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FROM THE ED
EDITOR Olivia Main email@example.com CONSULTING EDITOR Samantha Collins firstname.lastname@example.org ART DIRECTOR / DESIGNER Clare Schenk email@example.com PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Ursula Munnik firstname.lastname@example.org ASSISTANT / COPY EDITOR Olivia Main CONTRIBUTORS Christina Kennedy, Gavin Dudley, JS Smit, Peter Rudden NATIONAL SALES MANAGER Jan Weiss email@example.com PROJECT SALES MANAGER Shakier Groenewald firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING SALES Aaminah van Oudtshoorn, Mac Nell Warren Frank TEL 021 447 6467 FAX 021 447 6351 EMAIL email@example.com POSTAL ADDRESS PO Box 44383, Claremont 7735, South Africa WEBSITE www.yesmedia.co.za PUBLISHER Yes! Media CEO Deon Muller PRINTED BY CTP Printers Post Matric is published by Yes!Media. All copyright in material appearing in this magazine belongs to Yes! Media and/or the individual contributors. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the editor or Yes! Media. No responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions in the contents of the magazine. Post Matric ISSN number 2074-4412
COV ER P H OTO : TI M M O O L M A N
LONG LIVE THE ‘COUCH APPLE’ Well, the ‘couch potato’ is well and truly dead. What was once a common pastime – spending hours slouching on the couch, mindlessly watching sitcoms while munching on (potato) chips – has been replaced by another species of entertainment fiend. Herald potato’s younger cousin the ‘couch Apple’, whereby we become the couch on which technology rests. However, unlike the lethargic couch potato, the couch Apple’s habitat is anywhere and everywhere, as long as its hidden behind its respective device, be that a cellphone, ipad, ipod, you get the picture. Ask any adult whether they welcome this change and you’ll likely be met with a raised eyebrow or two. But I got to wondering whether being a couch Apple is really all bad. I mean every new generation brings with it changes that are difficult for the oldies to accept, and maybe some technology-related changes are for the worse: like cyber bullying, stalkers, fake news, and photoshopping creating impossible beauty standards. But some are definitely for the better: like being able to instantly share photos with your friends, and having access to an incredible amount of useful information at the push of a button. And this surely makes the research part of the ‘What should I do with my life?’ question a whole lot easier. Back in the day when I was lying on the couch pondering my future, all we had access to were libraries (quiet please), parents and a fair amount of thumbsucking. I remember the pressure, the anxiety, the finality, around choosing a career path – the right one, right now. These days the pressure is still there, but the excuses for not knowing what’s on offer are not. In fact, if anything, one is privvy to potentially overwhelming amounts of career information and possibilities. So let us help you narrow it down. Pop off your shoes, kick back on the couch and enjoy browsing through Post Matric. Discover careers you may never have known existed, glean ideas about how to fund your studies and earn while you learn, or discover why a gap year might just be up your street. And, if the couch Apple in you starts calling for a little online action, we also have a vibey website packed with colourful careers and inspirational articles. I’d say the trick is to stay open-minded, do the research, chat to people in the know, and then, above all, go with your gut. But don’t listen to me, I’m just an old couch potato!
Olivia Main EDITOR: POST MATRIC POST MATRIC 2017 | 03
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TV and radio personality Nikiwe Bikitsha gets real about what it takes to still care in the world of journalism.
DONE WITH SCHOOL? THE WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER!
It’s not a trainsmash if you don’t get that university pass – many other possibilities are waiting to be explored. Don’t overlook them!
Education is expensive in this country, but there are many affordable options that could lead you from a satisfying tertiary experience to a successful career.
07 ENTERTAINMENT GOTTA HAVE GADGETS
Get your device fix with what’s hottest now in the world of tech.
Wise words about first-year survival from a few students who’ve been around the block.
SMILE AND WAVE Satirist JS Smit describes how to say goodbye to the folks at the end of Matric without breaking their hearts more than necessary.
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ALCATEL PLUS 10 CONVERTIBLE LAPTOP Hailed as a 2-in-1 laptop, the detachable 10-inch tablet screen is paired with a generously large keyboard, making it ideal for typing up essays, working on creative projects and posting on social media. But this gadget’s true value is in the low profile and weight – just 850g – and the spectacularly low price. The keyboard slice adds hours of battery life, there's a proper USB port for a mouse and a SIM slot for 4G connectivity on the go.
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SAMSUNG GALAXY S8 SMARTPHONE Enjoy a massive screen that flows around the sides of the phone – a whole 5.8-inches, which, even at standard size, is bigger than the iPhone 7 Plus. Oodles of processing power will delight you further, as will the same spectacular camera tech as the previous S7. It's waterproof and covered in chemically-toughened glass, front and back, although these glossy surfaces may make it far too easy to drop and, sadly, you'll end up hiding its beautiful lines inside a cover.
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R3500 POST MATRIC 2017 | 07
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Media Magic TV and radio personality Nikiwe Bikitsha tells it like it isâ€¦ By Christina Kennedy
Photo: Tim Moolman
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These include CNBC If you listen to Nikiwe “I hope Africa Connected has served Africa, e.tv’s Morning Bikitsha on radio, to open people’s minds about our Edition, AM Live watch her on TV or on SAfm, Interface read her opinions in neighbours and has also illuminated and Africa Inc on print, it’s clear she possibilities for greater connections, SABC, and eNews on cares – she cares business or otherwise.” eNCA. She has also about her subject written for several matter, her audience, print titles, and has recently channeled her inner her continent, her world. This is one journalist entrepreneur into co-founding a media company, who, though she may be less flashy than others Amargi Media. in her field, is full-throttle committed to her But, she confesses, she’s still happiest out in the profession – despite the media space being the field, getting her boots dirty, meeting people and volatile and ever-changing beast that it is. getting the story first-hand. She is not one who actively seeks out the Says Bikitsha, “I love that I’ve had the good limelight but is in journalism for one reason fortune to practise all three [radio, TV and print] only: telling stories in a way that engages and am able to do so. I consider myself very and enlightens. fortunate to have crossed over reasonably well Bikitsha has worked across media platforms across all mediums. I love all three but within that and skills sets for the better part of two decades, space, being on the field, reporting, remains my with her focus areas spanning news, politics favourite regardless of the medium. and business. “Print remains the most daunting because I Her current passion is telling the African admire and adore good writing as a reader, and story. Criss-crossing Africa for Talk Radio hope one day, to be considered a good writer.” 702’s series Africa Connected, the acclaimed For many seasoned journalists, print remains journalist is enjoying relaying her insights the gold standard of authority and respect – into the continent’s business and investment despite newspapers and magazines struggling opportunities, meeting its people and analysing to remain relevant and profitable as advertising its markets – uncovering the things that connect revenues shrink. Many are buckling under the us, not divide us. onslaught of free news available online, not to Bikitsha started out as a field reporter at mention the immediacy of the news cycle where 702 and went on to anchor or co-anchor some something that happens today is old hat by the of the country’s leading current affairs shows in time you read about it in the paper tomorrow. the broadcast media. POST MATRIC 2017 | 09
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“I’m curious about how and in what ways we can Bikitsha says while the media landscape may be make the continent develop and grow so that all an ever-changing space, would-be journalists her people benefit.” Key to opening those doors, should realise that it still requires high levels of she believes, is a willingness to understand other responsibility, ethics and integrity – particularly countries, cultures and nationalities – something at a time when it’s increasingly hard to distinguish she says can’t happen if Africans choose to facts from propaganda. remain ‘myopic and insular’. “While there are exciting innovations in “I hope Africa Connected has served to open journalism, the fundamentals remain the same,” people’s minds about our neighbours and has also she says. “Journalists should seek the truth and illuminated possibilities for greater connections, hold those in power to account. They must be business or otherwise,” says Bikitsha. the voice of the voiceless – that’s their role in It’s hard for her to pinpoint a career highlight, a democracy. ‘but I consider myself “They must guard this incredibly fortunate role jealously, especially “I think if you love what you do, to have worked as a in an era of so-called and you find it rewarding, you reporter at a time when ‘fake news’ and branded will pride yourself on putting in Nelson Mandela was still content. Integrity is president of the republic, everything. The tools the hard work and research.” and to have reported on through which they do those transition and early their jobs have changed, years of the democratic government’. but the fundamentals haven’t.” The journalist’s job may often seem Many years later, this would come full circle when she covered Madiba’s a glamorous one, but in reality if you death and funeral. She recalls, want to be good at what you do and be “It was a privilege for me to be respected in your profession, you need at the forefront of telling the to practise your craft with diligence and story of one of the most iconic care, she believes. It’s not an easy job, leaders the world has ever known. but it can be an immensely rewarding one. It was a task I took very seriously, “I think if you love what you do, and and I think I told his story in a you find it rewarding, you will pride manner befitting a leader yourself on putting in the hard work of his stature.” and research,” says Bikitsha. How has she survived “It is a sign of respect for our and thrived in craft and our audiences the tough and when we display that we demanding world have prepared before of journalism? reporting a story or She reflects, conducting interviews.” “I’ve persevered She is revelling in her because I believe current continent-trotting in the importance assignment, firm in her that journalism belief that intra-African plays in society. trade is crucial to the If I’ve excelled, prosperity of the it’s because I continent, “I can’t take it seriously, express fully how and often have thrilling and rewarding worked with and Africa Connected has been guided and been for me. supported by some It’s not just a reporting of the best journalists assignment; it speaks to what in the country, from I believe in and something that whom I’ve learned has seized my interest over a lot.” the past few years. 10 | POST MATRIC 2017 Photo: Tim Moolman
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What’s in store for the media space? Nikiwe Bikitsha gazes into her crystal ball and makes some predictions on the type of media landscape tomorrow’s journalists will be inheriting:
Six people Nikiwe Bikitsha admires:
• • • •
Once data costs come down in South Africa, the growth of online offerings will certainly grow. Any kind of content that is available on demand, where you as the user curate what you want to consume and when, will increasingly mushroom. Podcasts have grown exceptionally in the United States and the United Kingdom. Our media trends tend to lag behind those countries and I think we have enormous potential to create great and interesting content on digital platforms. Young people should ensure that they understand the basics and ethics of our craft and then technically, they should equip themselves with all the latest know-how and start generating their own content. Trends will come and go, but being well read and well researched will never go out of fashion. As conveyors of information, journalists should ensure they are not found wanting in that regard.
