ASEC Experience and Development: My Reflections

African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC)

Sneh Akruvala (right) poses with fellow ASEC Graduate and Research Assistants, from L-R Amara Chukwunenye, Sr. Keven Karimi, Heather Wimmer and Kimberly Shaheen (May 2017)

Research Assistant Sneh Akruvala reflects on the skills and experiences she's gained through her work at ASEC.

ASEC gives its employees and student workers hands-on-experience and a platform to use and apply their knowledge, expertise and skills in the real world.

My journey with ASEC began in August 2013 when it was a small organization of less than 10 staff working towards the mission of providing African Catholic Sisters access to quality education. Four years later, it is astonishing how quickly ASEC has grown and how far we have advanced our goals. Today there are approximately 40 staff and graduate students working at ASEC’s US and Africa offices.

Reflecting back on my four years of experience working with ASEC as graduate assistant, research assistant and data manager/analyst, I feel ASEC offers a limitlessly rewarding job experience. It has been the best job and experience of my life. Along with growth of the organization, ASEC is always considerate of my personal and professional growth and made efforts to develop and enhance my life.

Personal Growth and Development

ASEC serves sisters in 10 African countries. My interaction with people in these countries has not only heightened my cultural awareness and competence, but significantly improved my confidence to interact with others from different backgrounds. ASEC heightened my awareness to several social, cultural, and health issues, in the community that African Sisters work hard to address. I am truly inspired by the work of the Sisters; they inspired me to explore my ‘sense of being’ and a better understanding of myself. Such self-realization not only helps to improve my life, but helps to own up my social responsibility of giving back to the community. It has taught me the true meaning and importance of philanthropy and social responsibility. Working with ASEC also provides me with a sense of purpose and a direction for my future work.

Professional Growth and Development

ASEC staff in the US and Africa rely on one another and work together to achieve our mission. ASEC is a well-functioning team and working here made me an effective team player. My communication skills have excelled, as part of my job is communicating with staff in Africa in regards to various documents and forms of the HESA program. Over the years, I have gotten the opportunity to perform various projects that helped improve my research, analytic, administration and organizational skills. ASEC also offered leadership opportunities in training new graduate assistants in processes for data gathering and entry. My superiors are very supportive and encourage presentations at conferences to gain experience as well as to make ASEC known in the community. In addition, ASEC has greatly helped me in learning and implementing essential time management skills.
Knowing and working with the entire staff of ASEC has changed my life for the better. I feel like a new, confident, independent professional ready to tackle the issues of life head-on, along with embracing the changes for a brighter future.

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Communities across Africa are counting on Catholic Sisters, but 71% lack the education needed to carry out their important mission work. You can be a Ray of Hope for a Sister who needs you by donating to her education today.

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Sneh Akruvala, Ph.D., MS, BSN

Sneh Akruvala, Ph.D., MS, BSN
Program Manager, Monitoring and Evaluation  

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