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The Advancement and Alumni Relations Office at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) hosted a DUT Alumni Mentorship Series Webinar called Tips on Marketing Yourself to Prospective Employers as Well as Using Social Mediums to Increase Your Chances of Employment, via Microsoft Teams.

This webinar forms part of the recently established and launch of the DUT Alumni Mentorship Programme.

The Programme Director of the event was Alumni Relations Co-ordinator, Ronelle Lyson. She relayed who the guest speakers were. Reginald Vusumuzi ‘Mapensela’ Ndlovu, Zodumo Maphumulo, Thato Moeng and Nkululeko Mbatha shared their expertise with the attendees. Welcoming the guest attendees to the event was DUT’s Advancement and Alumni Relations Director, Zwakele Ngubane.

“I would like to extend a very big thank you and just words of appreciation and gratitude to the four speakers who will be presenting. We would like to welcome you to another one of our sessions on the Alumni Mentorship Webinar Series. We have been holding these monthly webinars for some time now this year and really its part of the broader Alumni Mentorship programme which seeks to assist our students and graduates, as well to fine-tune their skills, to network, with the view of improving their opportunities of accessing employment. It’s really important that you network. You should know the people within the field of interest and study that you have chosen so that you are better able to network and so hence the Alumni Mentorship Programme was established. This is a platform where alumni of DUT, that are well-established in industry and business, have the opportunity to mentor our current students, even young graduates as well,” he said.

Starting off the webinar session was Maphumulo, a DUT Journalism alumna and Football Production Manager at SuperSport International. She is passionate about female representation both on screen and in the boardroom. She gave insight into who she was and the video she had been the star of for ‘The Ready To Work Campaign’, which she played for the attendees.

“My job entails me working with the Premier Soccer League commonly known as PSL. So as part of a campaign that was done by the then Sponsor which was ABSA, which was called: The Ready to Work Campaign. This was an initiative in reaching the divide between education and the World of Work through the platform of television, providing young South Africans the opportunity to apply and intern at SuperSport and at PSL. Here I was given the wonderful opportunity to tell my story,” she said.

She explained the valuable art of self -promotion through her presentation which was adapted from Ms Fiona Martin, an exceptional young lady and career coach and organisational psychologist who presented at a Multichoice Women’s Forum some years ago. She indicated that this topic stayed with her ever since and this is something she has learnt to apply to her daily life.

Maphumulo indicated that when she had googled self-promotion on the internet she came across multiple definitions and there was one of them that stood out for her, which defined it as the act of furthering one’s growth, advancement or prosperity of one’s self.

“My definition of self-promotion is the ability of promoting one’s visibility, competence, skills and abilities to others. Its presenting facts, stories, experiences and emotions from either your past, your present or your future working life,” she said.

She relayed further how she had used this tool to work for her.

“I’m here to tell you that if done strategically and with tact, this tool can yield positive results. Humility is admirable but it’s also important that you highlight your success when you need to,” she stressed.

She then introduced Ndlovu, an actor, DUT Drama and Production Studies alumni and sports commentator for SuperSport TV. Ndlovu gave further insight into personal branding. The charismatic Ndlovu has participated in various local television productions.

“Personal branding is who am I? I feel this is a question that a lot of people look at and they just shy away from it. I have seen people lose themselves because they are trying to impress other people. Now, when you leave home and you are going to university you leave home alone and get to meet other people, this where you make certain choices, now these choices either stick with you or catch up with you in the future. So the question is who am I? When you get into the industry that is the first question you need to ask yourself too. Am I someone who is here to change my life and work for my family, or am I someone who is here to impress other people,” he said.

Delving more on what was one’s niche market was Moeng, an accomplished, creative, and tenacious sports broadcaster with over a decade of experience in sports journalism. She explained that she did sports in a very different way, not very similar to her colleagues.

“It was entertaining, it was engaging and interesting. So, I think it comes back to women in the workplace and personal branding, so it’s very important to master your craft, have a niche market, make another niche market from that niche market and keep on centralising your niche market,” she added.

The fourth speaker at the event was Mbatha. He holds a Diploma and a BTech Degree in Public Relations Management from DUT. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Management Sciences: Business Administration Degree. He is also a professional model, signed with Boss Models Durban, a social media enthusiast and part of the DUT Communications team under the Division of Corporate Affairs.

He then spoke on his work experiences, focusing on the social media aspect and how it works. He also spoke on the most popular social media platforms that are used for job searching with LinkedIn being number one.

“With social media being so broad, you always have the advantage that you can literally grasp information about a certain organisation just by searching them up and literally everything that has been written about them just pops up. All in all, it literally helps you to market yourself,” he said.

He emphasised that one needs to always clean up one’s social media accounts, especially Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok or whatever one usually shares content on, especially if one knows that some of the content shared is inappropriate.

“What matters the most is, as much social media has been provided as the tool for you to market yourself and put yourself out there, you also have a part to play with regards to what type of a person you want to be perceived as by the next person. That next person could be your next employer, that next person could be your colleague. Now, as I have been emphasizing, nobody wants to be associated with someone who is just blatant when it comes to the online platforms,” he said.

A question and answer session ensued with a vote of thanks given by Alumni Relations Co-ordinator, lyson.

Pictured top left: Reginald Vusumuzi ‘Mapensela’ Ndlovu

Pictured top right: Zodumo Maphumulo

Pictured bottom left : Thato Moeng

Pictured bottom right: Nkululeko Mbatha

Waheeda Peters

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