’ll get more cash in return and you can hold your own fashion shows or even start an agency”.  I replied, “oh no problem, but my card has an issue. I just need to to the bank and withdraw over the counter as I didn’t have that much cash on me”. She then told me to hurry that she’d be waiting for me because there’s so much we could do together.

Still smiling, I walked out and went straight to my house. Despite Nigeria’s economical situation, I wasn’t desperate. I refused to be.

Nene is an avid learner with a very active imagination, who has a hunger for new knowledge and creativity. She is a fast, innovative and flexible writer. Nene is also a resilient worker who does not to give up until the task is completed. She thrives well under stressful situations, is able to interact and is open to as many views as possible. Nene is conversational in English, Efik, Igbo and Yoruba

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