Fellowship Diary - Day 5 by Rozina Myoya
After breakfast and checking out of the hotel, we went to the Protea President hotel for the final sessions of Fellowship week. We were so exhausted. This week had stretched our minds to the limit and beyond. But I was grateful for that, because it had given me a different perspective on things.
Our opening session was a pep talk given to us by Hema and Naadiya. They gave us essential advice on how to be successful at anything: gaining knowledge beyond Engineering, having realistic goals, being prepared for networking opportunities and acquiring good financial practices. In effect, working smartly to ensure that your ventures are sustainable and that money still keeps coming in even if you decide to take a day off.
“The secret to great leadership is making yourself completely irrelevant,” Naadiya Moosajee.
Hema closed the session with the following statement: “We don’t celebrate mediocrity. Whatever you do, do it well, do it great and don’t settle for mediocrity”.
A representative from SETA came to talk to us about career guidance and what SETA is all about. “SETA” stands for Sector Education and Training Authority. These organizations were re-established by the Minister of Labour, Membathisi Mdladlana. They are concerned with education and training and their job is to help implement the National Skills Development Strategy and to increase the skills of people in their sector. There are different sectors of SETA, 22 to be exact, each concerned with a specific career field e.g. AgriSETA deals with the Agricultural sector.
Her advice to us was that we should learn how to market ourselves. We should not just follow the conventional method of job application, we should take the initiative and approach HR directors in person with proper motivation as to why we deserve the job. (Again with the emphasis on “get out of your comfort-zone!!”)
“Be authentic and be true to yourself. Don’t board your whole identity on your career because you are not your career.”
Most of us are not aware of what our brand is while some of us struggle to keep a brand that is not actually our own. The Personal Branding workshop helped us determine our personal brands by helping us identify our strengths and weaknesses, helping us find out what our values are (I was surprised by what I discovered in this part) and what we are truly passionate about. “Your brand is your reputation” This workshop was a lot of fun and I discovered things about myself I wasn’t aware of before.
The final and closing session of the Fellowship week was a feedback session ran by Hema and Naadiya. The session outlined how we could become a part of the WomEng team.
Like all good things Fellowship week had to come to an end eventually, but we were not saddened by this fact. We came out of this week with new skills and much more confidence than we had when we arrived on the first day. We were exhausted, but what we had gained this week was worth every hour of sleep deprivation. Long lasting connections were made and the week unlocked in us the potential to not only be great in our field, but the potential to bring about sustainable change in our world. As Naadiya said, “The world is your oyster, true, but you need to open it.”
For me this week had given me direction. I now have a clear vision of where I want to be. I am also aware of my limits, but just in the same way, I am well aware of my strengths and better understand how to use them. I have found solid ground and now I can start laying down the foundation to my Empire.