BUSINESS

From student to professional

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While the unemployment rate has risen to a staggering 26.4% in the first quarter of this year, finding the right guide to help graduates prepare for their career path is crucial to avoid wasting valuable time course-correcting at a later stage.

According to StatsSA, South Africa has roughly 36 million employable people, but only 15.5 million have jobs. And ensuring graduates are best prepared with the right tools and resources when they enter the working world, has become more important.  

Gareth Rabey, distribution and editorial manager for Careerssa.net says: “We all wish we’d had knowledgeable guides and been better prepared when moving into the corporate world. Careerssa.net can be trusted to guide graduates through the decisions they’ll make as they transition from student to professional. Used as a tool, Careerssa.net really breaks it down for graduates. They can view potential employers’ offerings – benefits, average salary,the number of graduates hired each year, as well as the areas of study they are hiring from. There are also interviews with graduates who give an overview of their experiences with a particular company – a first-hand account of their campus-to-corporate transition.”

According to Rabey when employers look to employ, they really need to choose the right person.

“Training and on-boarding programmes use resources, and to have someone come on board just to leave six months later is a waste of those resources. Many companies have strict recruiting policies to ensure that the ideal candidate is selected,” he says.

One such company is Accenture, certified as a Top Employer South Africa for the sixth consecutive year by the Top Employers Institute. The company has a reputation as a training ground for the brightest young minds – offering opportunities for ambitious young graduates to build successful careers by serving their clients in over 40 industries worldwide.

The 50 graduates and 90 interns they hire each year are taken through an intensive ‘first-job’ training curriculum, which combines facilitated learning, virtual and on-the-job practical learning. An individual is partnered with a career coach and mentor whose purpose is to guide that graduate through his or her career development journey. Once the basic consulting competencies and methodologies have been mastered through formal training, they are given a specific career track, which is their individualised roadmap to development and career growth.

Accenture strategy analyst, Camille Fredericks says: “Working as an analyst at Accenture is simultaneously exciting and daunting. However, our collaborative culture makes it easy for us to adapt and the tools at our disposal make it easy for us to add value.”

Fredericks says Accenture ensured that her transition into the business world was as problem-free as possible.

“I got in touch with the graduate recruiter for Accenture in South Africa, who explained their application process and graduate requirements. I applied and was taken through the process from the case study to the Johannesburg panel interview. It was the quickest recruitment process I had gone through – but definitely not easy.

Undoubtedly, the transition into the corporate world is a challenging and uncertain time for graduates, but there has never been more help and resources at hand when stepping out on a chosen career path.

In the 2015 edition of Careerssa.net, radio personality Gareth Cliff talks about the guidance and tools available to help graduates take their first steps into the working world.

“Technology has changed the way we seek employment or build businesses. On sites like careerssa.net it is possible to take virtual tours of offices. Statistical data, job descriptions and news about your field of interest are now instantly available. Ignorance is no longer an excuse.

“The people you always looked up to are all there, and you can witness, first-hand, their lives, thoughts and ideas. There have never been so many ways to connect. Don’t get stuck. Use them,” Cliff says.

Sibahle Melane

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