My mother, for being so formidable, clever and funny; My sister, who is the most kind-hearted person you will ever meet; Former President Nelson Mandela;
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, for her steadfast leadership; Former United States First Lady Michelle Obama; Acclaimed Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
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DONE WITH SCHOOL?
THE WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER! University is just one option for the South African matriculant – there’s a universe of possibilities out there. Some matrics (and their parents) think it’s the end of the world if they don’t gain entrance to university. It’s not a crisis – in today’s world, there’s no set route towards personal and professional success and what suits one person might be totally wrong for another. It’s true that having a university degree boosts your chances of finding work, but so does a diploma or an apprenticeship in a technical field. In some disciplines, your character, attitude and aptitude for a certain type of work might land you a job more easily than an academic scroll will. The truth is, with the millennial and postmillennial generations becoming more adventurous and more reluctant to do things ‘by the book’, there is a growing trend towards writing your own life script and exploring uncharted territory. Of course, not everyone has the luxury of being able to sponge off their parents while ‘finding themselves’ – they have a responsibility to start bringing home the bacon for their household as soon as they’re able.
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But if university has been ruled out for you – through your academic performance or financial hurdles – there is still a lot you can do to kick-start your post-school life. Why not take a gap year – go off and see the world, or dabble in working in a particular profession, just to make sure that’s the field you want to study?
Why not capitalise on your talents, skills and interests and enrol at a college, or become an apprentice or an intern? Or take a short course while you’re making up your mind what to do with your life. There is no single template for life after matric, so weigh your options and choose one that’s the perfect fit!
Non-university options for matrics Take a gap year A gap year is a year off between finishing school and starting your studies, which is often used for personal enrichment and seeking adventure. This alternative is enjoying renewed popularity in the era of globalisation, as young people increasingly look to broaden their horizons. Young South Africans are in demand overseas to work as au pairs, camp counsellors, teachers and so on – basically going on a working holiday or internship and seeing the world. Some opt to use their time to immerse themselves in charity work, which can be equally rewarding. Do your homework and make sure you sign up with an accredited agency. GapWork is one such service that offers opportunities to undertake volunteer work in the hospitality and tourism industry, locally, in Africa or abroad. Visit http://gapwork.co.za/
Volunteering or working during a gap year looks great on your CV!
Get a job Easier said than done, perhaps. But if you keep knocking on doors, working the phones and emails, something may come up. For those willing to start low on the ladder, swallow their pride and learn on the job, this is a great way to enter the job market. The main thing is to be persistent, get a foot in the door and notch up real-world experience to bolster your CV and your skills. Remember that interning – which usually involves working for a small stipend – is a valuable way to notch up professional skills, knowledge and experience. The downside is that it’s often a short-term job and you may get paid next to nothing. The upside is that your company may be able to finance your salary from the government’s
youth wage subsidy scheme, which aims to get young people off the streets and into the workplace in subsidised positions. A shorter form of interning is job shadowing, which usually only lasts for a few days so you can get the inside track on the day-to-day workings of a particular career.
If you want to ‘test’ the water in a certain profession before committing to studying it, interning or job shadowing is the perfect way to help you make up your mind.
Become an entrepreneur Not everyone is a born entrepreneur. You need to be a self-starter, confident, self-motivated, have a tough enough skin to handle rejection, and be willing to learn and seek help where needed. Most importantly, you need to be an ideas person who enjoys looking for solutions to existing problems. There are certain fields where you don’t need book smarts to be entrepreneurial. For example, you could start a small-scale recycling business, offer cooking classes or provide a service such as being a tour guide in your neighbourhood. One field where South Africa has a critical shortage of skills is information and communications technology (ICT), which will be critical in helping us build a knowledge-based economy. And, believe it or not, you can learn it yourself. As a budding techpreneur, go out and meet people at industry networking events, hackathons and on online forums, and test your ideas. You can teach yourself computer coding through several free online courses (such as Coursera – https:// www.coursera.org/), and learn how to develop apps, games and other software.
You determine your own hours and write your own salary cheque – you’re the boss!
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Enrol at a private college
Go into a trade
If you want to study, enrolling at a registered private college can be a worthwhile alternative to attending university. Independent colleges may offer tailored diplomas or certificates in fields such as nursing, fitness, accounting and business skills, while others offer more general fields of study. Some operate as private universities, offering degrees instead of diplomas. Their fees are generally higher than at public universities, as these colleges don’t receive a government subsidy. Established brands, like AFDA, Boston, Damelin, Intec, IMM, Vega, Varsity College and Monash South Africa have a solid track record and credentials. But look out for fly-by-nights! Make sure your college is accredited by Umalusi on behalf of the Department of Higher Education and Training, and that its courses are registered with the South African Qualifications Authority. Check out www.colleges.co.za and www.saqa.org.za if in any doubt.
Artisanal and technical skills such as: • electricians • millwrights • nurses • fitters • turners • boilermakers • carpenters • plumbers • diesel mechanics • and welders are high on the country’s scarce and critical skills list. This means that there are, and will be, jobs available in these areas. They may not necessarily be the most glamorous jobs, but they’ll provide you with a decent, stable and often very lucrative living if you are technically inclined or like to work with your hands. South Africa has 50 registered and accredited Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges. They operate on more than 250 campuses spread across the country’s urban and rural areas.
Chances are you will emerge from college well trained for a particular career, equipped with practical skills and ready to enter the workplace.
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The problem is that these public technical colleges haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory in recent years. But the good ones provide valuable job-specific or occupational training – at a very affordable price. Gaining these practical skills makes you highly employable, especially if you are considering becoming an artisan or technician. If you obtain a diploma through attending a TVET college, it will help you to get accepted into one of the universities of technology (the former technikons). Also consider a trade apprenticeship. This combines workplace and formal learning, and is based on an agreement between the individual who wants to learn the skill set and the employer who needs a skilled worker – a win-win situation. You will gain practical skills on-site under the careful supervision of a qualified tradesman.
Going into a trade is inexpensive, requires only a Grade 9 or Grade 10 certificate, and will improve your prospects in the job market.
Take up a learnership There are great opportunities in the hands-on ‘learn while you earn’ arena. A learnership is a form of on-the-job workplace training, which is usually profession-based (apprenticeships are trade-based). Several companies (such as SABMiller, Clicks, ArcelorMittal, Massmart, the major banks, Transnet) offer learnerships, where you work and earn a salary while studying and training towards a qualification (which is essentially free). These occupational learnerships, which are funded by employers via the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs), combine theory and practical elements and are aimed at addressing the specific needs of the labour market.
Because you are taught valuable skills in a practical environment, you have an excellent chance of securing a decent job at the end of your training.
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Study part-time – earn while you learn! It’s a sad reality that many young people have to work, yet desperately want to study. Luckily, you can do both at the same time. There are a number of part-time qualifications and correspondence courses out there – and some are available online for free. South Africa has a number of distance learning institutions, where you do not have to attend classes but can study from home in your spare time. This is a great option for those who don’t have the money to travel to and from classes, or who have work or family commitments. It means you can study at your own pace and ‘earn while you learn’. But even if you’re unemployed, you can boost your chances of getting a job if you enroll in a career-focused course. Several institutions offer night or weekend classes, giving worker bees an alternative to distance learning if they need to physically attend classes. Each college or university has its own admission requirements. Most colleges have fairly low entrance criteria, making further education possible for most school-leavers. It’s worth knowing that if you are already working, your employer may be able to pay for your parttime or correspondence studies. Most large companies pay a skills development levy to the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) via the Skills Development Fund. These funds are then made available as a rebate to train the company’s own staff.
Unisa The granddaddy of distance learning in South Africa is Unisa. Unisa prefers to call it ‘open distance learning’, because even though you may be physically
distant from the campus, you are not alone. The university offers students tutorial support, counselling and online tools, meaning that communication is just a click away. If you want to study through Unisa, you don’t need to have an excellent matric if you are older than 23. You are then regarded as a ‘mature student’ and can register for an undergraduate degree even if you didn’t get a university entrance in matric. Unisa also offers a number of focused short learning programmes (including online courses), ranging from a semester to a year in duration.
Distance learning colleges Distance learning colleges also have skilled tutors who will give you all the feedback and guidance you need to pass your course. This can be done through the post, via email or online. At some institutions, you can access lectures, course material and study groups at any time via the internet. But make sure you choose a registered college with a good track record. Some of the bestknown distance-learning colleges are Damelin, Intec, Lyceum and College SA. Most other public universities now also offer night classes or part-time courses (such as Wits Plus) – check out their websites for details.
Online courses If you have the self-discipline (and the internet access), you could enroll to study online through the likes of www. digitalcampus.co.za, for a fee. There are also countless free courses in cyberspace, ranging
from architecture and design to law and business skills, courtesy of the world’s top universities. You could technically study at Harvard or Yale from your desk. The online resources vary in complexity from basic video tutorials to in-depth lectures. Some are guided according to a schedule, and some are self-paced. Remember to read the fine print. Often the course content is made available for free, but if you want proof that you’ve completed it, you may have to pay a fee (usually about $50) for a verified certificate or diploma. Make sure your online course or degree is legit! Check out: www.openculture.com, www.edx. org, www.futurelearn.com, www.coursera.org and www.khanacademy.org
Word of warning… There’s a catch with studying from home: you can’t be lazy. You need to motivate yourself to do the assignments, study for the exams and meet the deadlines. It can be difficult trying to balance work and personal life with your studies. But if you put your mind to it, the sky’s the limit! POST MATRIC 2017 | 17
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alphaspirit / Shutterstock.com
#FundingEmergency… How to bag that bursary or land that loan You desperately want to study, but eish – it’s scarily expensive. Luckily there are a number of ways to get you funded and on your way to clinching that degree, diploma or certificate. Time for a reality check: despite the #FeesMustFall student protests, it will be a while before South Africans get free tertiary education – if it happens at all. So, for now, if you want to study further, you will have to cough up to go to college or university. And it’s not cheap. Sadly, one of the major reasons South African students drop out of their studies is a lack of finances. This severely affects their job prospects
and their opportunity to earn a decent living, in a country with a 26.5% unemployment rate. But if you can prove your family is cashstrapped or if you excel in academics, culture or sport, the chances are good that you can get all or at least some of your studies paid for. If you take responsibility for your finances, you will take control of your destiny and your ultimate success in the 21st-century workplace.
