Monday, July 31, 2006

 

Opening the door to new opportunities

Yes, its been a long time since I wrote a blog entry. I feel very guilty because lots have happened since my last entry and I haven’t shared it yet.

The last two weeks have been quite eventful. After Mpho and I finished our internship at Rand Merchant Bank, it was back to square one. But luckily I received a call from my supervisors at RMB saying they need me to help with some projects within the Change and Communications Team. So my contract got extended until December.

Since then things have been going very well. The project I am doing will start taking shape this week. I’m doing research at the moment and also little odds and ends which have to be finalised so I’m keeping quite busy. I’ve settled in quite nicely at RMB and have made many friends already. That’s the best part of working here. Last Saturday we had a “Christmas in July” party at my boss Michele’s house. It was great to socialise with my colleagues outside the office. It gives the opportunity to get to know them on a more personal level.

I will definitely blog on my future experiences at RMB so watch this space. After reading Lesley Emanuel’s blog on our yahoo group mails about showcasing our employability, it made me realise how important it is to show your employability and using the opportunities we gain to the full. We’ve heard about networking and employability throughout the World of Work 2006 Programme and it was hard to understand it at that moment because hardly any of us ever experienced it seeing that we were recent graduates. The hard work has paid off and its not only my foot that’s in the door anymore, now I’ve got the opportunity to open the door wide and look for other doors to open.

Monday, July 17, 2006

 

Soccer world cup: some lessons to learn

I am happy to be back to blogging after one month. Before I jump to sharing practical workdays, I would like to share some experiences from the soccer world cup in Germany, as it constitutes a special world of work in its own. Indeed, Germany 2006 has been not only a great time for entertainment but also a learning experience on success, competition, teamwork, passion, etc at both personal and corporate levels.

Over what was happening in the twelve German stadiums, many people were given an opportunity to voice their opinions. Three people attracted my attention by the way they related the world cup event to their careers, life, cultures and opinions: Bill Clinton, Kofi Annan, and the Ivorian president Laurent Bagbo.

For Bagbo, probably sending a political message to French he accuse of over doing in his country’s affairs, Italy has proved to be an established and respectful soccer team in Europ. Maybe in a political message to Bush’ zeal in the fight against terrorism, Clinton said: “sometimes defense is better than offence”.

Our very own African brother, the UN general secretary Kofi Annan probably had one of the most inspiring words for this world cup:
Soccer or sport in general has proved one more time its potential to induce love, peace, forgiveness, and to a certain extent development.

By the time the world is going to watch the first-ever African organized world cup, my wish is to see people being really mobilized to fight corruption, hunger, and unfair trade with the very same spirit and enthusiasm we saw in Germany. Would African people, led by civil society organizations, take a stance and start issuing yellow and red cards to politicians.

For wits WOW 2006 team, should we also learn passion from the players and have the same focus as Italian defenders not to commit the fatal mistake, should we also have that killer instinct of German strikers to always handle our tasks with tact and precision. There is a lot to learn from the career path of a soccer player given that this is the rare careers where workers, I mean players, achieve a lot in their young age and retire so young, mostly in their early thirties! We should not forget that despite their personal skills, soccer players work hard to be part of the national squad (23 players only). They also work had to be part of the fifteen for each game. They even work harder to fit in each game. So far, Wits Interns have good times and I hope all of us will fit in their host organizations or get something for long-term careers.


Cyrille

Friday, July 14, 2006

 

My Shared work Day

On the 4th of July I visited Pascalia at Nedlac as a part of my internship programm. I was very excited, because it was a long time since the last time I saw her. I was also looking forward on knowing how she manages the pressure of being an Intern in a big company like that.

I got there at around ten in the morning. I had a privilege of spending few hours in her office. Where I sat and watched her as she was going about her work. At the time she was writing a short article that was going to be read by her managing director. She printed the page and she read it over and over again, just to see whether there were any spelling mistakes.

I have taken that experience along with me, now I do the same before submitting my work. After spending some time in her office we went downstairs in the meeting room. Where we had a meeting with her Supervisor. It was very interesting to me, because what they were talking about is something that we talk about in our meeting too. Maybe it is because we both managing projects and now I found out that we also experiencing same challenges.

It was relief for me to see that Pascalia was also encountering challenges as I did and she also had her own ways of solving them, although some of her solutions were not acceptable to her Supervisor. Then I thought to myself that challenges are always there. When we encounter them is not that we are incompetent,but it is because it's only our first working experience.

We just have to learn from our mistakes and move on. After the meeting we went back to her office where we shared ideas about how to design tables. Then she showed me her table, which I adopted. I’m glad that I got a chance to spend a day with Pascalia. I learned a lot from her. I hope that she also learned something from me as well

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

 

AICC workshop

Last week I went to an exciting workshop, which was hosted by the AICC in partnership with Ernst & Young and first National bank. The workshop was on the value of sustainability reporting. It was very interesting and I learned a lot about reporting. Before this workshop I did not think much about reports, because I thought all reports were about financial matters.

The workshop was about encouraging companies to report on sustainable development http://www.sustainabledevelopment.org.za and not only financial matters. It was encouraging to see that companies were very interested in this trend even though some of them were a bit sceptical. Issues that were raised were that sustainable reporting and how it increases accountability and forces companies to act responsibly regarding environmental matters and socio-economic issues. I am sure that after that session a lot of companies were able to distinguish the difference between public relations and true reporting. My boss asked me to write a report about the workshop, and I am still waiting for the feedback.

The workshop was an eye opener for me, as I have started taking reports that we have in our office so that I can read them at home. I must say I found interesting things in some of the reports, one company in their report disclosed about the retrenchment of their staff. http://www.abnamro.com/sustainability/ . I thought to myself they are very brave, but the fact is that they were disclosing something which was true. This is one of the issues that the lady from Anglo was trying to make companies be aware off, to disclose everything in reports, no matter how bad it is.

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