Five Wits students among the country’s top 100 most employable university students under40 for the GradStar programme.

Wits University students have made South Africa’s Top 100 undergraduates list.

The GradStar programme has selected the top 100 university students based on leadership criteria and readiness for the workplace, in addition to their academic performance.

The programme aims to discover some of South Africa’s most employable students and connect them with some of the best employers.The programme organisers, BlackBark Productions, said it was critical to recognise talent across South Africa.

Over 2500 applicants from across the country went through a four-phase judging process, recognising the most talented employees under the age of 40.GradStar candidates will be connected with sister programme Rising Star mentors, who may assist them with their transition into the workplace. The GradStars will take part in workshops hosted by sponsor employers such as PwC, Comair and FNB. The workshops will cover interview presentation skills and career adaptability.

Managing director of BlackBark Productions Laura Barker said, “I am particularly proud of the GradStar programme for the way it develops our very young talent in South Africa. This is a unique and valuable opportunity for each graduate to draw upon the expertise and knowledge of those who have gone before them and start their careers on a solid foundation.

“The competition process uses behavioural testing and personal interviewing as measurement tools. It allows students to familiarise themselves with the
formal graduate programme application process,” she said.

BlackBark Productions media liaison officer Unathi Mpalo said, “I was surprised and impressed how well rounded the students are. They are community minded, academic and ambitious. They want to see and contribute to social change as well as their own personal advancement.”

Patron of the GradStar programme Dr David Molapo said, “This is a worthy programme. It is designed to uplift the student youth at this time of unrest.”

GradStar Top 100 and Wits honours psychology student Kiara Savithiri Naidoo said, “I was very surprised to have made the Top 100. All the stages were rather challenging. I believe that my hard work, persistence and dedication has helped me reach this milestone.I know that it would make my family so proud.”

The Top 100 graduates are competing for one of the top 10 spots, which will be announced at a Gala dinner on September 27.