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Here’s some food for thought: in 2017, the average cost of an undergraduate humanities degree at the University of the Free State was R29 000, an economics or a law degree was R31 000, a health sciences degree was R34 000, and it cost R35 000 for a natural sciences degree. That’s not taking into account accommodation costs (a UFS res would set you back R20 000 to R32 000 a year, minus meals), plus transport, food, textbooks and registration fees – not to mention a slush fund for socialising and airtime! And this amount of R60 000 for tuition and
accommodation is at the lower end of the scale – at other universities you are looking at spending about R100 000 a year. Pretty hectic, right? But if you do your homework and are smart about applying for financial aid, you could soon be well on your way to graduating with that prized scroll in your hands. Approach the financial aid office at the tertiary institution you wish to attend, and get advice on which bursaries, scholarships and loans you are eligible for. Chances are there’s a bag of money out there with your name on it!
Tips for funding success • Get in early with your funding applications and don’t wait till the last minute. • If you are applying for a loan that has to be repaid, make sure you have the staying power to pursue a particular study path right to the end. • Find out about the scarce and critical skills that are currently in demand in the marketplace. You will have a better chance of getting funded if you study in a field where there is a shortage of, or a demand for, workers. • Choose the correct subjects in Grade 10 that will help ease your way into your dream career. Don’t just take the easiest subjects that you’re most likely to pass! • Find out what the minimum admission requirements are for the degree, diploma or certificate course you want to follow. Try to exceed those requirements to improve your chances of being accepted. Popular courses are usually oversubscribed and you could be denied a place, even if you have the marks.
• A scary statistic is that only one in eight matriculants who apply to universities will be accepted. Many universities don’t think a matric certificate holds much value and you may have to write an entrance test before being considered for some courses. • Attend the open days of universities and colleges and other tertiary training institutions, and gather information on all the funding options. Speak to your career guidance counsellor at school and search online for tips. • Compile a professional-looking CV or résumé, making sure to list your work experience, interests and achievements – it may help you with scholarship applications in particular. • Have certified copies made of your most recent results and your ID book or card. This can be done for free at your local police station. Get them scanned in (at an internet café if necessary), as many institutions require you to apply online.
Types of funding: Quick and dirty definitions Bursary A bursary is funding from an academic institution, company or government entity that enables you to start or continue with your tertiary education studies. A bursary is awarded based on an excellent academic record and proven financial need. It usually covers registration and tuition fees, and often includes accommodation and meals, as well as textbooks and stationery. You will need to maintain a certain level of academic performance while studying. Some bursaries may also give preference to previously disadvantaged groups. Pros: Receiving a bursary that you have to “work back” means you’re guaranteed a job
after graduating. Often, it means paid holiday work too. Plus, because your studies are paid for you don’t need to stress about money and can concentrate on achieving good marks. Cons: Certain bursaries are only offered for the second year of study onwards. Also, some students might resist the idea of being tied down to work back the study grant or complete some sort of training after graduating. Plus, if you fail some of your modules, you may have to repay the bursary or risk having it withdrawn. • Visit: http://www.bursaries2017.co.za/ or www.bursaries-southafrica.co.za POST MATRIC 2017 | 19
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Bank loan The four major banks offer loans to students to cover tuition fees, accommodation and other expenses. Once you have been accepted and have registered to study for a course, the bank will pay the amount directly to that institution and, if necessary, the residence. If you have applied for extra funding for textbooks and so on, that amount will be paid directly to you. If you are not working or if you earn less than R5000 a month, someone (like a parent) will have to sign surety for you. This means that if you default on your loan repayments after graduating, that person is liable for your debt. Pros: Investing in your studies and professional development will ultimately pay off handsomely. Plus, you are not restricted in your choice of institution: you can apply for a bank loan to study at a university, a technical or vocational college, or a private college accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority. Cons: While you’re studying, the person who has signed surety for you has to service the monthly interest on the loan. And once you’ve finished your studies, you have to start paying back a capital amount that could run into hundreds of thousands of rands.
Plus, if you don’t complete your degree, you have to repay the full loan amount – immediately. Contact the big four banks: • Standard Bank: 0860 123 000, www.standardbank.co.za • First National Bank: 0860 100 762, www.fnb.co.za • ABSA: 0860 100 372, www.absa.co.za • Nedbank: 0860 555 111, www.nedbank.co.za
NSFAS student loan The Department of Higher Education and Training’s National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) awards study loans and bursaries to South African undergraduate students who are enrolled at public universities or technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges. You must be financially needy and have decent academic marks to qualify. Unfortunately, you can’t apply for a NSFAS loan if you intend to study at a private college or university.
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A scholarship is similar to a bursary in that it is money for tertiary education that doesn’t need to be repaid. But it is based more on merit – such as artistic, academic or sporting ability – than on financial need. Scholarships can be awarded by universities, government institutions, companies or even nonprofit organisations or trusts. The Rhodes scholarship, which enables exceptional students to study at England’s Oxford University, is one of the best-known examples of a scholarship. Pros: A scholarship doesn’t need to be repaid – think of it as your reward for working hard, or having a special talent or ability! Cons: There’s no such thing as a free lunch, and scholarships are often awarded as an investment in the student rather than a gift. Sometimes there are strings attached – you will have to pursue a certain career, or provide voluntary mentoring or coaching. Many scholarships require you to maintain a certain minimum level of academic performance.
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Following widespread student protests over the high cost of tertiary education, the government increased NSFAS’s 2017 budget to R15 billion to fund more than 400 000 students. Students can apply to NSFAS directly for a loan of up to R71 800 a year to cover their tuition, accommodation, transport, food and textbook costs. The scheme offers study loans at a low interest rate without the need for surety, although you do need to submit proof of your parents’ income. You only have to begin repaying your student loan once you are earning R30 000 a year. NSFAS also administers bursary funds for aspiring teachers, social workers, people with disabilities and those studying in the field of scarce-skills disciplines. Pros: If you pass all your courses, you could get 40% of your NSFAS loan converted into a bursary – which means you don’t have to pay that portion back. And you could get your entire third-year studies funded for free if you successfully graduate. Cons: If you fail or drop out, you’ll have to repay your student loan in full once you start earning above a certain threshold. Also, there have been widespread protests on campuses in recent times over the non-payment or late payment of tuition fees from NSFAS. • Contact NSFAS at 0860 NSFAS (067327). You can also email email@example.com or apply online at www.nsfas.org.za.
Skills Development Fund If you’re already working, why not try to get your employer to pay for your studies? Companies with an annual payroll of more than R500 000 have to pay the South African Revenue Service a skills development levy (1% of their total monthly salary bill) to develop and improve employees’ skills. Companies can claim back a portion of the levy to train their own employees through the relevant Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA). Pros: You can get your study costs covered by your boss – as long as it is related to your job. Basically, that means you can learn for free! Cons: Read the fine print carefully when enrolling for studies paid for by your company – you may be tied to your firm for a certain period afterwards, to work back your training costs.
Where to start? Tertiary institutions • Apply for a bursary at the university or college where you intend to study. Visit, email or phone their financial aid office well in advance to find out more. • Many of these bursaries are only available to South African citizens. • Once you are enrolled at university, you may also qualify for an academic merit award based on your results during your first year of study. • Some universities also offer partial bursaries for art, cultural, sporting or leadership achievements at school.
Companies • Many companies – particularly those operating in the scarce and critical skills sectors, such as mining and engineering – award contract bursaries for studies in a particular field. You will have to pass your subjects (or risk having to repay the grant), and sometimes you’ll have to work for the company for a few years after you graduate. • Companies that award bursaries include: Spoornet, Transnet, Sasol, Absa, Anglo American, Gold Fields, Anglo Platinum, Eskom, Sasol, Iscor, De Beers, Edgars, SA Breweries, Harmony, Mintek, AECI, Engen, Group 5, Murray & Roberts, PPC, the SA Institute of Race Relations, the SA Weather Service, Vodacom and Old Mutual. • Eduloan is a private company that provides loans to students whose parents are permanently employed. Visit www.eduloan.co.za.
Government institutions • Approach your local municipality, or the provincial or national government department relevant to your studies – they often have a number of bursaries up for grabs. • The Funza Lushaka bursary scheme, for example, is open to students studying for a teaching qualification. Visit www. funzalushaka.doe.gov.za/ for more details. POST MATRIC 2017 | 21
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CAREER JUNCTION SCAN OUR Q&A SECTION FOR INSPIRATION
VISIT OUR WEBSITE AND FACEBOOK PAGE FOR STACKS OF CAREER IDEAS www.postmatric.co.za
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ON TOP OF THE WORLD WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS PROFESSION? I was always interested in the weather while growing up, and during my matric year I came across an advertisement that I saw as a great opportunity to follow my dream.
WHAT TRAINING DID YOU UNDERGO AND WHAT WERE THE REQUIREMENTS? I did a National Certificate in Weather Observation, a ten-month course run by the Regional Training Centre of the South African Weather Service. The minimum entry requirement is Grade 12, with 50% or more in Mathematics and Physical Science.
IS THERE A TYPE OF PERSONALITY BEST SUITED TO WORKING WITH THE WEATHER? One needs to be reliable, have the ability to do routine work carefully and accurately, and be able to work in different environments. You have to be someone interested in the world around you (especially the weather).
IS EXPERIENCE AS IMPORTANT AS TRAINING? Formal training is essential for foundational knowledge, while experience gained while working takes it to the next level.
DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY ON THE JOB Each shift has a different focus – observing the weather at routine times from the office as well as in the surrounding areas. We have to be aware of expected conditions that might occur, and release upper air balloons to ensure that this information gets through to the forecasters. We also monitor the data being collected by automated stations. On other days we do field work, maintaining or reactivating our remote instruments.
you have to be someone interested in the world around you
METEOROLOGICAL TECHNICIAN SOUTH AFRICAN WEATHER SERVICE
WHAT DO YOU LIKE THE MOST? It is not only office based – you get to travel to the different weather stations under your control. I’m almost always informed about present and near future weather conditions.
WHAT ARE YOU LEAST ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT? Working through the holidays (Festive and Easter).
WHAT’S BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER? Being interviewed for a children’s programme that was aired on national TV weeks later.
YOUR GOALS FOR THE FUTURE? I’m currently studying a BSc Environmental Management. It would be amazing to have a career someday that includes both weather and environmental issues.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE STARTING OUT IN THE METEOROLOGICAL FIELD? Be open to learning new things always; it really does get easier with time.
DESCRIBE YOUR JOB IN THREE WORDS Informative • Exciting • Fulfilling POST MATRIC 2017 | 25
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WATER WELLNESS WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO BECOME AN ANIMAL HYDROTHERAPIST? As an animal-lover I have witnessed first hand how in winter my dogs struggle to get up in the mornings, or are stiff after too much exercise. My love for animals lead me to the rehabilitation field, as the benefits drastically improve their quality of life. I decided to follow my heart and passion, linking my profession to pet care, and started Pet Wellness Worx in November 2014.
WHAT TRAINING DID YOU DO? I was formally trained in the UK at Greyfriars Veterinary Rehabilitation and Hydrotherapy Referrals. I have a three-year National Diploma in Agricultural Management; Level 1+2 Hills Veterinary Nutrition Advisor Certificate; Royal Canine Nutrition Certificates Levels 1-4; and am a Certified Canine Body Worker.
YOUR CAREER IS UNUSUAL. WHAT IS AN ANIMAL HYDROTHERAPIST? An animal hydrotherapist works in the field of animal rehabilitation, using water as the main medium for the therapy. Vets refer patients to a hydrotherapist for a variety of reasons: orthopaedic or neurological/spinal conditions; degenerative conditions; sports injuries; weight loss; geriatric issues; and all kinds of musculoskeletal injuries.
DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY The night before, programme your heat pump and solar filtration system to ensure that you work at a temperature of 29-31°.
the pet’s quality of life comes first
Review your client’s ANIMAL HYDROTHERAPIST files and their conditions PET WELLNESS WORX prior to them arriving. During the session, use the SOAP methodology (Subjective, so it never gets boring. It’s Objective, Assessment and rewarding when you see a Plan) to carry out the treatment. dysplastic dog walking again Check with the owner whether after hydro treatment. Seeing there has been any change in the improvement in the animal’s the pet’s behaviour, demeanour well-being and the owner’s or exercise tolerance. Feel over understanding of our passion the pet’s spine and muscles for for animals, and knowing that problem areas. Then it’s time to they share the same views. ‘coat up’ your patient with the correct floatation device, specific to that dog and their condition. WHAT QUALITIES DO YOU NEED TO The treatment might include BE GREAT AT THIS JOB? underwater treadmill, swimming You need compassion and or exercises in water – each empathy, loads of patience, therapy is beneficial, but has very problem-solving skills and different technical applications. physical fitness. You also have to Be prepared to get wet :) make sure you always act in the best interests of the animal – the pet’s quality of life comes first. WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING
PART OF THE JOB?
Watching your patients grow old and frail.
WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF DOING WHAT YOU DO? Every dog/cat/penguin (yes, we have trained a penguin how to swim again) is different, with their own challenges,
ANY ADVICE FOR NEWCOMERS? You’ll need to have a passion for people and animals alike, and be prepared to work hard. You need loads of empathy. Hydrotherapists need to be physically fit and strong. You will need to be able to work independently, and love water.
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CARVING YOUR FUTURE WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO BECOME A CARPENTER AS A TRADE PROFESSION? I worked with my father from a young age. He inspired me with his talent and enthusiasm. I decided to go further into the field of carpentry because of him.
WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME? In my spare time I make things now and then for around the house, or I do part-time jobs to build more carpentry experience and a name for myself.
DID YOU UNDERGO ANY TRAINING? I have not had any training as a carpenter. Over many years I have worked hard and built up a lot of experience from being involved with different companies and private clients.
DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY ON THE JOB I would describe a typical day as one where nothing goes the way it should and it feels like a Monday all day. Just kidding :) (though often it does feel like ‘one of those days’).
THE MOST ENJOYABLE ASPECT OF WORKING AS A CARPENTER? The things I like the most about my job is that every day you get to learn something new, explore fresh ideas and be creative about all the different aspects of the work that you’re involved in.
WHAT IS THE THING YOU LIKE LEAST ABOUT YOUR WORK? I really don’t like my work coming off second best at the final stages, because I’m very proud of what I create. I also struggle when my work is criticised by my boss or a client.
WHAT HURDLES HAVE YOU HAD TO OVERCOME? Many times when a project has to be done in time to meet a deadline there are delays or snags, which creates a lot of pressure. I have to work twice as hard to be at my best and to get the job done.
give it all you’ve got, explore new ideas
Howard Joseph CARPENTER
WHAT’S BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER? I’ve been working for seven years in the carpentry industry and today I’m a junior foreman employed at Katull Construction.
WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE GOALS? I’d like to have my own business, to let other people work and learn what I have, and to build up experience to improve my skills even further.
EXPERIENCE VS TRAINING? Experience is important as it gives you a headstart, whereas formal training is a slower process. You can always learn new things.
IS THERE A TYPE OF PERSONALITY BEST SUITED TO BEING A CARPENTER? I would say personality counts – you must have a strong character and determination.
ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE STARTING OUT? Give it all you’ve got, explore new ideas, and learn and take in as much as you can.
DESCRIBE YOUR JOB IN THREE WORDS Fun, eventful and hardworking. POST MATRIC 2017 | 27
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A TASTE OF THINGS TO COME WHAT DOES A SOMMELIER DO? Well, simply put, it’s all about aesthetic analysis of wine; being able to pair wine with food while brushing aside all the complications, and being able to explain and recommend wines to guests without coming across as arrogant or snobbish.
WHAT IS REQUIRED? A combination of a love for viticulture, people, and diversity in the culture of wine and service.
WHERE DID YOU STUDY? Through Getsmarter. I completed a course in Wine Evaluation under the University of Stellenbosch’s Faculty of Viticulture and Oenology, and completed a Tasting Diploma at UCT Graduate School of Business under Michael Friedjohn, as well as a certificate with the Cape Wine Academy.
WINE SOMMELIER THE ONE&ONLY CAPE TOWN
DESCRIBE A DAY ON THE JOB
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS SO FAR?
Doing this interview; going through appointments with winemakers, suppliers, etc, and making sure all the wines are available as advertised with their correct vintages; doing wine training with staff; getting on with wine service and making sure all diners get the very best service out of me and my team – which is my main goal.
Being awarded South Africa Young Sommelier of the Year 2008, and coming fourth in the world.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR WORK? Everything about my job is a constant pleasure. Perhaps if computers were nonexistent, my job would be the best in the world!
SO WHAT DON’T YOU LIKE? The aforementioned computers, and also badsmelling people.
HURDLES YOU’VE OVERCOME... Having not been born in the world of wine, I had to work much harder on both the academic and theoretical aspects. With the Western Cape being the heart of wines, I had to make a tough decision to be based there while my family live in Durban.
YOUR FUTURE PLANS? I don’t want to spoil the occasion, but I have massive and concrete plans for the future!
HOW DOES EXPERIENCE COMPARE TO TRAINING? Academics play a very important role, while having experience makes one seamlessly handle any situation.
DESCRIBE A ‘SUCCESSFUL’ SOMMELIER You have to be passionate about lifestyle and healthy living. You have to have love and patience for people and not be snobbish about what you know, and you absolutely have to be very well groomed… ‘a cheaplooking person will never sell me anything’.
ADVICE FOR YOUNGSTERS... You’ll need patience, determination and a passion for lifestyle. Remember that in the end, wine is a beverage that contains alcohol and those that have a love for wine will never abuse it.
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KEEPING FIGURES IN SHAPE WHY DID YOU CHOOSE BOOKKEEPING AS YOUR CAREER? I actually wanted to do personal training, and decided to work part-time as a receptionist to generate income in the meantime. I ended up thoroughly enjoying it, so I enrolled as a part-time student at college and have never looked back.
WHAT IS YOUR TRAINING? I trained in full function of basic accounting bookkeeping and business management. I attended Boston College and Achievers Business College.
DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY ON THE JOB AS A BOOKKEEPER I start off with coffee and the most important meal of the day: breakie. Next, I log on, attend to any accounting queries and quotations, capture all invoices (debtors and creditors), receipt all payments, check statements, and deal with the debt collecting.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT IT? Interacting with my colleagues and clients; my job plays an important role of the finished product.
THE LEAST ENJOYABLE ASPECT?
Ursula Munnik BOOKKEEPER YES MEDIA
WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE GOALS? To set up a business from home doing bookkeeping, tourism and full-time missions.
IN ADMINISTRATION, IS EXPERIENCE AS IMPORTANT AS FORMAL TRAINING? Yes, formal training is very important, but then so is in-house training. What I experience in the workplace cannot be taught. I learn daily through trial and error.
WHAT TRAITS DO YOU NEED TO DO THIS JOB? You must be a people person, be approachable, and be sharp with figures.
I REALLY don’t like having to harass clients for money that they owe us.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WANTING TO GET INTO ADMINISTRATION?
ANY HURDLES YOU’VE HAD TO DEAL WITH?
Try and stay ahead with accounting packages: knowledge is power!
I had to take a cut in salary due to the poor economy of our country at the moment. I constantly have a battle with my mind, but keep pushing myself to try to remain positive and continue even when the going gets tough.
