Written by Puno Selesho

Three students from Nord University, Norway, join TuksNovation for an 8-week internship. This is a joint initiative between the Graduate School of Technology Management (GSTM) at the University of Pretoria and Nord University Business School. By the end of the first year of study, masters’ students at Nord University Business School, have the option to undertake a work placement at a company abroad as part of the “International Internship” course. The purpose is to learn about the business and start-up culture of South Africa, finding solutions from all actors involved and adding value to local entrepreneurs.

Driving on the wrong side of the road, electricity disappearing at any moment and a warm winter. These are a few of the adventures of the three master’s students from Nord University, Norway in their first 2 weeks of interning at TuksNovation.

Waldemar Henriksen, Eljar Øie Skjørholm and Christian Miguel Jurado Meza, join TuksNovation for an 8-week internship. This is a joint initiative between the Graduate School of Technology Management (GSTM) at the University of Pretoria and Nord University Business School. By the end of the first year of study, masters’ students at Nord University Business School, have the option to undertake a work placement at a company abroad as part of the “International Internship” course. The purpose is to learn about the business and start-up culture of South Africa, finding solutions from all actors involved and adding value to local entrepreneurs.

While the students are based at TuksNovation, they can work with other organizations. For instance, Christian is placed at one of the most innovative startups in South Africa, African Applied Chemical (AAC) that creates solutions for world problems such as Malaria and food security. “I felt welcomed from day one and I have only seen happy faces, great people, and a dynamic environment”, he remarks. Eljar has been placed at TuksNovation for the duration of the program and writes a consulting report to his home university about his experience and research of the management culture in South Africa.

We asked them to highlight what they’ve learnt so far about the tech and entrepreneurial sectors in Africa. For Eljar, the growth potential of the African continent has been the most exciting. He has encountered a number of people who are eager to create positive impact and build a sustainable future. For Waldemar, apart from loadshedding, he was pleasantly surprised by the level of infrastructure in South Africa and believes more will come from the tech sector. Africa has the youngest population in the world and Christian sees them as the future changemakers: “ I see the youth of this continent eager and thirsty for change but I believe that there is a need for transformation and a deep change in policy & regulations to help develop, not only ideas, but the society as a whole, ” he says.

These three young men are future focused and have brought much insight, energy and perspective into the TN space. Waldemar is looking towards the green future of tech and the need to build infrastructure with sustainability in mind. For Christian, collaborations between the global north and south will lead to effective problem solving. “Although the world is big and we have different problems, those same problems have an existing solution in other parts of the world,” he states, “ I am optimistic that by collaborating and exchanging knowledge we can live better lives in a better world. The possibilities are endless when there is will”.

As TuksNovation, we are thrilled to be a part of their academic journey and we are grateful for the opportunity to exchange knowledge and expertise in this culturally enriching way.