Student Representative Council (SRC) member Ms Andile Sithole graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma in Finance, Banking and Investment Management.
The College of Law and Management Studies Westville campus representative is passionate about leading by example when it comes to education as she also holds a Bachelor of Science in Genetics and Microbiology and is currently pursuing a Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Planning.
‘I am a very inquisitive person who doesn’t like being limited to only one thing. I like exploring and expanding my knowledge always,’ said Sithole.
Graduating with her undergraduate degree in the midst of COVID-19, witnessing the harsh reality of people losing their jobs and the rising unemployment rate motivated Sithole to pursue finance studies with the end goal of becoming an entrepreneur.
‘Securing an internship as a graduate was hard!’ says Sithole.
‘So, while I was waiting for my turn and applying for every post I came across I decided that this is a great opportunity for me to study what I always wanted and acquire a new set of skills. This will allow me to be marketable and have a bigger pool for job opportunities as well as to merge all my qualifications through entrepreneurship,’ she said.
Having started her undergraduate degree under challenging circumstances after losing her grandmother who raised her a month after enrolling at UKZN coupled with struggling with funding, Sithole is dedicated to assisting other students to navigate these challenges as well.
‘I’ve also been in a position where I struggled to afford even basic needs. I even thought that maybe giving up would be the best but I couldn’t do that because I knew what I wanted for myself in the end,’ she said.
Championing initiatives like the SRC trust fund which assists students with registration fees and helping students in any way she can through her role is how Sithole is giving back to the Institution that shaped her.
‘I have personally benefited from the trust fund and hope that someday it may grow into an initiative that not only helps with registration and historical debt but becomes a full bursary scheme for needy students. This can only be achieved through donations – therefore I am pleading with everyone to donate to the fund. Even the smallest donation goes a long way and will benefit a lot of students.’
Words: Thandiwe Jumo
Photograph: Abhi Indarajan