Students on the Pietermaritzburg and Westville campuses engaged with representatives from various accounting and auditing firms during UKZN’s annual Accounting Professions Day.
The event hosted by the College of Law and Management Studies, Student Support Services (SSS) and the School of Accounting, Economics, and Finance (SAEF) allowed Accounting students to meet potential employers and get advice on different career avenues available within their profession.
The Dean and Head of the SAEF, Professor Mabutho Sibanda, thanked the exhibitors for their participation and support, encouraging them to use the opportunity to recruit UKZN students and assist them in completing their articles to become qualified accountants and auditors.
‘We have quite a number of students waiting to interact with you who I am sure will pass their Initial Test of Competence (ITC). We have hosted this event for more than five years now, starting with only a few firms but today we have more than 22 exhibiting,’ said Sibanda in his welcome address.
Prior to the event, Ms Yanga Lufundo, Career Development Officer, engaged with Ernst & Young (EY), an international accounting firm in organising interviews for students on both campuses to familiarise them with the interview process. EY also offered 19 students with three years training contracts with the firm.
Ms Thembeka Makhubela, Senior Associate and Human Resources Officer said, ‘All the candidates arrived for the interview dressed well and prepared. The interviews were held online. We are happy with the calibre of students we have received, and we would like to have more initiatives like this in the future.’
Senior Manager at Bonakude Consultancy (Pty) Ltd and BCom Accounting Degree holder, UKZN alumnus Mr Prosper Mutambirwa, said this was not only an opportunity to inform students about different career opportunities but also a chance to network with accounting firms.
‘It was a great opportunity for us to showcase ourselves and get known out there,’ said Mutambirwa. ‘Most students focus on well-known companies and do not know who else is out there,’ he said.
One of the students who attended, Ms Siphokazi Phungula said the event was very useful in helping students understand their career paths and learn more about opportunities with potential employers.
‘Meeting representatives of companies in person has been a great experience for us after the event was held virtually for a while because of the pandemic,’ said Phungula. ‘Now I have a list of new companies to liaise with about completing my articles in order to become a qualified accountant.’
Over seven hundred students also had an opportunity to interact with student counsellors regarding free psychological and career guidance services provided by SSS.
Words: Samukelisiwe Cele
Photographs: Sethu Dlamini