Botho Hosts Industry Feedback Session

On the 26th of November 2015 Botho University (BU), through the Students and Alumni Affairs Department (SAAD), hosted an Industry Feedback Session. The objective of hosting the feedback session was to demonstrate gratitude to companies that have partnered with the SAAD Internships & Placement Unit for internships and placement over the past year.

SAAD also wanted to gain feedback on the students and alumni that these companies have interacted with in the past year as well as get recommendations on how the department can improve relations with these companies that will contribute towards improving the overall worth of the graduates produced by Botho University.

The companies that were targeted were companies that have hosted BGP Internship Students and other non-academic interns for a continued period before and companies that the Placement & Internships Unit is looking to create formal relationships with regarding all forms of internships and professional guidance. These forms include job shadowing, academic attachments, Graduate Internship Programs, and job readiness initiatives such as CV preps, industry update sessions and mock interviews.

BU Vice-Chancellor, Mrs Sheela Raja Ram, addressed the industry representatives and touched on the University's vision and the role of industry. She talked about the University's quality policy and highlighted to the participants that as BU the institution's aim is to produce graduates that can join the labour force as partners and not workers. She emphasised that the University aspired to form partnerships with industry in order to promote employability. She stressed that the feedback is critical to informing the university on how it can improve its service delivery.

Dr. Mbongwe, Dean of the Office of Student, Research and Outreach, facilitated discussions which revealed that industry feels that students are proactive but need a bit of improvement; can easily supervise themselves which is a good personality trait to have in the workplace; and are hard-working.

Industry representatives went on to provide a number of recommendations such as a need for students to improve on communications skills and to be IT certified so that they become competitive in the job market. It was also recommended that the university ensures that it incorporates soft skills as part of the students learning and to help give them a competitive advantage. The University needs programs such as "Ready to Work" that is run by Barclays to help replace idle time students may have, industry went on to say, as this also increases interaction with the job market to allow students to familiarise themselves with the work environment.

The essential skills that kept emerging during the discussions on focus areas for joint development of the graduates were communication skills; web development skills; presentation skills; problem solving skills; sustainable thinking; and self-development skills.