The Public Relations Institute of South Africa (PRISA) chapter hosted its annual student conference for the Eastern Cape region at the Athenaeum, Port Elizabeth, on Wednesday 5 October 2016.
The half-day conference brought knowledge, insight and experience of industry players and subject matter experts to future practitioners and professionals from various colleges and universities in the province.
The event was made possible through the support of audio visual production and hire company A/V Designers, Mark West Photography, and Meropa Communications Port Elizabeth (PE).
“This year, the conference focused on five key after stakeholder consultation with students and industry on relevant, meaningful and cutting-edge topics. These included entrepreneurship in PR, career preparation skills, workplace readiness, personal empowerment and PR / communications trends,” said JP Roodt, PRISA Eastern Cape chairman and head of Meropa PE.
“It was important to have a meaningful event which simultaneously looked at the needs of students and requirements of industry, especially with reference to new graduate placements after tertiary education. We had curated line-up of top speakers from private and public sector organizations in the Eastern Cape,” he said.
The line-up of speakers at the 2016 PRISA Eastern Cape Student conference included:
- Brian Hayward of Good News Lab: “Make entrepreneurship happen through vision, leadership, acumen and luck. Being an entrepreneur is not easy. It is hard work and it is not for everyone. Determine what sets you apart, keep pulse of what’s happening around you, and do your best when you can.” Hayward’s winning formula included: following his curiosity, seizing every opportunity, being fearless, making bold changes, taking risks, being innovative, taking initiative and never settling for comfort.
- Tanya Lilley, a senior consultant of Eastern Cape recruitment firm Headhunters. Lilley explored job hunting hints, CV preparation and interview skills through the expertise of “Be unique! Be memorable! Remember the 5 C’s. Make sure your curriculum vitae is clear, concise, complete, consistent and current. Know your weaknesses. Be aware of how you are dressed. Be careful what you post online,” Tanya explained.
- Luvuyo Bangazi, marketing and communications manager of the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA), encouraged students to motivated during tough times by sharing his own journey of personal empowerment. “Make discovering what you love before you enter the workplace your mission. Don’t wait to do what you love, take risks. Stay positive, no matter what. Identify what you value in life, if you say you’ll do it, do it. Find interaction between what you love and where you excel professionally and trust in the power of attraction!”
- Dr Sharon Munyaka, owner of Sharon Munyaka Incorporated, an industrial psychology practice, focussed on the gap between varsity and the workplace with a presentation on workplace readiness. “Understand your environment. Work with the world around you. Don’t neglect networking, be careful of your social media presence, dress for success, brush up your communication skills, get involved in on-off campus activities, think beyond the classroom, volunteer, be active in sport activities, have manners, keep on connecting, trusting and believing in who you are, and flourish,” she said.
Eastern Cape Students Responded positively to the event:
Siphenathi Ngqulana, Varsity College, 3rd Year; “This conference was inspiring. It inspired me to become more focused and work harder. It helped me prepare for the working world. I would love for more engaging sessions such as these to take place! Thank you!”
Clair Vleur, Nelson Mandela University, 2nd Year; “I loved this conference! It was so fitting, the timing was perfect. We were stressing about fees must fall protests and this was a much needed ‘pick me up’.”
Sibulele Solani, Varsity College, 3rd year; “The conference was empowering as we are preparing for the workplace. This gave us a foot in the door. Inspiring! We got to interact with industry leaders and I learned a lot. I am now going to grab opportunities and become a go-getter!”
Zuko Gingcana, NMMU, 1st Year; “This was an innovative conference. It was mind opening. The speakers were inspiring, clear, and concise. Each one spoke directly to my goals and future prospects.”
Andisa Dom, Varsity College, 3rd Year’ “We are very grateful, PRISA has been accessible throughout our academic life and we could get all the guidance we needed. My self-esteem has been boosted by this conference. I am humbled by the motivation and encouragement received from the speakers.”
Sinomtha Gede, NMMU, 2nd year; “Very informative session. It was inspiring and motivational, especially considering the current fees must fall situation right now. I take away so much and I am looking forward to applying the knowledge.”
Kanyile Mdlulwa, Varsity College, 3rd Year; “This was an amazing experience. We got to meet seniors in the Public Relations industry. Hearing their challenges inspired me not to give up on my dreams. I aim to improve myself and stand out!”
Yolanda Myoli, NMMU, 2nd Year; “This was an eye-opener. It opened my eyes to a broader prospective of the industry and it gave me lots of homework! Thank you for hosting this very insightful event.”
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