Fifty years is a long time and the School has seen thousands and thousands of students pass through its doorways… copious numbers of proud graduates who’ve gone on to do interesting things in their careers! So many syndicate groups that have worked through the night, so many friends made and businesses started!
We set up this wall to provide an opportunity for students, alumni, staff and friends of WBS to share their messages or memories of WBS. We hope you enjoy them.
What are your memories?
If you would like to be part of our 50th celebrations and “write on the wall” we would love to hear from you. Whether you are a student or alumnus, a current or past staff member or lecturer – why not add your name, an anecdote and/or a photograph? Or even just a simple message.
Go to the ‘Submit your Memory’ page and send your contribution.
WBS Memory Wall
I used to try candy-coat things, but no longer: giving birth is less painful, less bloody and infinitely quicker than getting your first novel published. If you haven’t been smothered under the avalanche of “Dear Author, Thank you for your submission, but …” slips by the time you find a publisher, you and your manuscript will still have to face the pitiless glint of your editor’s scythe.
One of my best moments was doing a syndicate assignment video presentation for the Organisational Design and Development module, under the topic “Design of an Agile Organisation”, …
Having always had a deep interest in science, I first qualified as a chemist, and thereafter at a later stage as an engineer. In order to broaden my capabilities, I started to lecture evening classes at the Vaal Triangle Technikon, now the Vaal Institute of Technology.
The defining moment of my career happened when I was 12 years old. My father was the managing director of Glenton & Mitchell in the Eastern Cape, the company that launched Joko Tea during the first half of the 20th century.
Two events forged my career path. When I was 29, I came up with a concept that I sold to my then employer, Telkom. I used to run the advertising and promotions department for Telkom when I started working on a plan to pitch selling advertising space on phone cards.
The most defining moment in my life was when I realised that black women could own a bank that focuses on entrepreneurs, but most importantly it was having my own people affirming my dream by supporting it financially.
The glow of the newly installed blue iridescent Paul’s Homemade Ice Cream logo on the opening of our first the store in The Zone, Rosebank, in December 2015, was a moment that brought with it an understanding of where my career was rapidly moving.
The defining moment of my career was when I left a successful career in the corporate world to join a few ex-colleagues and friends in starting a new bank. This was a daunting move after having spent most of my career in a world where complex challenges were sheltered by the relative security of size, then moving to another world of complex challenges with no security.
Independent from a very young age, I had one life plan, ‘to own my own knives and forks’ and never to rely financially on anyone else. After two years of pursuing a business degree at university, I dropped out.
Heraclitus said, “The only thing that is constant is change.” My entire life and career have been and continue to be defined by a series of radical changes; a series of moments, based on numerous epiphanies that have led to an amazing journey of personal transformation and an exploration of experiencing the true nature of who we are.
I had asked Prof Patrick McGraw to borrow his teaching notes to copy, intending to return it the following week. Over the weekend my car was stolen, with his notes, my course materials, and text books. Thank you to Douglas Jung and friends who helped me with copies of their files so that I could prepare for the exams. The MBA program taught me that you can survive any hardship if you have a strong support network.
I believed that I could work hard enough to earn a fabulous early retirement. I started a retail company in 1989 and my optimistic best mate helped me raise ‘capital’ by polishing up and selling my Hi-Fi system.
Congratulations, WBS, on your 50th year celebrations! In 1992, events exposed our class to very exciting political events. We had two superb politics teachers. Prof Schlemmer and Prof van Zyl Slabbert!
I was a second-year Bachelor student of economics, working as the public relations manager of the largest world student-run organisation for youth leadership development and international mobility, AIESEC.
Now an international consultant supporting sustainable democratisation, he is presently working with Aung San Suu Kyi to overcome the military legacy in Myanmar, but usually lives in Ottawa, Canada.
Looking back, two defining moments stand out for me. The first was enrolling for a Wits MBA as a result of the encouragement from my late dad. At the time it was very unusual for a medical doctor to do an MBA and I am indebted to the then dean, Prof Andy Andrews, for putting his faith in me and accepting me onto the course.
My appointment as managing director, Sasol Oil, in December 2006 was a defining moment in my career. Prior to this appointment, we had spent close to four years managing merger processes.
In February 2015, one month after getting married and two months after my best performance review at McKinsey & Company, I decided to end my career as a management consultant to pursue my lifelong passion of being a social entrepreneur.
It seems like just yesterday when I moved almost 2 000km from home, Thohoyandou in Venda to Bellville in Cape Town, left a secure comfortable job in academia and joined Sanlam as a research consultant in their employee benefits division.
My career started at KEH VIII Hospital in Durban as a medical intern. It’s been an exciting journey! The first milestone was opening my medical practice in eMlazi, the second biggest township in the country.
As I continue on my journey, I have made self reflection my personal discipline – to remain true to my values as I seek to advance my unique strengths. On this path, I constantly remind myself of Nelson Mandela, who said that, “A winner is a dreamer who never gives up”.
The Wits Business School has played an incredibly important role in shaping not just my career but also much of the person I am today. There have been several defining moments in my career, but undoubtedly the moment that stands out was when I was enrolled on the Management Advancement Programme (MAP) in 2008 with classmates a lot more senior and experienced than me.
Syndicate Group Work was central in fostering positive students peer influence to learning from and supporting one another. It has been the source of my …
I remember, spending late nights with syndicate members doing assignments, networking and sharing Ideas on various modules such as finance and strategy…. Rehearsing marketing and …