WHAT’S BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE TO DATE? I’m truly blessed, working with an amazing team; it feels like home to me.
YOUR JOB IN THREE WORDS Stimulating, challenging and rewarding.
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FASHION DESIGN ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT
SAVING OUR PLANET
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS PROFESSION?
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY THE MOST ABOUT YOUR WORK?
I have always been interested in nature and wanted to conserve the limited natural resources that we have. I find the way in which human beings interact with, impact on and are affected by the natural world very dynamic and interesting.
I enjoy identifying environmental problems and impacts that may arise as a result of a new developments being constructed and finding solutions to those problems.
WHAT TRAINING DID YOU UNDERGO IN ORDER TO DO THE JOB? I completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental and Geographical Science followed by a Bachelor of Science (honours) degree (Environmental Management stream) at UCT.
WHAT KIND OF PERSONALITY IS SUITED TO THIS CAREER? Environmental management is multidisciplinary in nature, so it suits lateral thinkers able to pay attention to detail. A large component of the job includes meeting with consultants from different fields and engaging with members of the public, so you have to enjoy working with people. You should also be sensitised to the intrinsic value of the environment. Good report writing skills are important.
DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY AS AN ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTANT A typical day would be doing research, writing environmental impact assessment reports, attending meetings, liaising with the public and with project team members.
WHAT’S BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER? Working on projects that assist people to empower themselves, such as housing projects for lowincome groups; making contributions that ensure that new developments are environmentally sound.
SHARE SOME OF YOUR GOALS FOR THE FUTURE To focus more on renewable energy (solar, wind, hydro) projects, particularly in light of the climate change issues facing the world.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE STARTING OUT? Try to start out with a small company, this way you work on a number of different projects and learn a lot in a short space of time. Gaining experience is invaluable in this profession.
SUMMARISE YOUR JOB IN JUST THREE WORDS It’s the future.
be sensitised to the intrinsic value of the environment
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OODLES OF GOOD TASTE WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY? I have always been social and enjoyed the challenges this industry brings. I started my working life in human resources – I guess the human interaction within this industry is a large part of what we do, so it is a natural fit for my personality.
WHAT TRAINING DID YOU UNDERGO, AND WHERE? I studied Human Resources Management and Industrial Relations at Damelin.
DESCRIBE YOUR TYPICAL DAY AT WORK As the years have gone by, my role has changed significantly, from always being on the shop floor, to my current role, which is more as a mentor and sounding board to my management team and staff. I now run the operations and finance of the business with regards to supplier contracts and costings. I am also involved in the marketing strategy for the business and dealing with client functions and events.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST? Seeing the familiar faces of clients enjoying themselves and, of course, the iconic view of Table Mountain and Robben Eiland from the restaurant’s windows.
YOUR LEAST FAVOURITE ASPECT? Although it’s a necessary ‘evil’, I really do not enjoy paperwork. I find the work time-consuming and boring and would rather perform any other task!
WHAT HURDLES HAVE YOU HAD TO OVERCOME? In the past I tended to micro-manage my staff. I have learnt to let go a bit more, allowing them to make their own decisions. It’s helped the business to grow from strength to strength.
RESTAURATEUR DOODLES BEACHFRONT
WHAT’S BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER TO DATE? Doodles Beachfront has been in successful operation for 26 years and is considered a landmark in Cape Town.
IS EXPERIENCE AS IMPORTANT AS FORMAL TRAINING IN THE RESTAURANT BUSINESS? A formal qualification certainly helps to get your foot in the door, but you cannot underestimate the importance of experience. The lessons you learn on the job in real life situations simply can’t be taught from a book.
TYPE OF PERSONALITY OR TRAITS ONE SHOULD HAVE? My industry caters for a vast range of personality groups. There will always be opportunities within the hospitality sector because of the diverse range of jobs available. There are underlying traits required for anyone wanting to work in this industry: you must be hard-working, dedicated, and committed to working in a team environment.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE STARTING OUT? I believe that if you work hard, remain honest and commit yourself to delivering good customer service, you will always have opportunities within the hospitality industry.
YOUR JOB IN THREE WORDS Challenging • Rewarding • Social POST MATRIC 2017 | 31
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BLAZING THE UBUNTU SPIRIT Shakira Choonara PR COUNCILLOR
CITY OF JOBURG (COJ)
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS PROFESSION? Whilst working at Wits University in 2014, I volunteered to serve as a party agent in the general elections – I was in awe of my country and how far we’d come as a nation since the days of apartheid. That day, I knew that I wanted to lead my people towards a South Africa free from racial divide and discrimination, embracing the spirit of Ubuntu.
WHAT TRAINING DID YOU UNDERGO? While working at the eLearning Support and Innovation Unit at Wits, I was sponsored to study at the Wits Business School, where I completed my NMP and MAP. However, I’d have to say that my life experiences have taught me the most.
IS THERE A TYPE OF PERSONALITY BEST SUITED TO THIS WORK? No, you just have to be your authentic self, and live with integrity and unwavering intention. A true intention or belief is revealed through one’s actions, it does not need to be spoken.
IS EXPERIENCE AS IMPORTANT AS FORMAL TRAINING? Training is not learning; learning is a process, not an event. It occurs over time and with experience. Training is an event that occurs to facilitate the learning process.
Everything is a learning experience and people grow through experience, so view life as a continuous learning experience.
DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY There’s no such thing as a typical day on this job, every day is something new.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT THE WORK YOU DO? I love meeting new people from different backgrounds, because it reminds me that there’s still so much to discover in this world. Interacting with people from different cultures is imperative for true innovation.
WHICH ASPECTS ARE YOU LEAST ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT? No vending machine (or canteen) at our offices + meetings that last for hours = Like, really?!
WHAT’S BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER? This isn’t a career for me – I am here to effect change by being the difference that I wish to see. I know that I can’t right the wrongs of the past, but I hold myself personally responsible for becoming more ethical than the society I grew up in, to focus my energy not on fighting the past, but on building the new.
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE FUTURE? My goal is to make a difference by continuing to evolve into my higher self, living as the best version of myself, and inspiring others to live as the best version of themselves.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE STARTING OUT IN YOUR PROFESSION? You have to be fearless in your pursuit of what you believe in. Do not be afraid to speak your mind: play big, humbly. Be the reason someone doesn’t give up. Be the reason people believe in the goodness of people. Be authentic – authenticity is the courage to be yourself, unapologetically. Live courageously, be inspired. Blaze your own trail, afraid of nothing. Live every day as if it’s the day you will be remembered for when you’re gone.
YOUR JOB IN THREE WORDS Patience. Passion. Perseverance.
BE THE REASON TO BELIEVE IN GOODNESS
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VARIETY IS THE SPICE to be able to make a meaningful contribution. Company secretaries typically hold either the CSSA qualification or a law degree.
WHAT TYPE OF PERSONALITY BEST SUITS THIS WORK? Company secretaries must have a strong personality. They need to have a good eye for detail. They need to be organised, structured in their approach and able to work under pressure. Good time management skills are also absolutely imperative.
COMPANY SECRETARY FASSET
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS PROFESSION? I didn’t really choose it, it was more like I fell into it! I started my career working in the area of general administration within various sectors, including the legal space. I have held the positions of operations officer, operations manager and, more recently, company secretary. It appealed to me because the ‘Cosec’ environment is a new and exciting field.
WHAT TRAINING DID YOU UNDERGO? I hold an Advanced Diploma in Management through the South African Institute of Management (SAIM), a Diploma in Public Relations (Damelin), and I am currently completing a CSSA qualification part-time. However, my most critical training has been operating within this environment, and acquiring the skills necessary
EXPERIENCE VS TRAINING? The role of Company Secretary within a Seta environment is slightly different to the same role within a large corporate. Setas (Sector Education and Training Authorities) are not governed by the Companies Act (2008), they are governed by Seta-specific legislation and regulations. An in-depth knowledge of Seta-specific legislation and regulations is required. This is acquired on the job rather than through formal training. A sound knowledge and understanding of corporate governance is also needed. While important, formal training only takes you so far; hands-on experience is critical, as implementation is the ‘tricky part’.
DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY There is no such thing as a typical day on the job. Every day is different. A lot depends on the time of year. The demands and requirements are very specific in terms of the year-end audits, the quarterly reporting to governing structures, board meetings, committee meetings
and the need to periodically review policies to ensure that they are aligned to legislative changes in the environment. However, certain aspects of the job remain constant: deadlines have to be met, information must be produced timeously, board and committee packs and minutes must be produced on time, and all deliverables in terms of the board, committees, service providers and stakeholders must be monitored and delivered upon as agreed.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR LINE OF WORK? I enjoy the fact that my days are unpredictable. This ensures that my job is never boring.
WHICH ASPECTS ARE YOU LEAST KEEN ON? The need to follow up and ensure that decisions which have been agreed upon have been implemented. Setting up meetings can also be taxing and time-consuming as it is often difficult to coordinate people’s diaries.
ADVICE FOR SOMEONE STARTING OUT IN THIS CAREER? Anyone considering a career as a company secretary must be willing to be desk-bound; they must also be willing to work very hard and keep long hours when necessary. Unless you are organised, have very strong administrative skills, good problem solving and good people skills, this profession is not for you.
YOUR JOB IN THREE WORDS Challenging, dynamic and professional.
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TAKE YOUR BEST SHOT WHAT’S YOUR JOB ALL ABOUT? The type of work I do varies: from working as a stage manager at public events, to coordinating photo shoots, to taking photos of events, people or products.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS PROFESSION? I chose to do photography as I have been passionate about it from the age of 17, and had the good fortune of being asked to do a photo essay for a magazine called Design Indaba. This made me realise that I could do what I love to earn money.
DID YOU UNDERGO TRAINING? I got my first camera when I was 17, and instantly fell in love with photography, so I just kept on taking photos until my friends helped me see that I needed to take my photography to a more serious level. Two years ago I got a bursary to study documentary photography in Berlin. I had a really fantastic time exploring and photographing the city and its diverse people.
