Wits students have made it into the GradStar programme’s Top 100

Three Wits students will be attending a gala dinner at the Indaba Hotel in Fourways on September 18-20 following their selection into the Top 100 GradStar programme 2019.

The annual GradStar awards is a programme that recognises the top 100 students across the country based on leadership qualities and readiness for the workplace. It provides students with opportunities for employment and allows them to contribute positively in South Africa’s future growth.

Khumo Modiba, Leeson Govender and Phenyo Mabokela are the three Witsies who have been identified to have potential in high value signings for corporates.

The students went through a rigorous four-phase judging process that was not limited to only academic achievements of being graduates. The phases culminated in a day of workshops hosted by potential employers.

“The nomination was unexpected because the Top 100 selection was made from 500 students [both undergraduates and postgraduates] across South Africa. I am quite ecstatic, nonetheless having made it through the past rigorous assessments and standing a chance of making it to the Top 10,” Modiba told Wits Vuvuzela.

Over 6000 students across the country applied for the opportunity and went through the four-phase judging process. The students had to work through two assessments, a development plan, a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) and SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) analysis and create a video of themselves for the judges.

Mabokela who was also a candidate in the class of 2017’s top 500 told Wits Vuvuzela that he personally felt he had a lot more to offer and there is a huge leap between where he was then and where he is now.

The 23 year-old, Govender said, “It means a lot to me having been selected, mainly because I mentioned that I am a recovered drug addict. I continuously strive towards eliminating stigma around addiction.”

Managing director of BlackBark Productions, Laura Barker and GradStar alumni, Tamsyn Brown told Wits Vuvuzela that GradStar nominees will be connected with its sister programme Rising Star mentors, who will provide assistance with their transition into the workplace.

“There are amazing companies in South Africa who are trying their very best to make sure university students do not get lost in the difficult unemployment bracket.

“We want to help students find jobs and we want to help elevate them through this programme to nurture, and mentor them as best we can so that they can be prepared for what awaits them after university,” said Barker and Brown.

The Top 100 candidates are competing for one of the top 10 spots which will be announced at the gala dinner in September.

FEATURED IMAGE: Phenyo Mabokela, Leeson Govendor and Khumo Modiba. Photo: Masechaba Kganyapa