Thuliswa Nodada has added immense value to the Axium team this year. She reflects on her experience as our (first ever) careers counsellor.
Briefly describe what your role entails here at Axium.
Firstly, my role is to assist learners and community members in accessing career information through expos and by researching and distributing relevant information that will assist and empower them to make informed decisions about their futures.
Secondly, my role is to assist in translating that information into actions and assisting in the planning and mapping of career paths by having one-on-one sessions where necessary to offer guidance. I further assist in applications to tertiary institutions.
Lastly, I go beyond the call of duty by spending time bonding with the Axium team.
Now that most application processes are finished, what would you say has been the most challenging part of your work?
Handling people’s futures and being a part of the decision making process in that regard. Sometimes there seemed to be a huge disconnection between their present and their future; some learners and community members were unsure about what they wanted and did not understand the reasons behind their decisions. Getting all the relevant documents at the right time. Waiting, waiting, waiting with hope after submitting their applications.
What has your experience at Axium taught you about the accessibility of tertiary education in South Africa.
You have to know the system to play the system. After understanding a few institutions a little bit better it became easier to access their services. The ways in which schools and tertiary institutions operate often clash with each other. School reports are too late for application due dates. You have to learn to work with both.
Going forward, how could people living in cities assist you with your work as remote volunteers?
Come here and share about the work you do. Take a matric, who is interested in your field of study or work, under your wing and share your experiences. Your experience will speak volumes and tell them everything that the tertiary prospectus fails to mention.
In terms of the ways Axium offers careers guidance and assistance, what is the first change or improvement you would make for 2017?
Definitely get the learners more involved in their own application processes.
What has been the most rewarding part of your time in careers at Axium?
Development of friendships with my colleagues and the learners. My heart skips a beat every time I receive a positive ‘conditionally accepted’ response for a learner.