It is always rewarding to receive positive feedback from our Saturday morning and weekday evening part-time students, either during or upon completion of their chosen programme. I am always proud to share these stories with current and prospective students, alumni and the ever-growing number of organisations that send employees to our business school.
For your convenience we have redesigned our traditional newsletter to be more compact, easier to access the various stories, and more user-friendly in this e-mail-driven environment. Enjoy your visit!
National School of Business & Technology Manager
PROJECT MANAGEMENT LEADS THE WAY
Projects ranging in size and complexity have become a reality in every sector of the economy, and people with project management skills have become highly sought after by most organisations. In January 2011 Varsity College SoBT Cape Town successfully ran a Project Management Course in Oudtshoorn for 24 students from the Department of Public Works and Transport.
The course equips students with the ability to manage projects, a critical tool for any manager faced with matching finite resources with even tighter deadlines. Clive Hosken, the Varsity College Cape Town Project Management lecturer, consistently encourages professional development and active participation in the Project Management Short Learning Programme offered by Varsity College. "Behind every successful project is an accurate, realistic and workable schedule that shows who's doing what, when and how," says Clive, "and we as lecturers aim to equip future project managers with the necessary skills and knowledge to step into these highly responsible positions."
For more information about this course, please contact Anene or Jacqui at Varsity College Cape Town on 021 685 5021.
Picture: Department of Transport and Public Works Oudtshoorn group with lecturer,
Varsity College Port Elizabeth can look back over the first six months of the year with one word in mind - SUCCESS. This was experienced on several levels, which included the SoBT team getting involved with charitable events (such as hosting a tea at the Algoa FM Golf Day) and sponsoring the ‘Ocean Racing Series’, which included two R10 000 bursaries for two winning athletes of the event. Another success story is that of Milisa Piko, Assistant Marketing Manager at the Uitenhage Despatch Development Initiative (UDDI), who is currently studying a Short Learning Programme in Introduction to Public Relations, applying what she has learnt on the course to boost one of her events to success.
Milisa was overwhelmed by the groundbreaking representation of four different media houses for the UDDI a Back-to-School Campaign. Nomathamsanqa Combined School was one of the privileged schools to receive shoes and stationery. "Due to the tips and the course content, my event turned out to be a success!" She is extremely happy with the amount of coverage her event has received, and feels that she has gained the necessary tools at Varsity College to grow in her role as an Assistant Marketing Manager to the UDDI. We wish Milisa all the best with her studies here at VC, and also for her to experience the essence of success in each stride of her career at the UDDI.
TOP BRAINS AT NETWORKING SEMINAR
Andre Vermeulen, the founding member and CEO of Neuro-Link, a Pretoria-based international consultancy firm, was the guest speaker at Varsity College Sandton’s first networking event for 2011, a free seminar themed “A brain-based perspective on identifying and optimising your employees' potential.”
Andre has developed various brain-based learning and development programmes, which were received with accolades in the international market place. Andre has published more than 22 leading articles or papers on the subject of brain-based learning and development and is one of the most recognised authorities on the developmental implications of the brain in the world.
He has conducted post-graduate studies at the University of California and other international institutions, and met the vocational objectives of an “Educational Therapist”. Andre has done appropriate courses with and learned from world-class scholars such as Dr Carla Hannaford, Dr Ian Weinberg, Ned Herrmann, Daniël Goleman, Ken Blanchard, Tom Peters, Edward de Bono and John Maxwell.
Some comments received after the seminar:
• “Our senior managers and executives should hear this.”
• “I just realised how important it is to assist your employees to cope with stress before you can expect better performance.”
• “Enjoyable, well informed lecturer who created some good insights into the thinking mechanisms we all incorporate when dealing with people from all walks of life.”
• “Wow, I didn’t expect this for a free seminar; please invite me again."
STUDENT BENEFITS FROM ACT OF KINDNESS
Mrs De Beer Strydom, the mother of a son who wasnot able to complete his MS Office 2007 short learning programme certificate in 2010 due to personal reasons, donated the remainder of his fees that was in credit for future studies to another student who was in need of the money. She felt that her family would not be able to benefit from it in the near future and therefore decided to donate it to someone who would.
This money was donated to a student on campus who is not only a Varsity College student, but also a School of Business and Technology casual as well. For the past 3 years he has proved himself as a very diligent student and hard working individual who is willing to help the School of Business and Technology team with any ad hoc duties. This student has chosen to do the Computer Architecture short learning programme with School of Business and Technology and is enjoying it thoroughly. He would like to complete the Network Architecture short learning programme later this year as well.
Success Story: HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND TRAINING
Genevieve Houghton: Before studying the above course, HRM to me was just about interviews, contracts, policy and procedure. From the onset of this course it has broadened my knowledge regarding HRM. I have become more aware of the different aspects which revolve around HR and training, and I have become so much more involved in our company.
Recently I was tasked with doing in ‘Induction Programme' for new managers and it has turned out to be a great success. Each day I am more involved with disciplinary hearings, HR meetings and advising our managers on the daily tasks of HR for employees, including setting up staff profiles and task analysing for employees. My opinion is greatly valued in our company and I have been more accessible and dependable to not only managers but our employees as well. Currently I am involved in various projects in the company, including searching for training courses, setting up a ‘Wellness Programme' for our staff, HIV/AIDS awareness, advising senior staff, advertising and interviewing. Our training manager and I have also been working very closely on different projects such as Skills Development and training programmes. I must say that I need more hours in the day because HRM is now so exciting.
