Pilot project imparts soft skills on future alumni

5 August 2019

Recognising the importance of soft skills as the primary predictor of success in academics, career and life, the Tshwane University of Technology’s Alumni Relations Office (ARO) and the Directorate of Student Development Support (SDS), launched a pilot programme aimed at equipping students with these vital skills required to succeed in the corporate world. 

Dr Nico Liebenberg (far left), a qualified life and executive coach, psychologist, with the group of student mentors from the Faculty of the Arts, who attended the launch of the pre-alumni pilot training.

Danie Ferns, Deputy Director for Alumni Relations and Individual Giving, explained that the way in which students learn is rapidly changing, as is the world in which they will eventually work. Talking about the challenges around transitioning from University into the world of work, he said employability studies conducted in South Africa and internationally, found that 75% of long-term college and career success depends upon developing soft skills. According to these studies, soft skills predicted high school and college completion.

“We need our Alumni to succeed in life and this pilot project to support their smooth transitioning from University is but one of many ways in which our office wants to add value to the final year students’ University experience,” he said.

Drawing on corporate expertise, Dr Nico Liebenberg, a qualified life and executive coach, psychologist and creator of the on-line Balance4Coaches coaching system, facilitated the training for the first group of beneficiaries, final year student mentors at the Arts Campus. He encouraged the students to pursue their inner desires and steer clear from focusing on negative circumstances. 

“We cannot subject ourselves to external realities and allow them to affect us to a point that they disturb what we wish to achieve,” he said. 

In addition to equipping students with soft skills, the project aims to create a relationship between the Alumni Office and prospective Alumni, prior to them leaving the university upon completion of their studies. 

“The current students are the future drivers of TUT’s success, therefore it important that they become our Ambassadors and maintain a mutually beneficial relationship with their Alma Mater,” said Ferns.

Nadia Barnard, SDS Practitioner said; “The student mentors are the University’s ambassadors who assist in the academic-social and the personal-emotional development of students. We therefore train student mentors and equip them with all the necessary skills that will empower them to represent the TUT brand exceptionally well wherever they go.” 

“You hold the potential to become anything you want to be in your hands. No one can take away your freedom to choose. Your journey is as important as the destination,” Dr Liebenberg concluded.

Here is what the mentors had to say: https://www.facebook.com/uptodate.tut/

For more information on the Tshwane University of Technology, please contact Willa de Ruyter, Corporate Affairs and Marketing.
Tel: +27 12 382 5352   Email: deruyterw@tut.ac.za