The students of the 2019 GSB MBA classes – full-time and modular – started on campus and orientation week is in full swing. Earlier in the week, students followed the invitation of the GSB Foundation and met with Peter Wingrove, the Foundation’s Managing Director, for an informal session on the Foundation’s work and offerings.
Peter started the session with explaining the big picture, that the students are now part of the GSB Alumni network; a network that spans 5000+ graduates in more than 80 countries across the globe. It is these alumni who support the GSB Foundation, united by the vision to enable the future generations of GSB Graduates.
The students of 2019 hail from many countries, including Angola, India, Belgium, Germany, Canada and of course, South Africa. They can tap into the GSB Alumni network during the time of their studies and beyond. They can also get involved, from wherever their paths will take them. The students also asked questions relating to the Foundation, the Alumni network and managing the workload of the MBA programme. Peter, being a GSB MBA Graduate himself, was able to give advice on how students can make the most of their time and how to start growing their network.
As mentioned by Peter at the end of the session – the team of the GSB Foundation wishes all MBA students of 2019 a productive and inspiring time on campus and we look forward to engaging with you!
Segran Nair / GSB MBA ’05 and Director of Open Academic Programmes at the GSB // One of the biggest cost components of the MBA is tuition; so where individuals are able to receive a scholarship towards their tuition it’s a huge burden released. Also, in the context of South Africa, many historically disadvantaged individuals still tend to have multiple financial obligations that extend beyond their immediate financial commitments, for example, the need to financially support an extended family. Having the ability to receive a scholarship then not only enables them to get onto the GSB MBA programme but ensures that they can continue supporting their families. It makes a tremendous difference to allow deserving individuals the opportunity to study on a full-time basis. And as much as there are no formal strings attached to these scholarships, there is a principle of paying it forward – from those individuals that were supported so far, each one has shown commitment in terms of giving back to the school at some later point in time.
Sandy Mattison (GSB MBA ‘97) received the 2018 GSB Director’s Alumni Award in the category “Contribution in building alumni relationships”. The award was presented at the 2018 GSB Graduation Ball, 22 June 2018 at Century City Conference Centre, by Acting UCT GSB Director Associate Professor Kosheek Sewchurran.
Sandy is passionate about the GSB MBA programme and the GSB Foundation’s work of supporting students with their studies. A GSB alumna herself, she wanted to get involved and she certainly set the bar high: Her aim was to raise R100,000 towards an MBA scholarship.
The idea of the fundraiser was sparked at the reunion of the MBA Class of ’97 in December 2017 and soon thereafter, Sandy started rallying for the cause. In co-operation with the GSB Foundation, a dedicated Class of ’97 MBA Scholarship Fund was set up. Within six months she had gathered more than twenty individual pledges from class colleagues over R5,000 each and the funds raised exceeded the amount she initially set out to achieve.
The GSB Foundation congratulates Sandy on her hard work and fully supports this wonderful recognition of her efforts by the GSB. We are deeply grateful for her initiative and extraordinary dedication. Due to Sandy’s efforts and that of her class colleagues, another student will be able to complete the GSB MBA programme with the support of the GSB alumni network.
Sandy’s class is one of several classes now raising funds for MBA scholarships at the GSB – if you would like to know more, please see the GSB Foundation’s Alumni Campaigns page. The Director’s Alumni Awards were initiated in 2007 and annually honour alumni of the GSB who have made an outstanding contribution to the alma mater.
Linda Fasham / Executive Consultant at the GSB Foundation // I love interacting with people! As part of my work at the GSB Foundation, I organise events where alumni meet and connect with captains of industry. Having just retired from being the GSB Alumni Relations Manager for many years, it was a natural progression for me to join the Foundation when it started out. Working at the Foundation is about ongoing communication and relationship building. It’s a personal relationship – people know your name after all these years of being involved with alumni affairs. I enjoy the fact that, through our work, I am still engaging with the alumni of the Business School. All that we do at the Foundation speaks to the loyalty and passion that alumni have for their alma mater; I hope that our work is a true expression of this and will enrich the connectedness of our alumni.
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The incoming GSB students of the MBA Full-time 2018 and Modular 2018/19 were treated to a lively, entertaining and somewhat different introduction to the MBA programme by Raymond van Niekerk, member of the GSB Foundation’s Board of Trustees.
Raymond, having done the GSB MBA in 1996, shared his views and tips on how students can get the most out of the programme. There were funny snippets, for example how to survive the legendary Sunrise Challenge (a tradition among MBA students at the GSB). There was also well-meant advice, such as appreciating the diversity of students attending the programme – you work with people from different backgrounds, with different experiences and perspectives. Interacting in class or working together on assignments is, sooner or later, bound to challenge one’s usual approach and spark new ideas; students should leverage this to the max as there is a lot to be gained. Last but not least – connections and friendships will be forged in the year ahead that will last well beyond the programme.
On behalf of the Foundation board and team: A warm welcome to all new students on campus and we look forward to engaging with you in future!
The MBA Modular Class of 2006 has launched a campaign to provide the GSB Philippi Village campus with a video link back to the main campus at the V&A Waterfront.
The idea was conceived at their 10-year reunion in December 2016, where the class challenged themselves to leave a legacy to the GSB. After visiting the Philippi Village campus, members of the class were highly impressed with the facilities and what they offer, and noted the need for a dedicated video link back to the main GSB campus to bring the school’s world-class teaching directly into the Philippi community.
Says class member and campaign co-ordinator, David Crewe-Brown, “It is an incredible facility and they have had great success already with multiple small businesses running using this [GSB Philippi Village campus] as a base”.
Ntsikakazi “Kiki” Hene / GSB MBA 2017 student and GSB Foundation Scholar // I’m currently studying for the MBA and I noticed that until someone tells you “Go and do this assignment on this particular topic” you always just learn or read what you are comfortable with – you won’t actually expose yourself to other things that are going on around you; and I think that’s what the MBA taught me, to look beyond and not just to keep looking at what I know or what I’m comfortable with.
Mervyn Christoffels / GSB MOD MBA ’06, Executive Director ICT Systems at the University of South Africa and champion of the GSB Foundation’s Epic Scholarship // You only realise the value of an MBA some time after you have completed it. It can be a significant change agent, taking you out of your comfort zone. You have to toughen up to thrive – and you either take on the challenge or not. Yes, doing the course is definitely about acquiring key management skills but they only really count when they become part of your DNA, allowing you to deal with whatever comes your way.
Peter Thorrington-Smith / GSB MBA ’69, Co-Founder of UTi Worldwide // Given what the GSB has done for me, it’s great that there is now a fund to which I can contribute to in order to express my thanks – and a fund that will allow bright and inspired entrepreneurs without the necessary financial resources to enjoy the GSB experience and make a difference in the world. There is no doubt that this can be a life-changer for talented young men and women.