Mentees who are part of the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance’s (SAEF) academic support and mentoring programme which is externally funded had an opportunity to engage and gain invaluable skills at a webinar presented by professional career coach, Ms Tracey Ashington.
The mentorship programme is led by senior lecturer in Economics Dr Michelle Hatch. The webinar focussed on interview skills and LinkedIn, as an important platform for connecting with recruiters and socialising professionally.
‘Most senior professionals use LinkedIn which is a powerful tool if used correctly. You can establish your profile, which represents your Curriculum Vitae (CV), as early as your second year of studies,’ said Ashington.
Demonstrating the basics of using LinkedIn to market their skills to potential recruiters, Ashington also covered how to sell these skills to employers during job interviews. The programme came at the right time for the 276 mentees that participated as they will soon embark on their career paths.
Ashington has more than 20 years’ experience and has helped hundreds of students to identify graduate opportunities. She also guides young professionals in the early stages of their careers. She encouraged final-year students to start applying for graduate intake opportunities now.
‘Alternatively, you can focus on school for now, and wait for next year once you’ve officially obtained your qualification. However, you should be aware that graduate programmes start around January or February,’ she advised.
Hatch, who facilitated the webinar, said the mentorship programme offers one-on-one fortnightly meetings between mentees and their mentors to discuss any challenges they may be experiencing. Where necessary, they are referred to appropriate UKZN student support services.
‘We aim to increase awareness of, and promote our programme to ensure that this intervention reaches all our students. We also continue to work closely with UKZN support services to ensure our students are able to access the help and guidance that they require,’ she added.
Words: Samukelisiwe Cele