WHAT MAKES A ‘SUCCESSFUL’ PHOTOGRAPHER? Photographers differ in so many ways, but when one goes slightly deeper, one realises that what all the really good ones have in common is that they are very skilled at their craft, and they are good at listening, so they can translate their clients needs into visual images. It doesn’t hurt if one happens to be friendly, though it is important to be able to deal with people professionally.
DESCRIBE YOUR TYPICAL DAY It all depends on what one is shooting. Here’s an example of shooting models on location: The day usually starts early, depending on what kind of light is required, meeting the clients to reconfirm the brief. Everyone gathers, and then we move to the location together. The models are made up, and the lighting set up. The models are directed to assume different poses and the actual
photography starts. Sometimes there is more than one location, which means that the whole process takes place again. Another type of shoot is one where I have to document an event, or an area with its people. This is my favourite kind of shoot, which basically involves being ‘submerged’ in a community, area or event, and watching for a moment that will tell the story.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE THE MOST ABOUT YOUR WORK? The opportunity to meet new and different people, as well as getting to see things that I would not normally see. For example, one job had me taking a helicopter ride at 4am to a rig out at sea, then photographing the workers from the bottom to the top of this amazing structure. I like doing different things.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE STARTING OFF? Work hard, take lots of pictures, and be excited and inspired.
YOUR JOB IN THREE WORDS Exciting • Inspiring • Rewarding
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PLUGGED IN AND SWITCHED ON WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS PROFESSION? I enjoy working with people, though I much prefer being on the road than in an office setting. There is always work available for electricians because it’s one of the most common trades, and there is always a lot of growth potential when you work for a well-known company.
WHAT TRAINING DID YOU UNDERGO AND WHERE DID YOU DO IT? I did an apprenticeship section 28 with ECA and Train All training centre in Cape Town.
DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY ON THE JOB We mainly work on maintenance on electrical work in houses and small buildings – like plug points, light fittings, earth leakages, etc. Every day there is something different and we are always needed.
WHAT ARE THE BEST PARTS? I enjoy a good team spirit, and when a client is happy with my work.
WHAT DON’T YOU LIKE?
Ilunga Jean Paul Muambayi ELECTRICIAN
I don’t like it when sometimes a client thinks they know what is wrong and overrun my decisions when I’m fixing a problem, in the end realising that I did intend to do the right thing. This is why you need lots of patience and good social skills!
HOW DOES EXPERIENCE WEIGH UP AGAINST FORMAL TRAINING?
HAVE THERE BEEN HURDLES TO OVERCOME?
The more experience you get, the better equipped you are mentally and physically.
I have found that in this industry you have to keep your focus and be positive because when I started it was not easy. I did not get a lot of help and not many companies wanted to hire me because I hardly had any experience.
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS? When I resolve the problem by giving satisfaction to the ones in need and I can look back and be proud of how much experience I have gained.
YOUR FUTURE GOALS ARE… To find myself managing a big electrical company.
WHAT MAKES A ‘GOOD’ ELECTRICIAN? An electrician needs dedication, passion and a hard working ethos.
ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE STARTING OUT IN YOUR CAREER? Always be willing to learn and take on new opportunities. Never give up.
i enjoy a good team spirit
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HEY, GOOD LOOKING WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING? I am a hair and make-up artist and work with different production companies, for magazines, weddings and personal clients. My job is to make up and style the model according to the client brief.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS PROFESSION? I’ve loved art and cosmetics since childhood. I helped a friend of mine to do make-up on set and discovered that I could make money just by making people look beautiful. That got me thinking and I decided to join a beauty college.
WHERE DID YOU TRAIN? I started with a cosmetology course at Pivot Point in Kenya. Then moved to South Africa where I studied art directing for Motion Pictures at City Varsity.
MAKE-UP ARTIST KRISTEENKURIA.COM
DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY I am never in the same place for long. Some days start early – maybe at the beach for a morning shoot, other days I am on set doing a fashion shoot with a magazine, or shooting a cooking show. I could work for only three hours or for 21 hours depending on the nature of the job.
EXPERIENCE VERSUS FORMAL TRAINING? They say that Picasso did not become great because he was talented but because he put his gift to use every day. It’s the same with this career – experience will get you further. It is important to go to school and learn the basics, but more important to get out there and work on different faces and with new products.
YOUR FAVOURITE ASPECT? My job has taken me to places I never thought of going, and I love meeting different people and seeing their transformation after the makeover. It feels good that my handy work gives them confidence, it makes me feel like some sort of a healer to the ego!
It makes me feel like some sort of healer to the ego
WHAT DON’T YOU LIKE? People who have no respect for what you do.
WHAT HURDLES HAVE YOU OVERCOME? There have been many hurdles along the way, especially being a freelancer. There were times when business was slow and I had to face the fact that I wasn’t getting a salary that month. I find the greatest hurdle is myself! I constantly have to battle with my mind and keep pushing myself to continue even when things are tough. I’ve had to train my mind to be positive and keep looking for new opportunities to put myself out there.
WHAT MAKES A ‘GOOD’ MAKE-UP ARTIST? People skills play a huge role. Make it a point to study people and treat them according to their personality. You need to be patient because you will encounter situations that don’t make you happy. You should also have a good sense of humour, and know the time to talk and time to stop talking. Try to keep your client’s information to yourself. Respect for people goes a long way.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A NEWCOMER? Be patient and when work is slow find models to practice on. Information is key, so stay informed. Market yourself to get your name out there. POST MATRIC 2017 | 37
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David Mwanambuyu EDITOR
BLACK BUSINESS QUARTERLY
WRITING THE HEADLINES WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO BE AN EDITOR?
IS EXPERIENCE AS IMPORTANT AS FORMAL TRAINING?
It just came naturally to me. From the time I was a teenager, I always wanted to know what was happening around me and read just about everything that I could get my hands on. I love words and that was obviously a major factor in my decision to become an editor.
In my view, experience sets one apart, it gives you the confidence to explore any subject under the sun. That’s why it’s very important for graduates to do a bit of writing on a freelance basis prior to seeking a full time job. It’s a very competitive profession, as such editors usually prefer dealing with the tried and tested. So, get your byline out there for everyone to see.
WHAT TRAINING DID YOU UNDERGO? I studied journalism with the Writers Bureau College of Journalism, Manchester, United Kingdom.
IS THERE A TYPE OF PERSONALITY BEST SUITED TO THIS WORK? It’s important to have a genuine passion for people and their stories, an unquenchable quest for knowledge, and a keen sense of language.
DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY IN YOUR WORKING LIFE It’s frenetic. I check my diary first then edit freelance copy, read the business press, research ideas, then put pen to paper.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE THE MOST ABOUT BEING AN EDITOR? The interaction with people from all walks of life, the constant flow of information at my disposal and the art of turning bare facts into a readable story. That is artistic!
WHAT DON’T YOU LIKE? The perennial deadlines.
WHAT’S BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER? Editing Black Business Quarterly.
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE FUTURE? I would love to go into media ownership one day.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE STARTING OUT IN THE MEDIA INDUSTRY? The industry is not as glamorous as it is made out to be; it’s hard work as you need to be prepared to go the extra mile at all times.
DESCRIBE YOUR JOB IN THREE WORDS A bookworm’s paradise.
the industry is not as glamorous as it is made out to be
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NATURAL INSTINCT Shane Murray
AGRI-GENOMICS MANAGER CENTRE FOR PROTEOMIC AND GENOMIC RESEARCH
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO FOLLOW THIS PATH? The school subject Biology really came alive for me during my Matric year, and so I decided to carry on with a BSc at university. There I discovered Genetics and Plant Molecular Biology. My first job was for the Agricultural Research Council, which set me on a research career path.
YOUR CAREER IS A LITTLE UNUSUAL. EXPLAIN WHAT IT IS THAT YOU DO I do research in Plant Molecular Biology, specifically to understand the interaction between crop plants (such as maize and vegetables) and their microbial pathogens. Plants cannot move away from microbial attackers, and have developed very sophisticated mechanisms for defending themselves. By researching these naturally occurring mechanisms, we hope to find ways in which they can be improved in crop plants, thereby reducing the need for pesticide sprays and increasing food security.
WHAT TRAINING DID YOU UNDERGO, AND WHERE?
WHAT’S BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER?
I did a BSc, BSc Hons and MSc at University of KwaZulu-Natal; a PhD at University of Edinburgh; and a Postdoctoral Fellowship at University of Cape Town.
I have really appreciated the opportunity to study towards my PhD overseas.
DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY During my postgrad training, most of my time was spent in the lab carrying out experiments. These days I mostly sit behind a computer, either analysing data, reading papers, communicating with collaborators via email or writing reports, grant proposals and articles for publication. A portion of each day is also taken up with meetings with co-workers and postgraduate students. A large part of my current job description involves project management.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT THE WORK YOU DO? I enjoy working within a team of people to address a research problem. The field of plant-pathogen interactions is fascinating and new discoveries are constantly being made.
WHAT DON’T YOU LIKE? A failed experiment or a rejected grant application is always very disheartening, but you do learn to bounce back and keep on trying your best.
IN YOUR FIELD, IS EXPERIENCE AS IMPORTANT AS FORMAL TRAINING? Both are very important, although for a career in research a PhD is desirable.
IS THERE A TYPE OF PERSONALITY OR CERTAIN TRAITS BEST SUITED TO THIS WORK? Important traits are curiosity, patience, persistence, organisational skills, and also communication skills.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WANTING TO BECOME A PLANT BIOLOGIST? Study what you are passionate about, but be entrepreneurial about your career development plans, for example by seeking out internships.
DESCRIBE YOUR CAREER PATH IN THREE WORDS Plants • Discovery • Creativity
THE FIELD OF PLANT-PATHOGEN INTERACTIONS IS FASCINATING POST MATRIC 2017 | 39
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FASHION DESIGN HAIRDRESSING
Peter the Haircutter HAIRSTYLIST
A CUT ABOVE THE REST WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO TAKE ON HAIRDRESSING AS A CAREER? I chose this profession after learning a little bit of calligraphy. I found such an inner peace from working in a creative medium. I also like the freedom and expression of hairdressing.
