(Published - 15 November 2019)
Pictured: Natalie Thomas, Nazrana Parker of UWC and Camilla Pennington (SAGEA)
University of the Western Cape (UWC) Careers Service Coordinator Nazrana Parker has made it her mission to help ensure graduates get the jobs they’re seeking and employers get the talented graduates they need. For her efforts she earned the Best Employer Relations Individual Award 2019 at the recent South African Graduate Employers Association (SAGEA) Employer Awards.
“I believe in helping our students prepare for the realities of the job search and how to navigate their way in the world beyond campus,” Parker says. “I provide employers with the platform to engage with UWC students in order to find the talent they need to tackle the challenges of the twenty-first century. And I’m proud to be able to play a part in that.”
This new award (shared with co-recipient Hishamodien Hoosain from the University of Cape Town) recognises a university careers service individual who has demonstrated efficient and superior service through the work they have done liaising and partnering with employers.
Parker is responsible for the strategic planning and delivery of careers services at UWC - for maintaining and enhancing relationships with local, national and international recruiters, and helping to ensure students understand what is expected of them.
“Many students aren’t quite sure how to maneuver the transition from university to employment, or what it is they want to do with their lives,” Parker says. “At the same time, many employers aren’t sure how to find talented graduates who fit their organisational culture and are prepared for the world of work. It’s all about helping them connect and to build careers for young talent, one student and recruiter at a time.”
She is also leading the customiser and implementer of Career Xplora - an online career service resource for students and recent alumni that earned UWC its other major SAGEA 2019 honour: the prestigious Best Work Readiness Initiative Award.
Career Xplora: A Platform For Career Possibilities
Career Xplora is a comprehensive web-based career services management solution for careers service staff, students and employers, powered by Symplicity CSM. The platform offers a variety of functions: Job Board, Employer Directory, Events Calendar, Career Fair tool, Resume Builder tool, Tutorial Videos on our YouTube Channel (developed by our staff) and an online Mock Interview tool.
Since the platform’s launch in 2017, more than 11,000 students have logged onto the system. More than 5,000 of these users have set up their accounts to receive weekly job blasts and notifications based on their majors. In July 2019, monthly logins reached nearly 6,000. UWC Careers Service has reviewed, online, over 3,500 CVs and Letters of Motivation over these 29 months.
“If you want to get the career you deserve, you need to plan for it, and work at it, and have the best information available,” explains UWC Careers Service Manager, Winston Middleton. “You need to develop a strong sense of who you are, what you want, and what your story is. And you don’t have to do all that on your own. We’re here to help - and Career Xplora can do just that.”
For more information about career services offered on campus, call the Careers Service on 021 959 2436 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Career & Admission Advice. Or head to the Office for Student Development, 1st Floor, University Centre (in the cafeteria, next to the lift), The UWC Careers Office team behind the magic: HoD Winston Middleton; Careers Service Coordinator Nazrana Parker; Administrative Assistant: Programmes:,Natalie Thomas; and Intern Sibusiso Khoza.