Six Bachelor of Commerce Honours students in Human Resources Management graduated cum laude.
Ms. Dhirja Singh who is currently serving a human resource internship at a contact centre said the degree not only broadened her knowledge but has opened doors for her in the world of work.
‘I am keenly interested in organisational culture, ethics, and employee wellness. Pursuing an honors degree expanded my knowledge of these topics. My research project on The Effectiveness of the Implementation of the Affirmative Action Policy within the South African Private Sector enhanced my understanding of ethics,’ she said. She plans to pursue a Masters in Commerce in 2023 and possibly explore working abroad.
Ms. Saranya Govender has registered for a master’s degree.
‘The Human Resources function is one of the most crucial functions for any organisation to thrive, adapt and maintain the sound business practice. The honours modules offer an understanding of many business practices,’ she said.
While her short-term goal is to be a lecturer, Govender’s long-term goal is to establish a training and youth development school to alleviate the skills drain in South Africa.
‘I aim to grow youth employment by skilling and encouraging young people to pursue their educational and career goals.’
The COVID-19 pandemic brought home to Ms. Snethemba Jali how the world of work has changed and how she has to not only adapt, but change with it.
‘We had to come up with research topics in line with current issues in South Africa,’ she said. For her study on The Significance of Succession Planning in Today’s Business Environment, Jali also received a cum laude pass.
‘I focused on how organisations could fill the gaps when experienced CEOs, managers and other senior personnel retire, pass away or resign. How can they make sure they look for the right people and is succession planning properly implemented?’ she explained.
In 2021, Jali had the opportunity to put theory into practice during a one-year internship at eThekwini Municipality.
‘This graduate work experience was life-changing and showed me that one has to know the theoretical side of things before experiencing the practical side. My long-term goal is to be known as Dr. Jali so I will continue studying as soon as I find a permanent job to fund my studies.’
Ms. Yasoda Rambally said that the honours course gave her a deeper understanding of how the world is changing due to the fourth industrial revolution.
‘The world of work is constantly evolving and by studying HR, we can understand how these changes impact employees and how HR professionals can assist in ensuring sustainable employment opportunities for all,’ she said.
She plans to continue her research in HR and hopes that it will one day contribute to the understanding of how to create and maintain sustainable employment opportunities in a constantly evolving working world.
Having recently moved to Mauritius Ms. Fatima Abrahams aims to use this qualification to further her career.
‘The course content was interesting and the lecturers had diverse perspectives which made it an enriching educational experience,’ she said. ‘The guidance I received from my research supervisor, Professor Sanjana Brijball Parumasur was exceptional. Although I last undertook full-time studies two decades ago, I was able to achieve what I set out to do through dedication and commitment.’
When her hopes of attaining a postgraduate bursary were dashed, Ms. Yonela Mdyodo had to rely on her family to fund her studies which make this achievement even more special.
‘I was hopeful that the postgraduate bursary would fund my studies since I qualified but they, unfortunately, did not. However, I didn’t see myself deregistering, so my family had to minimise their needs to ensure that I survive 2021 and I complete the qualification,’ she said.
With the costs of not only her tuition fees but also her resident fees resting on her father’s shoulder who is her family’s sole breadwinner, Mdyodo is proud to be the first university graduate holding two degrees in her family.
‘My dad was so worried about paying the fees since he doesn’t earn that much but I was fortunate to receive assistance from a Non-Government Organisation that helped me to clear my student debt. My future plans are to ensure that I create a safe working space for employees and encourage most of the companies in South Africa to invest in employee wellness.’
Words: Thandiwe Jumo
Photograph: Rajesh Jantilal