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Inaugural Accounting Professions Day Attracts Hundreds of Students

2017/03/10 11:02:14 AM

The inaugural Accounting Professions Day hosted by the College of Law and Management Studies was a roaring success with hundreds of students attending and engaging with prospective employers.

Accounting students at the Accounting Professions Day.

Winning the annual Ellie Newman Moot Court competition, beating 320 participants by showcasing outstanding legal skills, is a sure sign that fourth-year Law student Mr Elisha Kunene is equipped for success in the legal profession.

Kunene competed in the Moot final - hosted by the School of Law in Durban - alongside finalists Ms Jolene Thompson, Mr Andile Mabaso and Mr Connor Alexander.

The finalists displayed their legal prowess in front of judges, Law School academics Professor Karthy Govender, Ms Lindiwe Maqutu, Professor Tanya Woker and Mr Vishal Surbun as well as family and friends.

A highlight at the final was third-year Law student Mr Andile Mcineka being awarded the Yunus Mohammed Public Interest Law Award by Madam Justice Dhaya Pillay for his article: “Winnie Getting the Short End of the Stick”, which was published in The Sunday Tribune.

The award recognises Mcineka’s valuable contribution to knowledge in the field of public law.

‘There was depth in his argument; he drew on judgments in a coherent manner; it was a pleasure interacting with him…’ these were some of the comments made by the judges on Kunene’s performance before his announcement as the winner which was greeted with resounding applause and a standing ovation from the audience.

‘Winning the Ellie Newman award means the world to me. It’s literally a dream come true. My time in ‘varsity has been quite difficult in a number of ways but I was determined to finish strongly and I sort of viewed this year as a rebuilding period,’ says Kunene.

‘Earlier in the year a good friend of mine and I won the Southern African National Debating Championships and I ranked first in the country. So I really feel like God is with me on this winning streak.’

The great debater who used his skills to coach school debating teams to generate funds for his university tuition got academic merit scholarships from UKZN for his first and second year. However, monetary challenges nearly saw Kunene being financially excluded in his second year.

‘In a remarkable turn of events I was able to stay and complete my studies thanks to a generous intervention by Norton Rose Fulbright. The firm and I parted ways this year but I will always be grateful to them and to everyone else who have contributed to keeping me going,’ he said.

Looking to the future, Kunene said: ‘I have been granted the great privilege of being accepted to clerk for Justice Raymond Zondo at the Constitutional Court next year.’  His long-term plans include becoming an advocate.

Thandiwe Jumo
The inaugural Accounting Professions Day hosted by the College of Law and Management Studies was a roaring success with hundreds of students attending and engaging with prospective employers.

The information sharing session organised by the College’s Student Support Services and the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance took place on the Pietermaritzburg and Westville campuses with more than 20 companies - including Ernst and Young, SAICA, BDO, Grant Thornton and PKF - participating.

School of Accounting, Economics and Finance’s Acting Dean, Dr Mabutho Sibanda said they were thrilled by the positive response.

‘The overwhelming turn out really humbles us. This initiative is in line with the University’s strategic goals and we want to foster strong relationships with industry and commerce for strategic reasons,’he said.

Third-year Accounting students Mr Ismail Ebraham and Ms Mandisa Mlitwa appreciated the opportunity to receive guidance from accounting firms about fulltime and vacation employment,training contracts, learnerships and personal development opportunities.

‘Interaction with the accounting firms is really helpful as we can now make more informed choices about the fields to pursue after graduation,’ said Ebraham.

Mlitwa said having a career exhibition specifically dedicated to Accounting was ideal for one-onone engagements between firms and students.

‘Getting together as Accounting students means that we get an opportunity to share ideas and common goals as it is less crowded than the annual career exhibition,’ she said.

Thandiwe Jumo

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