Current students should use the opportunity to join societies, work on their social and professional relationships, and get as much exposure to employers as possible.
In what way does your qualification relate to your work, whether directly or indirectly?
Most of the modules I did relate to my work directly. A small challenge was to weave those modules together when sometimes a particular problem actually draws on three modules instead of one neatly packaged module. Modules that relate indirectly are those modules where the content is not relevant to what I do now, but the skills I started to develop while studying those modules I was able to carry over into practice to continue developing them.
What are the key skills that have been useful in your career journey so far?
Organisation skills have been the most useful so far. Life and work events can be chaotic but as a wise lecturer said 'quiet your mind, schedule, allocate tasks based on priority and strike off one task at a time'. Both events become easy to manage following that advice.
What are your day-to-day activities?
The department I am in is litigious and dynamic. Every day is different, and each case that comes through is different and interesting (some may even make good Netflix movies) so the activities vary but generally drafting, researching, attending meetings, producing products for marketing purposes and court proceedings in various forums.
Do you have any advice for a new graduate entering the world of work (e.g. how to develop skills while at university ?)
University is an excellent place and period to develop useful skills preparing one for work. The academic aspect is a given. However, current students should use the opportunity to join societies, work on their social and professional relationships, and get as much exposure to employers as possible.
The 'soft skills' required to thrive are learned outside of the lecture hall.
Another difficult aspect at university may be dealing with prejudice, bias, preference etc based on race, religion or sexual orientation which may be apparent in bursary, social groups and the work environment. The goal, especially as those who work, live and play in South Africa is to deal with these problems positively and constructively in the interest of unity since there are enough divisions. At university, developing long lasting friendships seems to be the best tool to address this issue.
How did your extra-curricular involvement while at UCT add value (transferable skills) to what you offer the world of work?
Extra-curricular activities add tremendous value. For many it may be their first taste of what the world fo work is like, not only the work aspect but also the social aspect with the ultimate goal of getting the finished product done well. A good example might be interacting with different personalities one might not have encountered before and developing long lasting bonds - both of which are beneficial experience to have before entering the world of work