Fifty years is a long time and the School has seen thousands and thousands of students pass through its doorways… copious numbers of proud graduates who’ve gone on to do interesting things in their careers! So many syndicate groups that have worked through the night, so many friends made and businesses started!
We set up this wall to provide an opportunity for students, alumni, staff and friends of WBS to share their messages or memories of WBS. We hope you enjoy them.
If you would like to be part of our 50th celebrations and “write on the wall” we would love to hear from you. Whether you are a student or alumnus, a current or past staff member or lecturer – why not add your name, an anecdote and/or a photograph? Or even just a simple message.
Go to the ‘Share your Memory’ page and send your contribution.
There are many moments that felt important in my career, such as when I conducted my first leadership development course for the Chief Justices of the Southern African Development Community countries.
I was a really good social worker. I loved working in a community, doing long-term development work with individuals and groups. However, because I was a good social worker, I quickly became a manager of peers, then teams and projects, and ultimately organisations.
I was a second-year Bachelor student of economics, working as the public relations manager of the largest world student-run organisation for youth leadership development and international mobility, AIESEC.
Having always had a deep interest in science, I first qualified as a chemist, and thereafter at a later stage as an engineer. In order to broaden my capabilities, I started to lecture evening classes at the Vaal Triangle Technikon, now the Vaal Institute of Technology.
The most defining moment in my career so far was the opportunity to present and be a style expert for the global hit makeover show 10 Years Younger which was broadcast at primetime on Channel 4 in the UK.
My career-defining moment presented itself in the form of a blessing in disguise. In 2001, after having graduated from WBS, I resigned my nine-to-five office job and decided to pursue my music passion.
I have always believed in creating opportunities for myself. These opportunities do not only have to be self-serving. We should also strive towards improving our society in building a legacy that will outlive our generation.
Congratulations, WBS, on your 50th year celebrations! In 1992, events exposed our class to very exciting political events. We had two superb politics teachers. Prof Schlemmer and Prof van Zyl Slabbert!
The day I gave birth to my son, who is five years old now, was the day my career focus changed. That day I realised that I not only need to talk the talk but also walk it in order to be the example that I want my son to follow.
My appointment as managing director, Sasol Oil, in December 2006 was a defining moment in my career. Prior to this appointment, we had spent close to four years managing merger processes.
Looking back, two defining moments stand out for me. The first was enrolling for a Wits MBA as a result of the encouragement from my late dad. At the time it was very unusual for a medical doctor to do an MBA and I am indebted to the then dean, Prof Andy Andrews, for putting his faith in me and accepting me onto the course.
It’s not easy to pinpoint one defining moment. There have been a number that has shaped the person and professional I am today. One person (and series of events) that stands out was a young patient of mine during my internship year as a junior doctor.
I had asked Prof Patrick McGraw to borrow his teaching notes to copy, intending to return it the following week. Over the weekend my car was stolen, with his notes, my course materials, and text books. Thank you to Douglas Jung and friends who helped me with copies of their files so that I could prepare for the exams. The MBA program taught me that you can survive any hardship if you have a strong support network.
Bali Island, Indonesia, was in its usual element in December 2013 – beautiful and tranquil with the warm Indian Ocean waters and hospitable local inhabitants blending seamlessly with the hot and humid weather. Yet, enjoying the warm Bali weather was only peripheral to my visit.
The defining moment of my career was when I left a successful career in the corporate world to join a few ex-colleagues and friends in starting a new bank. This was a daunting move after having spent most of my career in a world where complex challenges were sheltered by the relative security of size, then moving to another world of complex challenges with no security.
I was in the hot seat in the M-Net boardroom packed with suits. At the end of the presentation, he asked me two simple questions – if we did this, what would be different the day after, and what is our right to win?
In February of 2014, I joined a small consulting organisation as a senior project manager, immediately after I had completed my MBA. The organisation was in a start-up phase, had been in existence for about 18 months and formed part of a global corporation with the aim of establishing regional offices around the globe.
After coming back from South Africa to Germany I started my career at Mercedes. I had the great opportunity to work for a well-known company and brand. I made a corporate career by going through different projects, functions and divisions. But after some years I had doubts that the corporate career path was the right one for me.
I recall the second day of my MBA when my first child was born and then while in China completing my final elective, I received the news of the birth of my second child and had to fly back immediately…. An amazing two years of learning and personal growth.
One of my best moments was doing a syndicate assignment video presentation for the Organisational Design and Development module, under the topic “Design of an Agile Organisation”, …
The Wits Business School has played an incredibly important role in shaping not just my career but also much of the person I am today. There have been several defining moments in my career, but undoubtedly the moment that stands out was when I was enrolled on the Management Advancement Programme (MAP) in 2008 with classmates a lot more senior and experienced than me.
As an activist and a businessman, I experienced several defining moments in my career. I completed my MBA at Wits Business School in 1971. I could not find any meaningful employment as the predominantly white corporate business sector would not employ people of colour in senior management positions.