The Graduate School of Business and Leadership (GSB&L) held its Open Day, showcasing a variety of postgraduate programmes it offers.

Lecturers and industry experts were on hand to provide guests with a wide variety of information. There was also a networking session.

Acting Dean and Head of the School, Professor Ana Martins, welcomed guests and thanked them for considering UKZN as their university of choice. ‘The Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Mr Sihle Zikalala has emphasised the importance of professionals going back to school and furthering their education and I believe the GSB&L is the right choice for that,’ said Martins.

Senior Manager at the South African Revenue Service, Ms Nelly Hlope, who holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership Studies and whose Master of Commerce in Leadership Studies dissertation has undergone an examination process, spoke about why she had enrolled at the GSB&L, highlighting how she had benefitted from the programmes and how easy it had been to go back and implement what she had learned practically. ‘When I enrolled for these programmes, I wanted to improve my leadership skills because it’s not easy to lead people. It also becomes really hard when you don’t have any tools in your toolbox because you won’t know what tool you need for which task,’ Hlope said.

Process Safety and Fire Protection Specialist at Engen, Ms Thandi Ngxongo, who holds a Master of Business Administration (cum laude) degree,shared her struggles of pursuing her studies while she was pregnant. ‘During the first semester, I was known as the pregnant lady, but by second semester that all changed when I became the “go-to-girl” for anyone who needed information.’

Ngxongo said she wanted her research, which focused on transformation and empowerment of women in the petroleum sector, to serve a purpose by making an impact and solve problems the African way, attributing that to her success. ‘I knew I was solving a problem for future generations with my research and that’s why I didn’t lose focus because it was something that I was passionate about.’

Head of African Business at Lenmed Health and adjunct lecturer at GSB&L, Dr Augusta Dorning, said it was a privilege to lecture at the School being a professional who had worked for over 35 years in four different careers all in line with her passion for healthcare. Dorning encouraged prospective students to apply themselves during their studies and to do their best, as the courses required them to learn by interacting and pushing boundaries. ‘If you’re facing that dilemma of taking all of your leave days to study, do it because you’ll never regret it. I did the same! Embrace this opportunity, there are so many bursary options if you present yourself to the right companies and the personal growth is amazing,’ said Dorning.

GSB&L lecturer, Dr Tony Ngwenya, kept guests entertained with his interactive Q&A session while lecturers, Professor Mihalis Chasomeris and Dr Pfano Mashau, gave guests a breakdown of the programmes on offer and guidelines of how to apply.

Words: Hlengiwe Precious Khwela

Photograph: Supplied