‘Effective communication goes beyond words’

Nyapendi says her journey has been punctuated by challenges that have acted as catalysts for growth. Photos/Esther Nakalya

You started off your career journey as a graduate trainee, how have you managed togrow on this career journey ?
I joined the professional arena in 2020 at Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) as a communications graduate trainee, where I embraced diverse roles that required multifaceted communication and documentation skills. 
It is from here that I learnt the power of adaptability. The business landscape is ever-evolving and successful professionals must be flexible in response to changing circumstances and building relationships.
What is the relationship between communications and documentation?
I encountered the world of documentation during my higher education at Uganda Christian University.  Documentation is all about capturing knowledge and information in a structured manner. I learnt that effective communication goes beyond just speaking and writing; it involves meticulously crafting documents that serve as pillars of information dissemination. 
What was your internship experience like? 

I did my  internships at The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the department of public diplomacy and the African Union Department exposed me to a range of documentation types; from technical reports such as the design of the company newsletter and compiling a diplomacy concept on how to promote Ugandan culture abroad. The meticulous attention to detail required for such endeavours ignited a passion for maintaining accuracy and clarity within written records as well as my communication skills. 
How did you discover your career niche? 
My journey began as a dream I needed to fulfil as my destiny. As a pupil at St Noah Junior Boarding school, I eagerly participated in debates, public speaking events such as speech days and writing competitions, discovering the joy of expressing ideas with clarity and conviction. 
I was also involved in public speaking at school assemblies at Seeta High School. This period marked the initial steps towards nurturing my communication skills, equipping me with the confidence to articulate thoughts effectively. 

What are the essentials of achieving great communication skills?
Effective communication goes beyond words; it is about building relationships. I quickly realised that forming strong connections with colleagues, superiors, and clients is fundamental to my success, teamwork and collaboration; teamwork is a cornerstone of corporate success, embracing feedback and continuous improvement. 
I learnt the importance of being open to criticism, actively seeking feedback and continuously improving my communication skills. 

What are some of your virtues?
Time management, keeping calm under pressure, resilience and continuous learning, qualities that have proved invaluable in my career.

What are some of the challenges you face on the job and how have you grown through them?
My journey has been punctuated by challenges that have acted as catalysts for growth. From overcoming imposter syndrome, victimising myself to believing in myself, I will keep working hard in order to achieve what I did not do well.

 Why is your advice to young professionals?
While the academic journey equips you with a solid foundation, it is the real world lessons; adaptability, relationship building, clear communication, teamwork, feedback, professionalism, and time management that truly shape your success.

What are your future plans?
IDI has given me hope for my future plans such as growing in my academic realm and adding a Master’s degree in Public Health to boost my career in health. Ideally, I would like to have progressed into a more senior role, perhaps in a leadership or management position.

Your favourite quote...
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – Lao Tzu, a Chinese philosopher.
So, as we navigate our respective paths, let us remember that failure is not a sign of defeat, but rather a stepping stone on the path to success.