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Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Final year Financial Planning student Khayalethu Khoza and Psychology student Sanele Thwala have been selected as two of the Gradstar Top 100 university students across South Africa.

More than 3 500 students competed for the top 100 spots this year. The programme  connects them with potential employers, as well as business mentors.  The students go through a rigorous four- phase judging process, culminating in a day of workshops hosted by potential employers (sponsors).  All 100 top students attend a leadership conference and are connected with a successful business mentor, to further ready them for the workplace.

Vice-President of Mandela University’s Financial Planning Society, Khayalethu hopes to be an investment manager in the near future.  He believes he made it to the top 100 because of his drive to cultivate his potential and channel his energy towards self-actualisation.

“Besides my studies being immensely intellectually stimulating, I specifically enjoy how many aspects of financial planning are practical in terms of financial literacy, which are lacking within our society.  The advice I would give to my fellow colleagues in attaining success is that varsity can be quite an extreme sport, especially as we are currently living through a pandemic.  Try and remind yourself why you started and focus on achieving the end goal while persevering through any challenges that may present themselves along the way.

Khayalethu attended Valencia Combined School in Nelspruit.

Sanele believes in “seizing every opportunity that comes your way and to make the most of it.  That is the way to discover your potential.  Always unlearn, learn and relearn for you to grow”, says Sanele, who comes from Ladysmith in KwaZulu Natal and matriculated at Emhlwaneni High School.

Sanele also recently made the list of the Top 100 Young South African Ambassadors for being an interesting and influential young leader in civic society and who “has shown what to look forward to in the future of the country”.

Sanele is interested in the psychology of work that deals with organisational complexity and would like to work in a consultancy firm.  “It's always interesting for me to interact with people from different backgrounds and cultural influences.  Psychology helps us to understand ourselves and our perceptions more deeply”, he says.

“I am very happy and honoured to be recognised and to have made it to the Top 100 as I had to excel in various attributes that made me stand out from the pack, and not only as a result of my academic capabilities.  It has been a nerve-wracking experience to compete with exceptional students from various universities for only 100 spots in the entire country, but it is a worthwhile experience.

“I am very glad to be one of the students who continuously flies the Nelson Mandela University flag high and embodies excellence as their value.

“The advice that I can give to others is always believe in yourself.  Be the star that you were born to be.  Opportunities dance with those who are already on the dance floor therefore always avail yourself to dance with the opportunities.  They won't drag you from your comfort spot, they will dance with whoever they find on the floor” he says.

Contact information
Ms Elma de Koker
Internal Communication Practitioner
Tel: 041-504 2160