Supporting Aiducation

Kenyan graduates prepare for their futures with donation from The Myers-Briggs Company

A donation of MBTI materials to Aiducation International has given talented young Kenyans a chance to learn about their personality – and prepare for their futures

In 2018, The Myers-Briggs Company donated MBTI questionnaires to Aiducation International for each of their Corporate Career Academy students to use.

Aiducation International is a for-impact organization. It awards merit-based high-school scholarships to gifted students from disadvantaged backgrounds in developing countries. 

The Corporate Career Academy, delivered in partnership with Swiss Re Foundation, is a five-day event in Kenya that helps these students to build key skills for entering the corporate world. 

The 2018 academy took place in Nairobi from 19–23 November and had 35 attendees. The first day of the program featured the self-reflection module, which is where the MBTI questionnaires were used. 

Björn Winiger, from the Swiss Re Executive Leadership Development team, is a certified MBTI practitioner who facilitated the 2018 event. 

“They were very engaged and very interested,” said Winiger, talking about the students. “It was a real eye opener for them to look at behaviour, and how they feel about things, from this perspective. We all know that people are different but to get an insight into something that explains part of our differences and provides a vocabulary to talk about it was really great. For them to see that ‘There is something at play in my deeper psyche and other people’s psyches that has a real impact on how we work together and make decisions’ was super interesting.” 

First exposure

The students did not really know about personality type before, and certainly not MBTI type, so this module made a real impression – something noted by Florian Kapitza, Co-Founder, Aiducation International. 

“I really loved a session that Bjorn ran,” says Kapitza. “People put themselves on an imaginary line where they felt they would fit in with being extraverts or introverts – this was a big highlight. It was the first time they were exposed to the concept. And to then have their E–I preferences confirmed later in the reports just added to their enthusiasm.”   

Regarding the impact on careers, Winiger is in no doubt about the usefulness of the insights that come from an MBTI session. 

“These are all young people who are trying to enter a corporate career. Some jobs will be more fulfilling than others, depending on how they have to work, and this helps them start to see that.”

Keeping type alive

To make sure that the learning from the self-reflection module wasn’t lost, students wrote their MBTI types on badges. Winiger explains: “They wore the badges throughout the week in the other workshops, which meant we could always circle back to MBTI type and refer to it. The badges helped to keep type alive. 

Also, when they had interactions with coaching, we could build it in to the coaching sessions, including looking at the coach’s type. It showed how type concepts connect in other contexts, too.”

What students said

One of the students, Boniface Okeko, was impressed with the MBTI assessment, saying, “Personally, it really helped me a lot as it made me understand better my strengths and weaknesses, how best to approach work, manage my time, how to solve problems and how best to deal with stress. It really helped me to understand better and appreciate different kind of personalities. Being an introvert, I'm now in a better position to work best with the extroverts. I want to say a big thank you!"

Students Winnie Adhiambo and Ednah Sambah also commented. Winnie said, “[It] will help me in life since I can now relate well with others and accommodate their strengths and weaknesses depending on their personalities, without feeling offended.” When asked about how it could help it life generally, Ednah said, “[…] knowing how to approach individuals and navigate through interpersonal relations is easier and happier. From the house, to the neighbors and work place it is becoming better.”

The Myers-Briggs Company is delighted to have contributed to the success of the Corporate Career Academy, and we wish all the Aiducation Alumni the very best of luck with their careers.

Find out more at Aiducation International and read this blog post about the 2018 academy event.