IBN Immigration Solutions’ Kenya branch recently gained a new team member in the form of Swiss-born entrepreneur, Sandra Estermann. As the saying goes, new brooms sweep clean, and Sandra is certainly ready to take up the challenges and successes involved in navigating Africa’s immigration framework.
So, how does IBN Immigration Solutions position itself as a preferred employer in the African immigration sector? Keep reading to find out more.
Sandra was born into a big family on a farm in Switzerland and admits that her early days contributed in part to her helpful, inclusive nature.
“When you grow up on a farm there is always something to do, and you spend a lot of time helping in the house around the house. Travelling was not part of my childhood but when I got older that became a passion of mine. I have always been interested in diverse cultures. The more you see and experience outside your ‘normal’ world the more open-minded you become,” she explains.
Her early career started with an apprenticeship in sales, which she stuck to until she started in Business Administration. In 2009, Sandra moved to stunning Kenya, where she started working in the development sector, focusing on institutional strengthening and capacity enhancement. “Over the years I worked for many different companies in diverse cultural contexts, and I would not have liked to miss any of those experiences. That exposure has helped me adapt quickly to new tasks and an unfamiliar environment,” she clarifies.
As with many who decide to work in this fast-paced, rewarding and often challenging sector, immigration found Sandra, not the other way around. “My personal immigration journey is really what made me decide to go for it. I have had several different immigration statuses in Kenya, and it has not always been easy. I relate very well with our clients because I know how it feels to go through an immigration process. That journey starts way before you fill out the first form and is also very personal. I liked the package, the multicultural aspect and, of course, my field of work. For these reasons, IBN Immigration Solutions felt exactly right from the beginning.”
Sandra’s entrepreneurial background has also contributed to her role as an immigration consultant, especially since many of her clients are entrepreneurs themselves. “I can relate to their work reality. I have certain expectations as to what constitutes high-quality service delivery, so I want to provide the same,” she reveals. Both in immigration and as an entrepreneur, flexibility and the ability to continuously adjust to current trends and changes in the market are highly valued.
Africa’s immigration framework can be challenging to get around and from her experience, Sandra highly recommends working with an immigration consultant to weather the obstacles it presents. “A shared problem is a solved problem. It gave me peace of mind to have someone on my side explaining the details and taking me through the process. I also did not live in Nairobi and could not just pass by the Immigration Offices whenever I needed to. Such a service does not come free, but still, it saved me time and money in the long run. Make sure you work with a reputable firm and someone you feel comfortable with – as I mentioned before, immigration can be very a personal matter.”
We are excited to witness Sandra’s career growth going forward and to support her as necessary. If working in immigration, within a supportive, inclusive and culturally diverse team appeals to you, have a look at our latest job openings here. We look forward to hearing from you!
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Written by: Lauren Daniels