TIA BANDA - AN IIE BACHELOR OF ARTS IN CORPORATE COMMUNICATION GRADUATE FROM VARSITY COLLEGE SANDTON (2015) - LANDED AN INTERNSHIP WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM HER FRIENDS AT THE CAREER CENTRE. NOW, SHE IS LIVING HER DREAM AND SOLIDLY ON TRACK TO A FANTASTIC CAREER IN COMMUNICATIONS.
Description of your duties on a daily basis
As a PR Intern at PRISA, I am required to write press releases, work on communication plans, write sponsorship documents, build and update media lists and constantly manage media platforms. I also write monthly reports on social media and assist with administrative duties.
Why did you choose the qualification you studied?
My choice in this qualification was actually based on instinct. I was not aware that a Corporate Communications degree existed. I was introduced to it when I spoke with a Varsity College Student Adviser and I then decided that it was a career path that made sense to me, as it fits perfectly with my personality and skills. I also believe that with the help of some of the lecturers at Varsity College I was able to really tap into my potential.
Is your qualification relevant to your job? If so, did your studies adequately prepare you for your job?
Yes, this qualification is relevant to my current role. As a PR intern, I am required to draft a communication plan and internal communication strategy. I did both of these tasks as assignments at Varsity College. Some of the lecturers also gave us fantastic real life examples of their experiences in the corporate world and it is only now that I realize how valuable their advice was.
What is your greatest career achievement to date?
Securing an internship in an institute, that is specifically in line with my studies, is an opportunity I honestly feel not a lot of people get. Working at PRISA has also given me the opportunity to work at a community radio station every Tuesdays. This is also an amazing experience and I look forward to growing in the communications and media industry. I know that PRISA is a great start.
What are your future career plans?
I plan on owning my own PR consultancy agency or working for international corporate giants at senior level in the corporate communication department. I also don't mind doing radio on a part time basis as it is something I enjoy.
How has the Career Centre assisted you while you were at Varsity College and / or as a graduate?
When I had secured a second interview at PRISA, I contacted the Career Centre Coordinator for some guidance. She prepared me with interview questions and guidelines. On the day of the interview, I met with her first for a mock interview. This helped me so much and I believe it was because of her help that I was able to ace the second interview.
What was the one thing that stood out the most for you about Varsity College?
The assistance and support system from my lecturers. They are absolutely amazing.
What advice could you give to other students who are looking for or about to embark on their first job?
Thoroughly prepare for interviews because that is ultimately your first impression! Do not be afraid to ask questions if you do not understand. The work environment can be quite intimidating and scary, however the professionals expect you to be proactive and to ask questions. It is part of learning. Remember to listen as well. You will acquire more knowledge if you enter the workplace with an open mind and tell yourself that you don't know everything.
*DID YOU KNOW?
IIE - The Independent Institute of Education is South Africa's largest private higher education provider. (Think #PrivateSchools, but in the university space).
By law, private higher education institutions may not call themselves Private Universities.
But all registered private institutions are subject to exactly the same regulations, accreditation requirements and oversight as Public Universities, which means that your IIE qualification completed at any of the institution's outstanding and respected brands, such as Varsity College Vega School, Rosebank College and The Business School, is as valuable and is recognised locally and internationally.