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Celebrating Youth Month: Learning new things and never giving up on self-improvement

For Youth Month, myUnisa is celebrating the youth through an informative and inspiring series themed Youth and the digital economy. Last week Friday, we opened the series with an article elaborating on how the digital space is providing empowerment opportunities for youth. This week, Unisa student Venetia Reddy shares with us her digital entrepreneurship story. Be inspired.

Reddy is a Unisa final-year Law student who owns a digital marketing and social media management agency called Reve Today (www.revetoday.com). The agency boasts a clientele as far afield as Switzerland, Luxembourg and the United States of America, to name a few. Recently, Reddy also started a publication, VL Magazine (www.vergerialifemagazine.com), which has featured some of Africa’s renowned celebrities and will soon showcase global entrepreneurs. Launching with a bang this June, the first issue featured Beverly Hills #femaleentrepreneur, Heidi Cortez.

Unisa student, Venetia Reddy

Starting

“When I initially started my legal journey at Unisa, my intention was to become a lawyer,” says Reddy. “However, I didn't just want to study. At 18 years old, I also wanted to explore my gifts, find my passion, and gain work experience too. Studying through Unisa gave me the time to do so. Now, at 26, I have no regrets. It was the best decision I ever made because studying at Unisa gave me the freedom to truly explore my creative and innovative side.”

Reddy started working in the ‘real’ working-world to fund her studies at the beginning of her studies. She explains: “I worked a few jobs before starting my business until I landed a job as a social media manager, a position that didn't exist ten years ago.” After gaining two years of working experience in a company from her local hometown, she realised that her role and position was valuable and everything she learnt and did at work was about to be critical in the digital age. “It was uncharted territory for me,” she says, “but I had the necessary communication and creative skills to work with. It was a good time to jump on the bandwagon because the industry had just started booming.”

At that point, Reddy sought ways to develop her skills and came across an online platform that helped her connect with global business mentors and companies to gain remote experience as a digital marketer. After a year, she had completed eight apprenticeships, was featured on the blog and podcast of the Canadian platform Acadium. She then moved on to converting her business mentors into global clients, which gave her the boost she needed to kick-start her own company.

Studying at Unisa

“Looking back, although I never intended on becoming a digital entrepreneur, it was the best thing to ever happen to me,” says Reddy. “I was given the freedom to become more authentic, to create my own legacy and to build something that can add value to the future.”

Reddy says that studying online at Unisa gave her the flexibility to explore other avenues and things that she is passionate about. “I gained invaluable research and writing skills from studying a law degree at the university, and have learnt the art of being deliberate, disciplined, and focused,” she says. “Learning online at Unisa has equipped me with skills to manage my entire online life."

The reality is that the pandemic brought the outside world to a halt. “In the last year, being isolated was nothing new for me,” says Reddy. “Learning online through Unisa has helped me adapt to working on my own, at my own pace. It gave me the space to develop a broad, global perspective. I have learnt how to motivate myself and, more importantly, focus on establishing strong technical and critical thinking skills. I became a more effective leader in my industry through improved virtual communication and collaboration.”

Inspiring others

After three years of building her digital business and now looking into expansion, Reddy’s focus is on promoting global brands and businesses that make an impact and focus on true all-round wellness and wealth. "Wellness is more than being free from illness; it is a dynamic process of change and growth,” explains Reddy. “It is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

She says that her business slogan is “Live Well”. “We are not merely focused on just marketing brands and businesses,” she says, “but ones that promote the true meaning of living a full life. Now, through my work with VL Magazine, together with my business partner, Theo Olele, I hope to promote digital entrepreneurs and businesses and to inspire the youth to dive into the era of digital entrepreneurship.”

Reddy concludes with an inspirational message to Unisans: “My advice to Unisans who may wish to participate in the digital economy is to not put all your eggs in one basket. The future belongs to those who are great integrators, as noted by educator Ernest Boyer. You can bring the best of what you learn in other fields to become more effective in your core field. Elon Musk, who is said to have a combined understanding of design, programming, manufacturing, physics, and engineering, is a good example of this and he has moved on to create several multibillion-dollar companies in several different fields. It is important to understand that everything connects to everything else, and that developing a world-class skill set begins with learning new things, exploring more things and never giving up on self-improvement.”

*By Tshimangadzo Mphaphuli, Senior Journalist, Department of Institutional Advancement

 

 

 


Publish date: 2021/06/11