WHAT TRAINING IS INVOLVED IN LEARNING THIS FINE ART? Firstly, locate a reputable hair salon that needs an apprentice to train inhouse. This requires you to learn how to shampoo, clean, sweep, interact with clients, and you’ll soon learn how a hair salon functions. Then, once a week for three years, you go to hairdressing technical college learning theory and practical, then writing exams. To qualify as a hairdresser takes three years, but after one year you could become a junior stylist, cutting and styling, and earning a commission.
WHAT TYPE OF PERSONALITY OR TRAITS SHOULD A HAIRDESSER POSSESS? You need to be gregarious, outgoing, a great communicator, have a creative mind and an eye for style and design. You also need a pleasant, friendly disposition.
IS EXPERIENCE AS IMPORTANT AS FORMAL TRAINING WHEN IT COMES TO THIS PROFESSION? Experience is very important. I guess it’s like most crafts... practise and practise and strive to be a master craftsman. Expertise can only be a achieved through dedication, and forever updating and refreshing, because hairdressing is closely linked to fashion and beauty, so it’s forever changing – new styles for new seasons. Constant upgrading on formal education is important: attending shows, courses and presentations and staying up to date with product info.
DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY A typical day is exciting and challenging: seeing a new personality every hour, and creating newer, fresher looks. It can also be incredibly gruelling and draining – not for the faint-hearted! But it’s incredibly rewarding on many levels.
WHICH ASPECTS DO YOU LOVE? The fact that I communicate a lot and use my creative skills to help change the way people look and feel about themselves, in a short space of time.
WHAT AREN’T YOU KEEN ON? The intensity – generally every hour on the hour, five days a week, ten hours a day. Negativity in certain personality types is also very draining.
ANY CAREER HIGHLIGHTS? There have been a couple of highlights (excuse the pun), but the most memorable was early on, a famous American saw one of my cuts and before I knew it I was on a film set for five months in Namibia, employed as the lead actor’s hairstylist. I was paid a fortune, which further enabled a top education in London.
ADVICE FOR BUDDING HAIRSTYLISTS? Find a TOP hairstylist to apprentice to… you get hairdressers and hairdressers! Be prepared to sacrifice financially initially while you learn your trade to the best of your ability.
i found such inner peace from working in a creative medium
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LEADING NOTES WHAT TRAINING DID YOU UNDERGO, AND WHERE? I first started playing an instrument at high school (the Double Bass, after I turned out to be a terrible pianist). I followed this by studying a BMus at UCT, and the postgraduate work I did in the USA.
DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY That’s one of the great things about this career – no day is typical. Sometimes you just rehearse and study scores, other times you have very little happening for weeks.
CONDUCTOR / MUSICAL DIRECTOR
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR WORK? The music. It is that simple. I get to learn, interpret, conduct and reach people through this incredible medium of vibrations and sounds. I get to work with all different types of people and perform in so many different places, always with the one unifying goal: to perform this amazing music and try to reach someone that is listening.
WHAT DON’T YOU LIKE ABOUT IT? Like most artistic careers, opportunities are more often than not difficult to find, so a lot of politics and ugliness can arise, which can really dampen the spirit of what we are doing. I would like to see more artists go out and create their own space and audiences. We can only all benefit from that.
WHAT’S BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR MUSICAL CAREER UNTIL NOW? Making my Italian conducting debut with my wife in the audience at the Teatro Alighieri in Ravenna, Italy.
AND YOUR FUTURE GOALS? I have mainly got repertoire goals. There are pieces I really ‘need’ to conduct before I can’t conduct anymore. The Four Last Songs by Richard Strauss, for example. But that isn’t for quite some time now.
IN YOUR LINE OF WORK, IS EXPERIENCE AS IMPORTANT AS FORMAL TRAINING? Yes it is, and like so many careers, you need experience to get on in the career. So how do you build experience when you aren’t experienced enough to get the work? It’s tricky!
IS THERE A TYPE OF PERSONALITY BEST SUITED TO A CAREER IN MUSIC? You have to be very secure in yourself and confident that you have something to say. You also have to have an incredibly thick skin; it is a world of applause and criticism, not everybody will like you.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNGSTERS STARTING OUT? Practice, practice, and never turn down a concert if you can help it – you need that experience.
DESCRIBE WHAT YOU DO IN THREE WORDS Tough • Amazing • Uplifting
IT IS A WORLD OF APPLAUSE AND CRITICISM, NOT EVERYBODY WILL LIKE YOU POST MATRIC 2017 | 41
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science & technology Department: Science and Technology REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
NATIONAL SCIENCE WEEK 2017 National Science Week (NSW), annually hosted by the Department of Science and Technology, is a countrywide celebration of the important role that science, technology and innovation play in people’s daily lives. The NSW will be held in all nine provinces from 5 to 12 August 2017. The national launch event will take place on Saturday 5 August at the Missionvale Campus of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in the Eastern Cape. The Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, will lead the launch event in collaboration with the Premier of the Eastern Cape, Phumulo Masualle. This year’s theme, “Advancing Science Tourism”, has been adopted in support of the United Nations’ designation of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
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According to the World Tourism Organization, this year is an opportunity to raise awareness of the contribution of sustainable tourism to development among public and private sector decision-makers and the public, while mobilising all stakeholders to work together in making tourism a catalyst for positive change. The NSW will be filled with exciting opportunities for learners, teachers, academics and the public. Participants will get the opportunity to engage in science-based activities, including open days, lectures and seminars, public science discussions, science competitions, educator workshops, role modelling, outreach activities and science exhibitions. For detailed information about NSW activities near you, visit www.saasta.ac.za or www.dst.gov.za from 20 July 2017. Additional information will be provided in the media.
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YOUNG SA WOMAN GEOLOGIST STRIKES GOLD IN THE UK Tshiamo Legoale, a 27-year-old geologist at Mintek in Johannesburg, made South Africa proud recently when she crushed 31 science communicators from across the world to become the 2017 FameLab international champion. She wowed the judges at the Cheltenham Science Festival in the United Kingdom on 10 June with a three-minute talk on how to use wheat to accumulate gold from mine waste. Her larger than life personality and ability to communicate complex science concepts in simple and understandable ways saw her win the Audience Vote too. The 2017 FameLab International final was held in front of a live audience of hundreds at the Parabola Arts Centre at the Cheltenham Science Festival. In her winning talk on phytomining, Tshiamo described how plants could absorb specific metals from the environment into their tissues and how this process could be used to “harvest” gold from wheat. This could create jobs and ensure sustainable development in poor communities. The young scientist joined Mintek in 2012 and is based in its Small-Scale Mining and Beneficiation division, working with marginalised communities and assisting them in the legal mining of local geological orebodies. One exciting project she headed involved the extraction and use of chitosan from cigarette butts to purify water. Another looked at the use of lemon peels to produce fertilizers. It is important to Tshiamo that her research has been recognised as being entertaining, important and relevant to society. She hopes her phytomining idea can assist impoverished communities with
Department of Science and Technology.indd 2
building business cases around geological ore bodies, which are areas rich in natural mineral resources. She plans to transfer the technological innovation to communities that can use it, and hopes that they can provide employment for a few people. “There will be fields of gold to harvest,” she said. She adds that this could be one option to eradicate illegal mining in disused mining shafts. However, she believes that a lot of education is needed, and that people must be given safe, healthier and economically viable options for gold mining. “The only way to eat an elephant is to take one bite at a time. This is just one of those bites, and will never end wars or world hunger,” says Tshiamo. “But it is a step in the right direction.” Currently Mintek is running a project in Virginia in the Free State, where there are many gold tailings dumps. FameLab, an international science talk competition organised by the British Council, has been held since 2005. In South Africa it is organised by Jive Media Africa and the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement. It is a successful model for identifying, training and mentoring scientists and engineers to share their enthusiasm for their subjects with the public.
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COMMUNICATION CENTRAL WHY DID YOU CHOOSE PR? Upon completing my secondary education, I was unsure about which career to follow and decided that a ‘gap year’ was needed. During the year, one of my colleagues at the company I was employed at advised me to explore PR as she thought I talked a lot, so maybe I had the qualities to be a PRO! I researched the profession and found it to be fascinating, with many fields to explore.
WHAT TRAINING DID YOU DO? I undertook a three-year Public Relations Management course at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).
FORMAL TRAINING VERSUS EXPERIENCE? Formal training, or the theoretical part of the course, forms the foundation for the profession as it educates you about the industry in general – media liaison, writing skills, effective research skills basically the dos and don’ts of the industry. But what you experience in the workplace cannot be taught on the course – you need to experience it by trial and error.
DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY I’m employed at a PR consultancy, which is a great deal different to a corporate company where everything is fast-paced and deadline driven. We’re constantly juggling and multitasking. A typical day consists of writing, sending and following up on press releases; proof reading and copy writing; coordinating photo shoots and live interviews; meeting deadlines of last minute media enquiries;
PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER THE PR TEAM
and all this while keeping an eye on industry trends for each and every client, as well as working six months in advance to prepare for upcoming ‘occasions’ and opportunities. Then there’s follow up, follow up and more follow up. It’s just really crazy!
You’re never bored and will always have something proactive to do. The best part is pitching a particular angle or client to the media and receiving extensive coverage on the subject – it’s exciting.
WHAT DON’T YOU LIKE?
When initially asked this question in the first year of the course, the immediate response from everyone was a ‘people person’, however now I can safely say that is not necessarily true, it’s rather a person with a strong sense of self.
Because magazines tend to work far in advance you’re always thinking about the months ahead, as well as doing the current, sometimes more pressing tasks and meeting media deadlines. It tends to ‘age you’ and make you feel dog years older even if you’re only 24 years old! But that’s great because of the wisdom you gain.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST?
ADVICE TO NEWCOMERS?
No day is ever the same and you never know what to expect when you walk into the office – that is the most intriguing part of the job. The work environment is fast-paced but a ball of fun.
If you’ve done research and believe that PR is for you, see if your school offers job shadowing. Otherwise be proactive and research companies to approach.
IS THERE A TYPE OF PERSONALITY BEST SUITED?
