In this interview, we delve into Sarah's journey, experiences, and her aspirations for a more inclusive future.
- Can you share with us your initial experiences and emotions when you encountered challenges in your job search due to your disability? How did you stay motivated during those trying times?
Well, I used to apply to various jobs but I didn't hear anything back from them. Sometimes I was called for interviews but the company premises were not wheelchair accessible so no matter how good i aced the interviews they would use that as an excuse not hire me. This season of my life was depressing and the only thing that kept me going was the support from my family and my faith in God believing that what is yours will always be yours no matter how long it takes.
- When you were recommended by Light for the World for Total Energies' Graduate Management Training program, what thoughts and feelings ran through your mind? Did you have any reservations or concerns?
I remember when I received an email from Total requesting for my documents, I was in the village visiting my family. I was so happy and when I told my mum she said that she had a feeling that this is what God was preparing for me. When I returned to Kampala, I kept a positive attitude and immediately started preparing myself for the interviews.
- How was your experience during the interview process at Total Energies? What made this opportunity different from previous job applications you had made?
We had 3 stages of interviews including an aptitude test. What was new to me was that their offices were wheelchair accessible and this was a green flag for me. This motivated me to be confident and thus brought my A game to the panel and bagged the opportunity.
- Total Energies' commitment to disability inclusion is commendable. How did the company tailor your duties to suit your impairment, and how has this accommodation positively impacted your performance?
I was put in the Customer Relations department. My role didn't require movements and my tasks could be accomplished from the comfort of my home on my laptop.
- The flexibility to work from home provided by Total Energies is a significant step towards fostering an inclusive work environment. How has this arrangement improved your work-life balance and allowed you to maximize your potential?
Working from home saved me from the stress of commuting and being stuck in Kampala traffic. Thus I start my work on time without any distractions and in the evening after work, I get enough time to rest and do my personal things.
- Congratulations on completing your internship at Total Energies. What achievements and lessons have you gained from this experience, and how do you envision your future career aspirations?
I have gained experience and skills that give me a competitive edge in the job market. I'm hopeful that I will get a chance to upgrade and experience professional growth.
- Your story is inspiring and has the potential to encourage other employers to embrace disability inclusion. What message would you like to convey to employers who may be hesitant to hire individuals with disabilities?
Employers should give people with disabilities a chance. As long as there is reasonable accommodation, employees with disabilities can be effectively productive.
Sarah Biira Musanzi's journey is a testament to the transformative impact of disability inclusion in the workplace. Her resilience and determination have not only opened doors for her but have also paved the way for other individuals with disabilities seeking equal opportunities in the job market. Total Energies' commitment to accommodating Sarah's needs and empowering her to thrive sets an example for other employers to follow. Sarah's story of change highlights the immense potential and contributions that people with disabilities can bring to the workforce when provided with a supportive and inclusive environment. Through sharing her experiences, Sarah aims to inspire and promote good practices of disability inclusion, fostering a more equitable and inclusive job market for all.