Top 6 UJ students gear up for workplace setting

Nolwazi Mbambo, Mfanafuthi Methula and Harmony Nkambule from the University of Johannesburg.
Nolwazi Mbambo, Mfanafuthi Methula and Harmony Nkambule from the University of Johannesburg.
Image: Thulani Mbele

Harmony Nkambule did not have much while growing up in Mbombela, Mpumalanga.

But the 22-year-old knew that getting educated was the only way she could change her family situation for the better.

Nkambule, an honours degree student in accounting, is one of six University of Johannesburg (UJ) students who have been chosen as part of a select group of 100 top students for the 2018 Gradstar Awards.

These are students who have shown potential in leadership skills and readiness for the workplace in addition to their academic performance. Nkambule and fellow UJ students - Mfanafuthi Methula, Dineo Mogoru, Sibongakonke Kheswa, Tiisetso Mogadime and Nolwazi Mbambo - will attend employer workshops.

At these workshops, the top 100 graduates will compete for a spot in the "10 of the finest" and the winners will be announced during an award ceremony that will take place on September 26 during a gala dinner at Indaba Hotel in Fourways, north of Johannesburg.

"I am the eldest in a family of five siblings and I could see how my mother struggled to support us. I made a vow to study very hard so as to change my family situation for the better. I am very happy to be part of this programme as it will introduce me to the corporate world and also open doors of employment for me when I have completed my studies," she said.

The programme is designed to provide previously unrecognised students with opportunities for employment and allow them to contribute positively to South Africa's future growth.

Mbambo, 20, a third-year Bachelor of Arts in development studies student, said she can't wait to break into the corporate world. "This is a great opportunity for a small-town girl like me. I grew up in Margate, a small town outside Port Shepstone in KwaZulu-Natal. I already have some form of a plan for the future," she said.

Methula, 21, a third-year BA accounting student, said he was excited about being part of the programme. "We will have an opportunity to network with the corporate world and be able to create relationships that will enhance our development in the future," Methula said.

Managing director of BlackBark Productions, Laura Barker, said the top 100 will each be connected with a business mentor who has been recognised through their Rising Star Programme to further ready them for the workplace.

"This is a unique and valuable opportunity for each graduate to draw upon the expertise and knowledge of those who have gone before them and start their careers on a solid foundation," Barker said.

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