Four UKZN Corporate Relations Staffers Graduate
Four staff members at UKZN’s Corporate Relations Division (CRD) graduated from the College of Law and Management Studies during a ceremony held on the Westville campus.
They are Ms Sithembile Shabangu, Mr Vijay Rubinduth Ramballie, Ms Rakshika Sibran, and Ms Phumla Hlengwa.
Working full-time and studying part-time is never easy - all four said getting the balance right between work and study was key to their success.
Shabangu, a Journalist in the Publications Unit in CRD, completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing and Supply Chain Management.
Shabangu said good time management was a vital aspect in her success. When not at the office or in class, she was at home attending to her three young children and nephew.
‘It was a challenge to balance home life, work and studies. It was gruelling, but I had to make it all work so I created a system at home that worked well with my study schedule.’
Shabangu says she is motivated by a desire to learn and enrich her knowledge further. ‘You can never stop learning, it is important to always be open to new learning opportunities and to improve oneself.’
Shabangu says she feels excited and proud. ‘The success is not just for me but also for my family, and my colleagues who supported me throughout. I am grateful to all of them.’
Ramballie graduated with a Master of Business Administration (MBA).
In his role as Schools Liaison Officer at CRD, Ramballie provides educational support to learners, equipping them with the knowledge they need to make that all important decision on what tertiary studies to pursue, and guiding them on how to get there.
Ramballie says undertaking his MBA studies was a move towards enhancing his capabilities as a young leader. He says he aims to use the skills gained from his MBA to encourage social entrepreneurs to find a way to use social networks of more developed communities to uplift impoverished communities.
‘We need to create work environments of thoughtfulness, action and collaboration in a way that effectively addresses issues of poverty, unemployment and inequality.’
The journey to graduating was a difficult one for Ramballie. In the three year period of his studies, he underwent a kidney operation and his father and grandmother both passed away after short illnesses.
However, he never wavered in his determination to succeed. ‘These experiences could have delayed the completion of my degree, but instead, I saw them as reasons to complete my MBA - to make both my dad and grandmother proud of my achievement.’
Rakshika Sibran also graduated with a Master of Business Administration (MBA).
Sibran, a Public Relations Practitioner at CRD, says she gave careful consideration to her choice of study.
‘I knew I wanted to expand my skills and gain well-rounded knowledge of the business world. When I read the course overview for the MBA I was intrigued by the wide variety of subject areas covered and knew this was going to be the right choice for me.’
Reflecting on her time in class, Sibran described the MBA classroom as an information hub. ‘I learned so much from my classmates who were all from different industries and all walks of life.’
Overall she says one of the greatest things she gained from her MBA studies is business confidence!
Sibran thanked her supervisor, Dr Muhammad Hoque, and GSB&L administrator, Ms Zarina Bullyraj for their support.
CRD’s newest staff member, Ms Phumla Hlengwa, graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, majoring in Marketing and Supply Chain Management (SCM).
Hlengwa is an intern in the Marketing and Social Media Unit at CRD. Hlengwa said her greatest challenge throughout her studies was financing her tuition fees. She says her mother, who earns a living as a teacher and is the breadwinner of the family was her main support. ‘It was not easy for my mum, she paid for my tuition and my residence fees. It was tough.’
Hlengwa says she felt so good on her graduation day, ‘It all seemed impossible until it happened! My mum and siblings were in the audience, it was a proud moment for my mum, especially after all she invested.’
Being the eldest and first to graduate among her siblings, Hlengwa says she hopes she has set a good example for her younger siblings, ‘It is good for them to see and understand that education is the only route to building a successful career.’
Hlengwa is currently studying for an Honours degree in Marketing and SCM. And says she ‘won’t stop there’ as she plans to enroll for a Master of Commerce later on, ‘I want to gain all the necessary expertise that will best equip me to reach my career goals.’