an Entity of Abaarso Network

Professional Development

Barwaaqo’s mission is to empower Somali women to become professionals who drive development throughout their communities. Over 90% of our graduates are finding employment within 3 months of graduation, largely due to our robust professional development program which provides students real-world scaffolded work experience and the opportunity to explore career pathways.

Internship Process

The main purpose of Barwaaqo’s Professional Practice Internship (PPI) is to offer professional experience and skills before students graduate with their degrees. We have a three-tier system for internships, with increasing responsibility. At each level, students have a direct supervisor who provides oversight and career mentorship. 


The first tier, PPI 1, has the main goal of introducing students to a professional working environment. These internship positions may not be directly related to the student’s area of study, but they will provide valuable experience and skills in different job positions. Students run many on-campus services through their PPI1 internships, such as the library, the computer lab, and peer to peer tutoring. 


The second tier, PPI 2, has the main goal of providing students with practicum hours working in the field of their study. This means that students will do extensive preparation and admin work for their role in addition to their weekly working hours. Education students will spend a semester student-teaching, while communication students may apply for a range of opportunities which fit their career interests. In the past, communications students have issued monthly newsletters, run Barwaaqo’s social media, or been our primary liaison with the local community for our voluntary education programs. 


At the end of each students’ Barwaaqo career, she will complete a two-month, full time internship in a real work site. While these are occasionally completed on campus, the majority of students source an external internship which allows her to work with an outside organization. Our Montessori students typically complete this internship with Kaabe Primary Schools, serving as classroom assistants for 5-8 weeks. Education students have worked in primary schools across Somaliland, and our Communications students typically seek work with NGOs, companies or government organizations which can provide career mentoring and help students develop skills to succeed after graduation.

Barwaaqo Gives Back

During each long break from the university, students are encouraged to apply to our Barwaaqo Gives Back program. Through BGB, we pair students with schools and organizations across Somaliland, where students are able to volunteer their time and subsequently learn important professional skills. BGB students have tutored in schools, done research for international organizations, and supported initiatives to improve women’s education in Somaliland. Through BGB, students are able to put their newly learned skills into action, and develop valuable networks for future opportunities.

Career Foundations

Career Foundations is a required capstone course all students take close to the end of their studies at Barwaaqo. Through this course, students gain essential skills in researching, applying for, obtaining, and maintaining employment. From crafting professional CVs and LinkedIn profiles to curating portfolios of reflective blog posts, students develop a robust toolkit to showcase their competencies. Moreover, Career Foundations offers valuable career mentoring and coaching, empowering students to articulate personal mission statements aligned with their career goals in education or international communication. By honing interview techniques and cultivating professional etiquette, students emerge confident and prepared to navigate the professional landscape with confidence and discernment.