When Burkina Institute of Technology joined The Education Collaborative in 2020, one of the institution’s goals for the partnership was to scale its career services program to support student and graduate employability.

“Our aim is that 100% of our graduates will have jobs right after graduation,” shared Susan Pertl, founder of the West African institution which opened in 2018. “Developing a robust career services program will go a long way in helping us work towards this target. By learning from and working with intuitions within The Education Collaborative, we can learn how to design an effective program.”

Three years into its partnership under The Education Collaborative’s Systems Change Program, driven by mentorship and grants which support institutions within the Collaborative to improve graduate employability, BIT has steadily ramped up its career services program, providing a wide range of services to over 350 students and nearly 100 alumni. Through 2021 and 2022, BIT’s career services program started a oneon-one career coaching program for students and held workshops on resume and cover letter writing, interview prep skills, and workplace conduct. The program also laid a framework to engage and support its alumni through graduate school applications, employment search, placement, and guidance to start their own businesses.

Also in 2022, 35 BIT students participated in internships in Ghana and Ivory Coast, helping expose them to new markets and prospects. “When we creating our curriculum in 2017 with support from Technical University in Munich, Ashesi was one of the benchmark universities and a role model for us,” shared Ms. Pertl, whose partnership with The Education Collaborative enabled BIT to receive direct mentorship from Ashesi University in Ghana. “We share the same vision and values: training ethical leaders, playing a meaningful role in society, and being globally minded.

BIT students gain internship experience across multiple industries fro across the globe

This is why we chose to participate in this program. Eventually, we also want to share our knowledge with other universities in Burkina Faso to help improve graduate outcomes, not only in BIT but across the country.” For BIT, being a young university in The Education Collaborative is perfect. It allows the institution to learn from the experience of others and leapfrog where it otherwise could not have. BIT’s career service program continues to make strides.

Susan Pertl, third from right, and members of the Education Collaborative team

In late 2022, the institution started engagements with over 100 local and international companies, laying the groundwork for employment pathways and placement programs for students and graduates. BIT will also hold its first-ever career fair in 2023.

Read more stories about the Education Collaborative’s efforts in innovation and impact in our Impact Report