Change the world

Civil Engineering

26/07/2013

The South African Institute of Civil Engineers (SAICE) student chapter at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University stands to live up to their word. As promised, the student chapter organised its first of their many functions to come on the 12th of September 2012. With the aid and guidance of Mr D. Viljoen, the student chapter representative at the branch, the chapter organised SEEING INTO THE FUTURE, an event meant to help the students make proper decisions about the near future. The event was divided into three parts with three different speakers carefully selected to guide the students on the following topics;

  • Knowing when to do in-service training, either during the second year of study or the third year of study which has been a dilemma to many and what is expected of the students during the in-service year. This topic was handled by Mr Izak Viljoen, an intern working for Lukhozi Consulting Engineers.
  • Clarification on the BTech Degree and its importance handled by Mr Ettienne Venter, a BTech Degree student at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University , working with Aurecon.
  • What companies in the field expect of the students during their in-service training year and how to act smart to get the job. This topic was handled by Ms Zahedah Josephs from Aurecon’s Human Capital Development.

The first speaker of the day was Mr I. Viljoen. He advised the students to do their in-service training in their third year of study as it ensures continuity with a given company, continuity with studies as some students tend to leave studies when they start earning from their in-service training jobs. He however also advised that doing the in-service training in the second year; students are able to grasp concepts in class much easier during their S3 and S4 semesters of learning. Izak went ahead to advise those that decide to do their in-service training in their second year to opt for a construction firm since they are more practical to learn from.

Mr E. Venter expressed the importance to do and complete the BTech Degree of studies. He gave a brief outline of the Btech Degree course. At the university, the BTech Degree is offered on a part time basis and offers it in three fields namely; Urban Engineering, Transport Engineering and Water Engineering. Ettienne is now completing his BTech Degree in Urban Design.

The topic of getting the right job was properly expertly tackled by Ms Josephs from Aurecon’s Human Capital Development. She educated the students on how to build their Curriculum Vitae (CV) and how to edge out other applicants through the right motivation letter. She also explained in detail how to approach interviews when called for one, right from the dress code to the question approach during the interview.

With the above knowledge and inspiration from the three speakers the students were helped to decide on where to go and what to do in their future. The skills did not only apply to getting the job for in-service training but also in working towards achieving the promotion at the work place.

Dane Brand used the opportunity to also inform the students about the Co-operative Education and Service Learning at the varsity that helps students in all departments in getting their practical year company. He also handed out brochures with information on how to contact them.

The students were also informed about the upcoming CV sessions to be held so as to help them in compiling and building their CV’s. The students were then thanked for attending the function and Dirk Viljoen handed out some refreshments sponsored by SAICE.