Written by Opeyemi Omiwale
When I discovered Accountability Lab, I was fascinated by the work they were doing. As an international student from Nigeria studying Economics in the United States, I was always interested in corruption and its impact on the economies of developing countries. One of the things that always bugged me was not knowing how to tackle the issues of corruption in developing countries practically.
As I read about Accountability Lab, I knew then that I wanted to work there. After graduating with my undergraduate degree in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Superior, I applied for their summer internship in 2019. Unfortunately, I didn’t get it. I was disappointed that it didn’t work out. Still, despite the fact I didn’t get the summer internship, I connected with the organization on LinkedIn because its mission aligned with my passion, and I believed in what they were doing. Fast forward to the summer of 2021, when I am getting my Master’s in Economics from Georgia State University, I saw a post on LinkedIn on the Accountability Lab page about their non-profit management internship. To be honest, I discouraged myself from applying because of my previous rejection. After spending an enormous amount of time contemplating, I applied. I felt that my past rejection should not keep me from trying again. After interviewing with Katie, fortunately, I got the job. I learned from this experience never to let my past rejection get in the way when deciding on something I am passionate about. I hope people can learn from this too.
Deciding to do my internship at Accountability Lab has been the best decision I have ever made. During my internship, one of my first tasks was to set up 1:1s with the entire global team. At first, I dreaded doing this because I get nervous when speaking to people I don’t know; however, I am glad I had the opportunity to practice this. My responsibilities made me step out of my comfort zone, and for this, I am very grateful. I also got to learn from the diverse experiences of the team. I also got the opportunity to chat with Odeh Friday, the founder of Accountability Lab Nigeria. I learned so much about his journey and what it took to start a non-profit organization in Nigeria. This was an excellent opportunity to learn from Odeh, as my long-term goal has always been to start my non-profit organization in Nigeria.
I worked on a project that involved learning about the Accountaprenuers (“accountability entrepreneurs”) and the impact that they were creating in their communities. This was fascinating to learn about the impact that we as individuals can have when we decide to take action. I found Iyanuoluwa Moyinoluwa’s project very impactful as she started the Mobile Rural Water (MoRuWa). This was a project that focused on getting access to clean water to rural communities. It was inspiring to see how she could develop a unique way to solve a prevalent problem.
Overall, my experience at Accountability Lab was a remarkable one. I can see the difference they make in the world. Their work reminds me of this quote by Mahatma Gandhi, “We must become the change we wish to see in the world,” which is what they are constantly doing. This is an organization I will highly recommend to students aiming to jumpstart their careers. I encourage anyone to apply even if they feel they are not yet qualified. And if you don’t get the job the first time, you can always try again.