With a rich heritage embedded into the very fabric of South Africa, alumni from the University of the Western Cape (UWC) continue to flourish, not only in SA but indeed the entire world.
While the institution itself remains the heart of it all for students and graduates, the Alumni Relations Office serves as a vital arm of the university, engaging with alumni and the wider community to promote UWC as an institution of excellence.
The UWC Young Alumni Virtual Series forms part of the service the university’s Alumni Relations Office provides to encourage the empowerment of and the network-building between alumni and stakeholders who share our aim to build on the university’s outstanding legacy.
On May 28, the launch of the Young Alumni Virtual Series will aim not only to inspire, but also provide young alumni with solutions to an array of obstacles they may be facing in an ever-changing job market.
Among these challenges, we cannot ignore the role that the COVID-19 pandemic has played in shutting traditional doors to employment, while opening new possibilities, forcing prospective job-seekers to diversify their personal and marketable skill sets as well as explore entrepreneurial alternatives to traditional careers.
As COVID-19 continued to spread around the world last year, President Cyril Ramaphosa took to his weekly letter to the country, writing that the coronavirus was a dark cloud hanging over the lives of South Africans and the economic fortunes of our country.
“As much as COVID-19 hangs over our country, there is a silver lining to this dark cloud,” he wrote.
The President continued with a message of hope, writing that despite the country facing enormous socio-economic challenges such as rising unemployment and poverty, there are various opportunities for South Africans to alleviate the fundamental consequences of the pandemic.
Ramaphosa highlighted that many young entrepreneurs had been displaying a combination of forethought, creativity, innovation and business acumen by coming up with contemporary solutions for the challenges that the country is currently facing.
Indeed, the Young Alumni Virtual Series speakers - most of whom are UWC graduates - have specifically been identified to share their own experiences, challenges and successes in navigating the world of work serving as guiding lights in their respective careers.
As UWC continues to foster its enduring history the series seeks to ensure the institution’s ethos steeped in a community centric model rallies in support of the empowering a new cohort of young alumni, passing the baton in order for the legacy of Respice Prospice to continue for generations to come.
Read more about our confirmed speakers below
Dr Alex Granger
Dr Alex Granger is held in high regard as a leadership, personal mastery, and high performance speaker in Africa.
His work has been revered by business leaders, blue chip company managers, and various associations, institutes, and government leaders.
Granger has acquired a Doctor of Excellence (Honoris Causa) from Auream Phoenix University, and an Executive Leadership Development Program from the Gordon‘s Institute of Business Science with a distinction in Leadership.
Granger is a certified Nuero Linguistic Programming Life Coach, and is currently completing a Doctorate in Philosophy. His thesis is on Epistemological Mindsets.
He has honed and shared his expertise in an array of executive and senior leadership positions at blue chip companies which include Bidvest, Imperial, Standard Bank, and Tsogo Sun.
He is also the author of three titles and his other roles include co-founder and chief purpose officer of Twice Blue and founder of the Personal Mastery seminars and The Exceptional Apex.
With more than 15 years’ experience in the Careers Service in Higher Education, Nazrana Parker is perfectly placed to add her voice to the Young Alumni Virtual Series.
Parker has been working in the area of Careers Service at UWC since 2009.
In 2019, she attained the Joint Winner of the ‘Best Employer Representative Award’ while also achieving top honours for the 'Best Work Readiness Initiative’ at the South African Graduate Employers Association Employer Annual Awards.
By helping students realise their full potential, Parker assists the university in producing graduates who are inspired to make a positive impact in society.
Parker holds a Master’s and Honours Degree in Social Development and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. She is determined to continue her doctoral studies at UWC next year with a focus on the scope of careers service delivery at universities in South Africa.
Patricia Hendricks has a keen interest in helping people in leadership positions build enabling communities within business spheres.
Hendricks is a master life coach and trainer and the founder of LeaderShape, a life coaching practice she started in 2003 after cutting her teeth as a life transition coach.
Under her guidance, LeaderShape has since given birth to an academy, where graduates are licensed as personal mastery life coaches.
Hendricks has a background in Clinical Psychology, Life Transition Coaching, Neurolinguistic Programming, Consciousness Training, Communication and Leadership Development.
Her tertiary experience includes lecturing Leadership and Self Development at TSiBA University and Psychological Interventions at Cornerstone College. She has also facilitated UCT students in Personal Mastery Development.
Psychotherapy, Clinical Diagnosis, Personality Disorder, Trauma Counselling, Substance Abuse Training, Couples Therapy, Group Therapy and Child Therapy all form part of her clinical psychology training.
Hendricks is also trained and experienced in the resolution of internal strife and the blockages that continue to sabotage personal success.
Donovan Mulder is a Software Quality Assurance (SQA) pioneer with more than two decades of experience in the industry.
Mulder - who is also a UWC alumnus - is also the chief executive officer and founder of Kinetic Skunk, a test-left software quality assurance solutions provider.
Since forming the company in 2008 before obtaining an operating licence in 2011, Mulder had been running the business by himself, but has since employed 27 people, mostly from disadvantaged backgrounds.
He says Kinetic Skunk seeks to make a social impact by employing interns from underprivileged communities and creating jobs for the youth while upholding a high standard to maintain a reputable status in the software industry.
Mulder built his first framework in 1998 and his first keyword driven framework in 2002. This was done on a beta site for Mercury Quick Test Pro (QTP), and was a pioneering effort, in that QTP at that stage did not have a keyword component. This framework was successfully used at Deutsche Bank to test the Autobahn FX trading platform, and went on to become the world's most widely used and successful trading platform.
Shiela Yabo is a business strategist, venture builder, project manager and published contributing author with a strong interest in how human behavioural science impacts the world of business.
Yabo has obtained a wealth of entrepreneurial experience in Africa and more recently in Silicon Valley, USA.
She also boasts in-depth knowledge about new venture launch and support, business acceleration, systems thinking, and leadership through mentorship.
Her work at UCT includes designing and developing multiple entrepreneurship and innovation support programmes for both the university and its external partners.
She currently works as the programme manager at Solution Space, which provides an ecosystem for early-stage ventures at UCT’s Graduate School of Business, where she facilitates ideation bootcamps.
Yabo is also an emerging Angel Investor with responsibilities which range from strategic operational management and planning to programme design and delivery of various entrepreneurship programmes.
She has a Bachelor of Social Science in Social Anthropology and Gender Studies, and holds an Associate in Management Programme and a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Practice, both awarded with distinction at UCT.Click here to view the programme