For Rhodes university BCom student Hayley Warring, being named one of the GradStar Top 10 students in South Africa means she has been able to connect with future employers in her chosen career.
Second-year student Warring, 20, plans to study economics and law at postgraduate level before pursuing a business-oriented legal career.
The GradStar programme selects students based on their leadership qualities and workplace readiness and matches them to potential employers.
It included networking opportunities for the top 100 students who attended employer workshops in the fields of finance, accounting, IT, engineering and law.
Sponsored by industry heavyweights FNB, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Comair and Fasken Martineau and organised by BlackBark Productions, the awards provide students with employment opportunities and give employers the opportunity to spot new talent.
Last week, Warring attended a gala dinner in Johannesburg where she was named one of the programme’s top 10 students.
“I was not even expecting to get into the Top 100, so making the Top 10 was really a surprise.
“I entered GradStar to put my name out there and meet important people in the industry,” said Warring, who credits her holistic education at Michael Mount Waldorf School in Johannesburg for giving her the edge.
“We were not taught information but how to learn it,” she said.
“I aspire to have balanced and diverse intellectual interests and never stop learning, which is rooted in my Waldorf school education.”
Speaking to the Daily Dispatch yesterday, Warring said that as a result of the programme, she had already networked with an intended employer, international business law firm Fasken Martineau.
“I had an interview with them and also got to meet a former Rhodes student who works there, as well as some HR people, so that was a great stepping stone.”
She said the GradStar programme was significant because it recognised students who were not only strong in the fields of academics or sports, but who also had a good fit for business environments.
“How well you adapt and work with people is as important as knowledge.”
The programme uses psychometric testing and video interviewing, as well as other tools employed by corporate firms to find future talent.
GradStar patron and motivational speaker Dr David Molapo said the programme was deserving of the support of employers and educators.
“This is a worthy programme. It is designed to uplift the student youth at this time of unrest and provide an aspirational platform to assist them in achieving their potential,” Molapo said. — firstname.lastname@example.org