Intern Annicette Ndjonti

Tech Entrepreneur Ini Augustine has started several small businesses throughout her career, most of which combine her passion for technology and community improvement. Her digital marketing agency, SocialWise Media Group, has been helping non-profits and organizations for 10 years now. In order to balance her businesses, and provide industry exposure to the next wave of young developers, Augustine decided to hire an intern for the summer and welcomed Annicette Ndjonti, a Computer Information Systems major at Century College, to her team.

“I have a daughter myself, and I know there are thousands of college graduates graduating into one of the most unsure situations. I wanted to serve as a resource for people that really needed it and needed a place to belong,” Augustine said. “Anni has been an amazing asset to the team, taking some of these big projects off my hands. She’s helping me a lot by working on this.”

Ini Augustine, Founder of SocialWise Media Group

Personal and professional support
Augustine’s approach to internships involves a lot of one-on-one instruction. She started Ndjonti on the basics, teaching her the importance of wireframing, i.e., how to create a visual guide to represent the app’s layout before diving into coding. Every day, Ndjonti and Augustine check-in virtually, to go over Ndjonti’s progress and get new task assignments. Now working on the actual app development and several websites, Ndjonti’s independence has significantly increased.

When she started her internship, Ndjonti recalled, “I wasn’t 100 percent confident in myself.  Now, I’m really learning a lot. It’s a good thing to have someone and know that you can ask them any question when you’re lost. I’m grateful that I have someone that I can do that with.”

Through their daily check-ins, Ndjonti has improved her abilities as a developer and as a professional as well. “It’s not just about work, work, work. [Ini] is also there to support you morally,” Ndjonti added.

This strong support network stems from Augustine’s own experiences as a black woman in tech. Looking back, Augustine said, “I wished I had someone to say, ‘You got this girl! You can definitely do it.’ I really wished I had someone like that for me, so I’m just trying to be that for Anni.”

Keep believing
Ndjonti is on track to graduate in July. After that, she plans to continue her studies, and is interested in continuing her work with SocialWise while she goes to school.

After her experience, Ndjonti had this advice for other students, “Don’t give up. Just know that there’s a place out there for you. Keep on searching, keep on learning, and keep on believing in yourself. That’s the most important part. We are always afraid that, ‘I’m not going to make it’ or ‘I don’t know this.’ We need to know that we don’t know everything from the beginning. It’s when we get into the field when we’re really going to learn.”​