by 2015–2016 Fellow Andrew Herweg
Andrew and the TaroWorks Team
Dropping everything and moving halfway across the world isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but for me, it was the perfect opportunity. My name is Andrew Herweg and I’m the TaroWorks Marketing Fellow based between Kampala, Uganda and Nairobi, Kenya. I had spent the previous two years grinding away in New York City at my corporate public relations (PR) job. I was lucky to move up within my PR firm quite quickly and was very successful at my job but I felt there was a void in my work life. I felt I wasn’t really having that much of tangible impact on people’s lives. I may have spearheaded media relations for a transcontinental car race, launched an Eye Health Clinic in South Africa with Nike and helped an up and coming frozen yogurt chain attract private equity investment but I was still left unsatisfied. About midway during my time in New York, I helped a friend launch a water technology start-up for rural businesses and communities in Africa, India and the Middle East. That was my foray into the social sector and I finally began to feel completely fulfilled in my work. But the next step for me in my career was how to grow in my social sector career? I was very much a novice in the sector so I began looking for fellowships which could provide me with the setting and opportunity to work in a growing social enterprise which would help me apply my skills and experiences I gained from the world of marketing and communications and from my start-up and that is where the Grameen Foundation Fellowship came in.
In my role as TaroWorks Marketing Fellow, I handle all the communications. What does that entail you may ask? It’s the whole lot with marketing, PR, event organization, social media and website management. Not to mention assisting in securing conference speaking opportunities, helping fill out funding grants, engaging with donors, and last but not least content creation. If you had to ask what my typical day is, I can’t really as every day is different. If you’ve ever worked in communications, you know what I’m talking about.
When my fellowship comes to an end in August, I’m excited about the opportunities that lay ahead, wherever they may be. I’ve had a very good experience so far being a Grameen Foundation Fellow from professional and personal standpoints. I feel I am well prepared to take an even greater role in my next job in the social sector, hopefully in East Africa or Europe. Also, my background is more diverse, combining my corporate PR and social sector experiences which cover Europe, USA and now Sub-Saharan Africa. From a personal side, I’ve enjoyed living in East Africa. The local employees at the Grameen Foundation offices have warmly welcomed me and the weather is always beautiful which has been a welcomed relief from the last few brutal winters in New York City.
If you’re considering the fellowship think about 1) Do you have the vision and drive to lead initiatives as your boss could be thousands of miles away? 2) Living in a developing country isn’t for everyone, can you handle the adjustment? 3) Do you want to be challenged?
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Visiting Crater Lake
About the Grameen Foundation Fellowship
Applications are now open until March 1, 2016 for the first review cycle, and May 1 for the final review cycle.