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 ‘Share your Memory’ page and send your contribution.
WBS Memory Wall
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The glow of the newly installed blue iridescent Paul’s Homemade Ice Cream logo on the opening of our first the store in The Zone, Rosebank, in December 2015, was a moment that brought with it an understanding of where my career was rapidly moving.
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.
My career-defining moments involved starting long processes with a payoff coming much later. One most important career-defining moment for me was when I realised the power of making the right choices and displaying my risk-taking characteristics.
In February 2015, one month after getting married and two months after my best performance review at McKinsey & Company, I decided to end my career as a management consultant to pursue my lifelong passion of being a social entrepreneur.
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 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.