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The Durban University of Technology (DUT) continues to commend all its essential workers for their dedication and commitment in providing services to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. DUT’s Communications team’s Nikiwe Sukazi spoke to Mr S’fiso Mthembu who is an Administrative Assistant at the Department of Co-Operative Education.  

Q: Kindly tell me about your role at DUT

A: “I assist students with employment and getting work experience. When students are looking for employment or in-service training they send their CVs to our department. When companies are requesting or looking for DUT students they request them from our department. I then send their CVs to companies, based on the qualification they are looking for or a specific requirement that meets their organisational needs. I also facilitate the interview process.” 

Q: How long have you been in that role?  

A: “I have been in this role for three years now.”  

Q: Please describe yourself in a few words?  

A: “I am an open-minded person, very crazy about technology and I enjoy seeing people reaching their full potential and I am willing to play a role to support a person to reach that level.”  

Q: How has it been working during COVID-19?  

A: “It has been hectic, especially adapting into working remotely, and since our department deals with engagement, we had to shift most of them to virtual. However, we are slowly adapting to it.” 

Q: How do you deal with the fear of contracting COVID-19 and losing loved ones due to this virus? 

A: “The fear of losing anyone you are close to or a loved one is inevitable, but we can only be prepared for it. I spend most my time praying for them and communicating with them more and never miss a time or a chance to spend with them, just so if the time comes, I know it was God’s plan and I spent my time with them. I also try not to dwell on the feeling of fear as well.” 

Q: What is your daily motivation?  

A: “To do my best to help any individual and always show kindness.”  

Q: What are your thoughts about the vaccine and its importance to health students and workers?  

A: “It a good thing and I support it as long as it is taken voluntarily and people that are skeptical of it are not forced to do so.”  

Q: Please take me through a normal day in your life   

A: “I start the day with checking for outstanding company requests and action the ones that are outstanding. I update the students’ CV database, contact students for updates to check if they are employed or not. I also interact with internal academic departments to find out if they have students who are looking for jobs or in-service training. My day also entails taking students queries, dealing with internal department queries, speaking with some of the DUT Work Integrated Learning (WIL) coordinators, and updating my placement reports, to name but a few.”  

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?   

A: “I like exploring things outside of my comfort zone, mostly outdoor activities. I read a lot, especially personal development books and biographies. I watch movies and cooking shows; I can cook but I want to be the best at it.” 

Q: If you had one wish what would it be?  

“Knowing my purpose. Based on my observations, my dreams and goals, to have deadlines which are most likely to change over time, but have purpose, waking up knowing what to do, where to go. Directions will get clear as you move closer towards it.”   

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