Student graduate manager, Mr Raymond Mkhwanazi says the programme is responsible for sourcing and securing placement opportunities for students to do Work Integrated Learning (WIL). Much of the work is done through collaborations with external partners who come to campus to showcase their companies during a Career Expo and the Entrepreneurship and Employability Workshops.
“Our office also assist graduates with placement in internship programmes and employment opportunities and to build collaborative relationships with employers and industry stakeholders through career exhibitions where we invite companies to share more details about what they do and offer. The Career Expo is also another platform where students and potential employers meet and engage."
Agricultural Production Management in Agriculture graduate, Nontethelelo Mashego, is one of the graduates who was placed at Recruit Agric.
"I was given the opportunity to explore the real dimensions and reality of farming as a whole. My life has completely changed already, I am now serving as an irrigation manager at Danroc farm," she adds.
“The programme has helped me gain skills such as problem-solving, management, team working, machinery operating, planning skills and more. UMP has played a huge role in giving me direction and theory as to how to go from knowing nothing about farming to being a lover of greens. This placement will open more doors and opportunities for skills development."
Mashego is amongst the 189 students who have been placed through the University of Mpumalanga’s graduate programme, which collaborates and liaises with industry role players and employers.
Mr Mkhwanazi continues that the record-breaking placements were made possible through partnerships and collaborations that were formed over the years.
“We organise meetings with potential employers such as companies, organizations and government departments. We also host an annual career expo where prospective employers are invited to come to the university to interact with the students, particularly final year students and assist them on their career paths.
The employers inform the university when they need to recruit graduates in their various fields, most importantly we send adverts on jobs to graduates through their email addresses.”
Another student who secured an internship is Mbongiseni Thulani Ubisse, a Honours in Bachelor of Science in Agriculture graduate who recently completed his degree. Ubisse is currently working at the Avocado and Macadamia facility and is part of the Business and Financial management.
“It has been a great journey at UMP, the practices that I was receiving have played a significant role in my studies since it was guiding me to the field and the industry. It was nice being there and a pleasure to have everyone who motivated me academically and emotionally, and much thanks to my Honours Supervisor and my colleagues.”
In conclusion Mr Mkhwanazi said: “This is a great achievement, to have UMP graduates participating in the economy of our country. It also shows the impact of our graduates' attributes,” he added.
“Our strategic goal is to reach a point where UMP graduates become the first choice for companies, organizations and government departments, and to produce the best entrepreneurs South Africa has ever had in 2022.”
@ Story by Cleopatra Makhaga. Pictures supplied.