The Tertiary School in Business Administration (TSiBA) Eden campus in Karatara near Knysna, has a lot to smile about. Ten TSiBA Eden students were recently interviewed for an amazing training programme venture between Unilever and Smollans. Each and every one of the students made it onto the programme. They are: Lucky Sithole, Mkhombeni Hlengwa, Monwabisi Tese, Zamuxolo Nqweniso, Masala Ramulifho, Thabang Ramaano, Nokwazi Shezi, Sinelizwi Mkhwebula, Thembeka Gola and Zenthia Kamfer, a TSiBA Eden graduate. The students will be placed by the Smollan Group within a corporate environment in various positions that suit their skill-set in 2013. With the Smollan's structured training at this level coupled with the right development, most of these individuals, via their own merit and determination, have the potential to move into various positions within the Unilever Field Sales structure (a Business Unit within the Smollan Group).
TSiBA Eden campus director, Sandy Ueckermann, could not be more thrilled, "It is so wonderful that all ten students have made it! TSiBA Eden is unique in that it focuses on offering a green entrepreneurial bridging and skills development programme that serves rural communities in the Southern Cape and beyond. At TSiBA we focus on being an innovative learning community that graduates entrepreneurial leaders who ignite opportunity and social change". Each of the students was able to select where they wanted to be based and all of them were lucky enough to be placed at the relevant Smollan's branch of their choice.
Denella Fencham, Unilever HR Director for Customer Development explains why the students were selected, "Having interviewed the ten students, it is clear that TSiBA is embedding its values of Initiative, Integrity, Responsibility, Tenacity, Communication and Resilience within its students. In addition, they all demonstrated a strong sense of community and we loved the fact that they were all involved in a "pay it forward" initiative plus showed a deep commitment to our planet via various environmentally-conscious initiatives on campus. Also worth mentioning is how humbling it was to learn how most have overcome many obstacles and hardships to get to where they are today - and are not afraid of hard work, nor starting at the bottom to earn their stripes. These qualities, coupled with right attitude will set them up well in future. The TSiBA team has done a great job at setting the right foundation! Thank you for the experience and opportunity."
Katia Graca, Business Unit Human Resource Manager, Unilever Field Sales, has indicated that they are currently looking at ways to sustain this long term partnership with TSiBA Eden, in employing all successful students in the future within the UFS business unit or within the larger Smollan Group.
Earlier this year Unilever South Africa was chosen as one of seven of the Best Employers in Africa. Unilever prides itself as being a leader in research and development, having a highly regarded graduate recruitment programme, international career opportunities and providing a successful work/life balance due to a flexible working environment for its employees.
According to Denella, "This partnership with TSiBA is in line with the global Unilever strategy which is to double our business whilst reducing the environmental impact, which calls for a talent strategy that supports this growth and our Unilever Sustainable Living Plan ambition."
TSiBA is an innovative business school that is based in the Western Cape. TSiBA was founded in 2004 as a not for profit company and is registered and fully accredited with the Department of Higher Education and Training as a private higher education institution. Students are not required to pay for their education monetarily, but rather to "Pay it Forward" by transferring the knowledge, skills and resources that they gain at TSiBA into their communities. In this way, TSiBA's vision of "Igniting Opportunity" is realized.