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Unisa online - CSET students at work

For most people, the next logical step after leaving university is to find a job. It is important to get your information out there in the form of a resume, and to ensure that your resume stands out. This will help you get your foot in the door and get calls for job interviews.

Three students from the College of Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET) successfully found employment during the last phase of their studies. This demonstrates the quality of professionals that the college is producing for our country.

We interviewed the students about their current positions. They had the following to say:


Segametsi Songwane

Segametsi Songwane

Where did you hear about the job you are currently in?
Unisa’s Bureau for Student Counselling and Career Development hosted a career exhibition last year around July at Unisa and CSIR was part of the engagement. I managed to get the HR advisor’s e-mail address and I sent him my CV.

Why did you apply for the job?
As a national diploma student, I need in-service training to complete my qualification. That was the main reason I applied for the job, and to gain experience as well.

How did you experience your first month/s as a new employee?
The working environment is totally different from the university environment. Here you are pushed in the deep end and you’re expected to swim. My first month was very challenging. I had to adapt to the new environment, new people, and different laboratories. However, I was excited.

Do you think your studies at Unisa prepared you to be a professional?
My research requires a lot of chemistry background, organic and analytical chemistry specifically, and I passed them on my second level.

What could be included in the Unisa study programme to prepare the students more for the profession?
I think first aid skills should be included to teach us about the precautions that we might need to take at the laboratory.

What inspires you as an employee?
I am a very curious person and research stimulates my habit very well. I have a fear of not knowing what is happening around me, and I think being part of research inspires me a lot.

What are your future plans? What do you want to achieve?
I am not planning to do research for my entire life. However, I am blessed with a career that is so diverse and I would like to explore all the possible opportunities of my field of study. I might be going into the petrochemical or coal mining industry after this. 


Kabelo Moila

Kabelo Moila

Where did you hear about the job you are currently in?
I heard about it from the Sasol careers job alerts via electronic mail.

Why did you apply for the job?
I always wanted to work for the giant petrochemical company, Sasol. My dreams were always driven by the passion of applying a combination of theory in chemical engineering books and hands-on job practices. Today I am able to achieve my dreams little by little.

How did you experience your first month/s as a new employee?
I felt like I was on the other side of the world. I had to learn the environment and adapt to the world of petrochemical production. The experience was quite amazing; seeing all the large scale equipment in real life and I immediately recalled the theory I learnt at the university. It was very interesting, especially meeting with people who motivate, encourage and inspire one’s dreams. I felt appreciated in the world of reality where things happen electrically, mechanically, chemically (petrochemical environment).

Do you think your studies at Unisa prepared you to be a professional?
Yes, I am a proud product of Unisa. This institution provided me with the relevant knowledge of chemical engineering and other applications of various disciplines (management, accounting, economics and some engineering aspects). I learnt how to be disciplined, responsible, ambitious and passionate with what I do. Unisa has taught me to be a go-getter and a hard worker. Today I am able to associate myself with professional personnel because of Unisa. Furthermore, I have acquired computer skills, communication skills and leadership skills (I got them while I was the Project Coordinator for SETSA) and I am able to practise teamwork. I have confidence in all I do.

What could be included in the Unisa study programme to prepare the students more for the profession?
I think all engineering programmes should include mathematics 1 up to 3 under diploma courses. This will improve the thinking or problem solving techniques. Students should have strategies to think out-of-the-box (especially for problem solving skills). Students in engineering disciplines (and other disciplines) should be more exposed to the practical applications (lab or workshop exposure). Unisa or individual colleges should have a way to bring companies closer to students. Companies should be there for career exhibitions. This will motivate students to see their pathways to the future. We all need to interact with our role models to gain more inspiration.

What inspires you as an employee?
I am inspired and motivated to be in one of the giant chemical companies. Every day at work, you will meet people who motivate you. It is very possible to see where you are going when you are close to those who lead the way. To think likewise, you should associate yourself with wise people. I am so inspired to be close to people who have innovative ideas. There is always something new to be explored. Every day when I am at work I think, “One day, I want to be like that scientist, that engineer, that consultant, etc.”

What are your future plans? What do you want to achieve?
I want to have more experience in this field (petrochemical industry). Experience in a sense of acquiring more technical, scientific and managerial skills while in the field. However, I also want to pursue a Doctorate in Chemical Engineering. Having the required skills and experience in the industry will go hand-in-hand with what I have learnt at a higher institution. Furthermore, I want to see myself in managerial positions. This will also motivate me to study other qualifications like project management, financial management, human resource management, etc.


Jacob Futama

Jacob Futama

Where did you hear about the job you are currently in?
I heard about the post on Osprey (a Unisa IT website).

Why did you apply for the job?
The reason I applied for the job was that I wanted a challenging environment, a place where I can grow and become the best at what I do. The company was offering me all that and more.

How did you experience your first month/s as a new employee?
The first month was a bit challenging and fun at the same time, I had to adapt to the new environment and the kind of work. I must say, the first week I was afraid of damaging the system that I was working on, but as time went by I got the hang of things and now
there is not a problem that I cannot fix.

Do you think your studies at Unisa prepared you to be a professional?
Yes it did, it helped me a lot when it comes to time management, being responsible, and how to work alone and as a group. Now at work when they give me software projects to work on with a given timeline, I don’t panic or ask myself where to start, because Unisa has equipped me with all the necessary tools to survive anywhere.

What could be included in the Unisa study programme to prepare the students more for the profession?
What I think could help, especially in the Software Engineering degree, is to be given more IT projects, because a lot of companies want to know if you have applied the knowledge that you have learnt at the university before they hire a graduate. I ended up starting my own projects which actually helped me a lot in the interviews and landing the job.

What inspires you as an employee?
Doing what I love. I always had a passion for computers and in Grade 12 I found out about programming and the things you could do with that knowledge. After that, I knew right there and then what I wanted to do.

What are your future plans? What do you want to achieve?
My future goal is to have my own IT company that deals mostly with programming, because I have come to realise that few people in South Africa have that skill and the demand is very high.



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