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Professional Speed Dating connects students with possible future employers

- Wits University

Wits Counselling and Careers Development Unit expose top performing students to an interview process with industry in five minutes.

Company recruiters at Wits Professional Speed Dating hosted by Wits CCDU

The Wits Counselling and Careers Development Unit (CCDU) hosted Professional Speed Dating day to source top performing Wits students to start filling talent pool. Not only does this event serve to educate Wits students on what a real live interview is like, but to also equip them with the relevant skillset that industries look for in recent graduates. Wits Professional Speed Dating, which was held on the 25 August 2023 at Wits Professional Development Hub (Wits PDH) allowed each student to engage with a company representative for a mock interview of five minutes. Thereafter students and representatives of companies from industries such as banking, energy, legal and engineering were given about an hour to network.

“This is part of an ongoing effort by CCDU and the Wits Graduate Recruitment Programme (GRP) to ensure that Wits graduates are employable and possess the right attributes sought by employers,” says, Bongi Ndlovu, GRP Co-ordinator.

Wits Professional Speed Dating, which was first hosted in 2022 as part of Wits’ centenary celebrations, is driven by its key goal of connecting Wits students with their possible future employers.

“We had successful recruits from the event last year. The idea is really to expose our top performing students to an interview process with industry, so they get a feel and idea as to what recruiters ask and look for in their hiring process,” says Gcina Mgcina, Events Co-ordinator & Marketing Assistant at CCDU.

Wits is ranked #21 in the world for Employment Outcomes in the QS World University Rankings. Professional Speed Dating’s focus is on ensuring Wits graduates are highly employable and stands as a mutually beneficial endeavour for both students and corporations. By equipping Wits students with exceptional employability skills, this initiative also helps companies recruit top talent. As Rene Kohler-Thomas from South African Breweries noted, “this is a great initiative, definitely adding to our talent pool, as an organisation we are looking at talent cross-functional”.

For students like Amogelang Mamogobo, a Wits Masters student in Education, the programme holds immense value.

"It is beneficial because not only we are afforded an opportunity to sit with companies that are quite reputable but it's also an opportunity for us to sell ourselves and see what life can offer us in the end,” she says.

Bridgette Buqa, a Recruitment Consultant at PFK Octagon, echoes the sentiment, saying, "What I love about this initiative is that students are coming in, very confident asking questions, very keen, and the fact that they also want to advance their careers, so I think it's very important to have this on an annual basis".

Chad Rayd, pursuing a B.Sc. with a major in Actuarial Sciences Statistics, shared his personal views on the program: "This programme has given me an opportunity to learn exactly how to do interviews, all the recruiters are here and asking me personal questions and giving me skills I am able to use for my future endeavours".