This course has been excellent and has shown me that HRM is not just what we think it is, but exciting, challenging and interesting. There is always something new in HR each day and it is certainly a field that I will continue in together with my payroll knowledge.
Thank you to Chris Brady, an excellent lecturer who really broadened my knowledge and made lectures exciting, so that each Saturday I wanted to come to lectures to see what new information would be learnt. You have really been an inspiration to me!!!
I recommend Varsity College and this course to anyone.
SUCCESS STORY: UNISA PART-TIME SUPPORT
Michael Temlett: At the beginning of this past semester, having registered six times for Unisa's Financial Accounting Reporting (FAC1601) module, I swallowed my pride and reluctantly parted with some funds to secure a seat in Varsity College's part time lectures for this module.
At our first lecture, along with many other 'seasoned veterans' of FAC1601 who were co-students of mine (others who had attempted and failed the course many times), I listened sceptically as our lecturer, Harren Dhani, told us that this would be "the last time" we would write this paper as we were all going to pass. Many of us laughed openly and shamelessly passed comments about his overconfidence.
My very special thanks to this highly accomplished lecturer - who ignored our scepticism, served us with patience, humility, skill and confidence, and selflessly gave of his time to ensure we had all reached the required level of understanding by the time of the exam. To cut a long story short, with no prior accounting knowledge (I never took accounting at school), in 12 short weeks, Harren made it possible for me not just to pass, but to pass the FAC1601 Unisa exam with distinction! He is a massive asset to your organisation and a credit to your brand!
I wish to thank Varsity College for making this convenient after-hours lecture service available to myself and others with full time employment - it was exceptionally convenient, the facilities spotless and very comfortable, and the lecturer, as mentioned, outstanding!
OPTIMISING EFFICIENCY THROUGH TRAINING
Varsity College Pietermaritzburg’s School of Business & Technology ran a two day Workshop called Business Communication and Office Administration for 12 delegates from the Department of Social Development.
“The aim of the training was to equip staff with skills that would enable them to be more efficient in their current occupations which would ultimately lead to a more Skilled Workforce at the Department,” said the School of Business & Technology Manager, Eve Reddy.
“The learning programme made us understand the fact that to be an effective office professional, you must be aware at all times of the fact that each person you meet, whether customer or co-worker, is forming an image of the organisation. They will rely on your business personality and it is your responsibility to communicate effectively with everyone you come into contact with in our business activity. We cannot depend on knowledge, skills and ability alone for success in our job. Our performance as an effective office professional and your happiness of the job will be closely linked to our ability to communicate and get along with people. This in turn depends on our understanding of the importance of interpersonal skills,” said Skhumbuzo Shabangu, one of the delegates from the Department.
Any interested companies or Government Departments that would like Varsity College to assist in fulfilling their training requirements as set out in their respective Workplace Skills Plans are welcome to contact Varsity College for more information on 033 386 2376.
Picture (left to right): Eve Reddy (Manager – School of Business Varsity College); Selena Chhoteylall (Lecturer), delegates from the Department of Social Development, Promise Khumalo (Consultant – Varsity College).
SUCCESS STORY: BOOKKEEPING, FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING AND PASTEL ACCOUNTING
Cynthia Mahlamvu: I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to Varsity College Pietermaritzburg for opening its doors to me and for opening other doors for me…
In 2010 I was retrenched and decided to register for a short course. I registered with Varsity College for a Bookkeeping Short Learning Programme Certificate, which I completed successfully. After completing this certificate, I registered for both the Financial Accounting and Pastel Accounting programmes, which I am busy with currently. I discussed my intentions to study with one of the School of Business & Technology staff members. A company which was looking for a Trainee Bookkeeper – the requirements, someone who had completed a Bookkeeping qualification, contacted Varsity College’s Career Centre Co-ordinator, Diane van der Merwe. The School of Business & Technology team referred me to Diane and a week later I was contacted by the CEO of the company for an interview. I am now working for this company!
It is fantastic to know that the programme I completed at Varsity College has not only provided me with these much needed skills, but also gave me the edge in the workplace and has assisted me to secure employment. I would sincerely like to thank everybody from Varsity College for believing in me and giving me a ticket to a new career!
Caption: Pictured (L-R) Promise Khumalo (SoBT Consultant) and Cynthia Mahlamvu (SoBT student).
UPCOMING SHORT LEARNING PROGRAMMES
You might still want that promotion, wish to change your career path or secure that all-important 'piece of paper'. The year is far from over and there is still time to register for short learning programmes through the School of Business & Technology. Read more...
The School of Business & Technology are giving away a R500 Woolworths voucher to one of our lucky readers who can answer the following question:
The Pietermaritzburg team ran a 2-day workshop in Business Communication and Office Administration for which Government Department?
Please e-mail your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org. Insert “VC SoBT” in the subject field and remember to include your full name and contact details. The winner will be notified directly and announced in the next edition of in the news.
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