By Nwabisa Mazana
This article can also be found in the print Edition 1 of VARSITY Newspaper.
UCT has a Career Service that has been open and functioning for the past 50 years. In 2017, The South African Graduate Employers Association (SAGEA) awarded them for Best Employability / Work Readiness Initiative, as well as Best Career Fair and Best Career Service. It boasts an array of services, from CV workshops, consulting boot camps, career festivals (expos) and mock interviewing programs.
However, it is no secret that many students, especially those expected to graduate soon, do not know how to utilise this free service offered by UCT. I sat down with Germaine Grammer, the head of Digital Development and Engagement, in order to find out how one can navigate all the resources offered by Career Services, especially those offered for students that are about to transition into the workplace.
“A good place to start is our website. It offers you an overview of everything that we offer, this includes a designated option just for students, aimed towards getting them ready for employment”, says Germaine. The site is easily accessible and easy to navigate. There is an option for specific career advice for every degree offered at UCT. This is a great option for students that are soon to graduate, but are not yet sure of their postgraduate career paths.
If using the site is not enough for what you need, you can also book an appointment for career guidance via the site. By doing this, you will be linked to one of their highly experienced staff members who are able to offer you great advice.
If employment into the public or private sector is not what you are looking for, the Career Services also offers a lot of support and resources for student entrepreneurship. In 2017, they had the #SEW (Student Entrepreneurship Week). It was a hub designed to further assist student entrepreneurs cultivate their skills and craft.
There is also much to look forward to this year. The UCT Career Festival will be taking place on the 8th of August – which Germaine said is going to be one of their biggest events. #SEW will also be taking place in the second semester. For now, Germaine urges all students, especially those that are graduating to, “come for advice early in the year, so you are able to receive as much support needed and also to avoid stressing yourself out, because time has run out. We are always here to offer a helping hand”.