Edition 3

UJ Council Chair Mike Teke shares his insights on the role of Alumni

“Skills that are shared by the alumni with students, whether in time management, financial management, development of self-discipline and character, or in career management can be more easily trusted as direction and motivation by students”, explained Teke. Mentorship Rivalry in penetrating the workforce is becoming more intense as a result of a higher number of graduates in relation to a limited number of job openings. In the final year of their studies, alumni can aid students by mentoring them on available career possibilities in the industry. Teke emphasised that alumni further have a big role to play in assisting students to undergo work experience in the organisations in which the alumni work. Expertise and networking Alumni can further contribute by rendering their expertise in their occupation as a guest lecturer, advisor in committees, and collaborating partners in projects with the university. “In the field of industry research”, said Teke, “alumni can open doors for a university to enter into industry networks in the spirit of collaborative working. This opens possibilities for the university to advance in a particular industry by applying the theories that have been examined with other industry specialists”. Don’t miss out! Be a part of UJ’s future, today “UJ Alumni are part of a truly special family”, said Teke. “The Council values your continued interest in the existence and development of your University”. He stressed that it is not about giving money, but about giving your time. It is about giving back to the institution that played a role in your development. Contact the UJ Alumni office and let us know what you can do to play a role in the University’s development.

ALUMNI HAVE AN IMPORTANT ROLE TO PLAY IN UJ’S DEVELOPMENT. ALUMNI ARE MORE THAN JUST A DESCRIPTION. NOT ONLY IS IT A PART OF UJ’S AND YOUR PAST BUT ALSO A PART OF WHO YOU ARE TODAY. We spoke to the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Council Chairperson, Mr Mike Teke, about the important role an institution’s alumni play in university development. A historical disadvantage One of the challenges faced by South African universities is that many people have a preconceived idea that being an alumnus is reserved for the rich and famous. Historically, it was perceived as a boys’ club of sorts where your societal status informed your membership. “Being part of such reunion groups has never been essential to African traditions”, said Teke. “And that is possibly why so many of today’s youth do not truly understand what it means to be an alumnus.” For this reason, Teke believes that institutions are responsible for ensuring that the traditions of creating alumni are spread into

communities and among the youth of today. He wants all graduates, both privileged and those from an underprivileged background, to understand the importance of being an alumnus. To look back and be proud of their association with the institution where they graduated. A lifetime relationship with the university A graduate’s partnership with an institution does not terminate with their graduation day. Yes, it is a breakthrough event, but ultima- tely it is really a transformation into a lifetime relationship with a university. “I read somewhere that it begins with interest and responsibility, it continues with relationships that are worthwhile, and it ends with benefit for all”, he said. That begs the question, what role do alumni have to play in university development? Every alumnus has undergone the journey from being a student to becoming a graduate, therefore there is potential for alumni to contribute to a university in various ways and scale. Role models and motivation Alumni are powerful role models and are usually readily received by students. Alumni bring with them trustworthiness and approval as part of a prosperous university, having been there and struggling with similar challenges encountered by the students.



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