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FOCUS ON YOUR FUTURE Deirdre America
OPTICAL DISPENSER BAUER OPTEMETRIST
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO WORK IN THIS FIELD? My mom started wearing spectacles when I was in high school about ten years ago. The profession fascinated me to such an extent that I took it up.
WHAT DOES AN OPTICAL DISPENSER DO? Dispensing, essentially, is sitting the patient down and explaining the different types of lenses, coatings and frames that best suit the prescription.
WHAT MAKES YOUR DAY?
WHAT DID YOU STUDY?
A difficult patient who is very happy and satisfied at the end of the day.
My studies included two years of theory at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and a one-year internship at Bauer Optometrist.
DESCRIBE YOUR AVERAGE DAY I start off with a strong cup of coffee, then spend a fair amount of time on the phone with laboratories checking that the spectacle orders are on track. I spend time with patients helping them look for a frame, and sit them down to explain what they are going to get in their lenses. Repairs, adjustments and ordering of spectacles fill the rest of my day.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST? The fact that I interact with different people every day, and the little stories that come with them. I enjoy a challenge, so I like doing tricky repairs.
PARTICULAR TRAITS REQUIRED... Multitasking is very important, thinking fast and on your feet, focusing and being accurate. You need to be a people person, hardworking and able to separate personal life from work.
SHARE YOUR FUTURE GOALS To take my studies further, and to open up my own practice one day.
EXPERIENCE VERSUS FORMAL TRAINING? Experience is very important. You need to know how to approach and address a patient’s problems accordingly. As they say, practice makes perfect.
ANY ADVICE FOR NEWCOMERS? Be patient and listen – listen to your patient and then think before you act.
YOUR JOB IN THREE WORDS Love, passion and perseverance.
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TAKE NOTE ‘BE COOL AND HAVE FUN, JUST DON’T HAVE TOO MUCH FUN!’ Siyah Mgoduka, Film and TV Production, City Varsity
‘SURROUND YOURSELF WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE. HAVE FUN, BUT PUT STUDYING FIRST, AND DON’T SMOKE POT.’ Kyla Philander, Acting/ Performance Art, City Varsity
‘WORK FROM DAY ONE AND ATTEND 80% OF YOUR CLASSES. EVERY DAY IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN SOMETHING NEW.’ Melissa Notshe, Fashion Design, CPUT
‘A LOT OF PEOPLE FAIL FIRST-YEAR BECAUSE THEY ARE UNFOCUSSED. TIME MANAGEMENT IS SUPER IMPORTANT.’ Stefanie Ludwig, Multi-Media Design and Development, City Varsity
‘TAKE FIRST YEAR SERIOUSLY. GET AMPED UP AND GET WITH THE PROGRAMME FROM DAY GO.’ Mohav Mncayi, Film and TV Production, City Varsity
‘IMAGINE A TRIANGLE: ONE POINT IS SLEEP, ONE STUDY AND THE OTHER SOCIAL LIFE. YOU CAN ONLY CHOOSE TWO!’ Theo Thethemohoto, Jewellery Design, CPUT
Strategic advice on making the most of first-year at college or varsity from those who have bravely gone before you…
‘TAKE A GAP YEAR BEFORE STARTING. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF; YOUR DREAMS ARE ACHIEVABLE.’ Lizelle Jafta, Journalism, City Varsity ‘DON’T BE ON TIME, BUT BE THERE. AND DON’T BUY THE FOOD IN THE CAFETERIA.’ Shaun Cullen, Journalism, City Varsity ‘STOCK UP ON ENERGY DRINKS.’ Miki Webster, Industrial Design, CPUT
‘YOU NEED TO BUY A LOT OF CLOTHES WHEN YOU GET TO VARSITY; IT’S LIKE A FASHION PARADE.’ Busie Zenzile, Public Relations, CPUT
‘THEY ARE NOT GOING TO BABYSIT YOU HERE. ASK QUESTIONS IF YOU ARE NOT SURE – THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A STUPID QUESTION.’ Simpiwe Tyatyeka, Public Relations, CPUT
‘THIS IS WHERE YOU ARE GIVEN THE CHANCE TO DETERMINE YOUR OWN PATH. USE ALL THE RESOURCES AVAILABLE AND MAKE YOURSELF PROUD.’ Qhayiya Dana, Film and TV Production, City Varsity
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THE QUEEN BEE WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS PROFESSION? My favourite subjects in school were Mathematics, Accountancy and Biology. We tend to excel at the things we enjoy doing so I kind of knew that I would be crunching figures for a living. Either that or living out my parents’ dream of me becoming a nurse!
WHAT TRAINING DID YOU UNDERGO? I completed Practical Accounting & Accounting I & II at Damelin. I have also completed various accounting-related refresher courses since.
WHAT IS IT THAT YOU DO? My primary task is that of being the accountant, and all related financial responsibilities. I must make sure all suppliers are paid timeously. I’m always on the lookout for competitive pricing for services. The second half of my job title means that the entire admin responsibility falls under my portfolio: anything from arranging a driver, to following up on travel arrangements with the travel agent to arranging visas at very short notice. I am faced with anything that needs to be done to ensure the bureau runs smoothly and the staff have the resources. to function efficiently.
FAVOURITE PARTS... I will NEVER be bored. I enjoy the fact that I have no idea what my day will be like and that I must always be prepared to face the challenge as and when it surfaces.
ANYTHING YOU DON’T LIKE? I often find myself in a situation where I am unable to finalise a job because I need third party input. This becomes really frustrating for me, but like everything else, I find ways to work around it.
CAREER HIGHLIGHT? I have to mention the bureau’s month-long coverage of the 2010 Soccer World Cup as an event all of us will remember. It was really hard work for
ACCOUNTANT & BUREAU MANAGER CNN, JOHANNESBURG BUREAU
all concerned, the logistics proved to be a nightmare. The coverage was brilliant.
YOUR FUTURE GOALS? I want to complete my BCom Degree. Also our bureau is growing at a very healthy pace and a growing office comes with the obvious growth in admin. I am working on streamlining processes to ensure smooth operation.
EXPERIENCE OR TRAINING? Experience is definitely more important than formal training. No amount of training can ever teach you about handling stress, having patience when you feel like you don’t have any, and being tolerant under very tense conditions. I have learnt a great deal from our Bureau Chief, who has been working in the industry for over 25 years.
WHAT DEFINES A ‘GOOD’ ACCOUNTANT? You must be very flexible. Also, irrespective of what position you hold in an office, all levels of respect are very important. There are some situations that require me to play very hard ball.
ADVICE FOR NEWCOMERS? Be prepared for hard work. You have got to accept that you win some and you lose some, but you must never lose sight of what your purpose is. Always do your best. POST MATRIC 2017 | 47
2017/06/29 3:14 PM
SMILE AND WAVE JS Smit walks us through the dos and don’ts of saying goodbye to your parents on your first day of varsity The worst thing you can do, standing in the shade of a large oak tree in front of an admin building, where the miracle known as student life was handed to you moments ago in the shape of a roster that indicates Monday classes only start at ten, and you basically have the whole of November and December off and the birds are singing and the sun is shining, and you see the next three years flash before your eyes and there are parties and sitting on grass and more parties, and a bit of studying and a lot of sleeping and more parties and you come back to the present and there are your parents standing in front of you – your father beaming with pride, your mother fighting off tears. The worst thing you can do in that special moment is to turn around and run, kicking your heels in the air and screaming, “Free at last! Free at last!” at the top of your lungs. Saying goodbye to your parents on your first day as a student calls for some restraint. The two people in front of you – your mom sobbing openly now; dad consoling her – were by your side for nearly two decades guiding you, loving you, bathing you and embarrassing you pretty much the same way they’re doing now from the bottom of their hearts. The least you can do is to tone it down and say goodbye with a fake lump in your throat and make-believe regret that the years fighting over curfew times have come to an end.
Now, faking emotion requires energy and practice. The face has 43 muscles, all of which are hard-wired to express the deep joy you feel about the prospect of embarking on a new life. It’s called muscle memory and, for the purposes of our exercise, is enemy number one. Saying goodbye to your folks as campus life erupts around you will trigger your face muscles to respond with smiling or laughing or both. Training those muscles to say the opposite of what your heart is telling them is therefore of the upmost importance when parting ways with your guardians. You want to communicate sadness and intense fear of the great unknown that lies ahead. The internet tells us that sadness is best conveyed by crying, but I’d advise steering clear of such an outpouring of emotion so as not to arouse suspicion. Besides, mom is crying already, and dad might feel left out. I therefore recommend drooping your eyelids and furrowing your brow. Fear is in the eyes, more specifically, in large eyes showing enough white to blind an owl. You want to scare your parents, but not to the point where they revoke your scholarship. The right amount of fear will move mom to say, “Shame, did you see how afraid he looked?” to dad in the car on the way home. Nothing more, nothing less. Body language is a clear indicator of where your head is at and I think it goes without
saying that turning on your heel, running away from your parents as fast as you can, is not the best way to go. You want to be subtle. Drop your shoulders and scuff the ground while looking down. Lifting your hand to touch dad’s shoulder won’t hurt either. Wikipedia advises actors to ‘gaze at nothing in particular’ to convince audiences of their sadness. I would advise against that for the simple reason that everywhere you look on the first day of the rest of your life will fill you with excitement: the people around you will appear to not have a care in the world. They will walk in groups, not lines. They will dangle textbooks in one hand, or not carry textbooks at all. They will look happy and content. Looking at them – your future fellow students – will only fill you with hope and hope is the shortcut to unbridled joy. Maintain your composure. Try to stay focused on your parents and keep looking sad for as long as possible. When you feel happiness coursing through your veins and pushing up into your face, turn around and slowly walk away from your folks. When you are about ten metres away, turn around and face your former housemates. Smile and wave.
48 | POST MATRIC 2017
2017/06/28 4:29 PM
IMPERIAL / SAIW.indd 1
2017/06/29 2:23 PM
2017/06/23 9:52 AM
Post Matric is an annual career guidance magazine. It features further education, learning and career options available to school leavers.