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.
What are your memories?
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 ‘Submit your Memory’ page and send your contribution.
WBS Memory Wall
When I was growing up I feared failure and the devastation I thought would ensue. I wanted to be perfect and felt any form of failure was letting me and other people down, particularly my mother who had made tremendous sacrifices in bringing up three children alone on a music teacher’s salary.
The most defining moment in my life was when I realised that black women could own a bank that focuses on entrepreneurs, but most importantly it was having my own people affirming my dream by supporting it financially.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My career started at KEH VIII Hospital in Durban as a medical intern. It’s been an exciting journey! The first milestone was opening my medical practice in eMlazi, the second biggest township in the country.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
After spending about ten years in corporate South Africa from 1981 to 1991, I was overlooked for a marketing position that became available. The marketing manager would not even allow me to be interviewed.
Passing my PhD and graduating was a defining and memorable moment for me. A great sense of accomplishment, it was both the ‘Mama, I did it’ feeling and the ‘coming of age’ feeling which came with the sudden realisation that I could do that and more.
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.
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.
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.
A defining moment in my career has been the realisation that my purpose as an entrepreneur is far reaching, not just to create jobs and wealth, but also be a leading example of charting a path others can follow, especially women.
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.
The defining moment of my career happened when I was 12 years old. My father was the managing director of Glenton & Mitchell in the Eastern Cape, the company that launched Joko Tea during the first half of the 20th century.
I used to try candy-coat things, but no longer: giving birth is less painful, less bloody and infinitely quicker than getting your first novel published. If you haven’t been smothered under the avalanche of “Dear Author, Thank you for your submission, but …” slips by the time you find a publisher, you and your manuscript will still have to face the pitiless glint of your editor’s scythe.
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.