Speakers at coffee event hail reading and making a habit of speaking out as beneficial habits to cultivate for the real world.

Google’s chief marketing officer Mzamo Masito (left) sharing life skills for life after university with students at the Wits Library Lawns. On the right is Allan Mpofu from Nescafe.
                                                                                                          Photo: Rose Clemence Shayo

Wits students have been urged to be courageous and to block out anything that gets in the way of their future goals.

“Delay all things, materials or relationships that will slow your career and success down,” Google South Africa’s chief marketing officer Mzamo Masito advised students on Thursday, July 18, saying they should focus more on their studies and work hard for their future careers. “Go for what you want right now!”

#ThisIsOurGrind is a youth empowering campaign by Nescafe Classic that goes around South African universities to motivate and inspire students in their personal and career paths through various activities.

The event at the Wits Library Lawns included small group discussions led by a LinkedIn representative on how to create a resume and how students can improve their LinkedIn profiles to entice suitable employers when looking for jobs.

This was followed by a motivational talk by Masito on how to lead a successful career, and mind stimulation games such as Jenga and chess.

“I came [to address you] with no expectations, just to speak from the heart and share my career journey, and hopefully even if one person gets inspired and motivated from my story and life,” he said.

Masito’s career journey is one that teaches the importance of not limiting oneself in terms of how far one can go careerwise and how reading books can expand one’s language use skills in academia and workplaces.

He urged students to travel more, even outside the country to learn from other cultures. He also advised them to use their voices to present their ideas and opinions whether they are wrong or right in order to build up confidence rather than be represented by others. “Speak up. Don’t let your voice shrink, in any place that you are in,” Masito said. 

Tankiso Makhene, Nescafe PR account manager, told Wits Vuvuzela that the activation was aimed to help students understand that life in the real world  is very different, that you are not guaranteed to get a job right after graduating, hence, “You have to ‘grind’ (work hard) now for your future.” 

Chulumanco Mketo, who is studying towards an honours degree in International Relations, said she enjoyed the event. However, she felt that there wasn’t enough publicity about it because not many of her peers were present and it would have been a great opportunity for postgraduates preparing for employment.

First-year BSc student, Paballo Sejanamane, said the event had motivated her to persevere and to aim for more than just a pass. “It is not just pushing to get 50s but to also aim for As,” she said.