For school-leavers, graduated students or students that want to terminate their studies to take a breather with a gap-year has become the “in thing.” This is supposed to provide clarity about a career to follow or what to achieve in life, but does it?
According to DeWet Schoeman, director of the Centre for Applied Entrepreneurship at USB Executive Development (USB-ED), the public executive development and training company of the University of Stellenbosch Business School, this not always the case.
“The problem is that such a gap-year is not always structured with guidance to accompany it. Even after such a gap-year more often than not many still don’t know what they want to do.
“It is with this in mind that the centre has developed a Gap-year Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Management in order to make such a gap-year as productive as possible. It helps participants to discover who they are, what their goals are and how to reach these goals.
“The programme helps them to understand that if they don't take the initiative, doors won't open by themselves. The focus is to encourage entrepreneurial thinking and to help a person to find its feet, to get to know him or herself and in which direction to go in life,” said Schoeman.
The programme will be presented for the third time in 2013, starting on 4 February. The first six months of the programme will be presented in Stellenbosch. Participants are then encouraged to start their own entrepreneurial initiative by returning to their existing networks. They will still receive coaching and mentoring during this time. The closing date for applications is 21 January 2013. Only a limited number of participants will be admitted.
Running for the third year, the programme has already bear fruit:
- Jéan Johnson from Beaufort West studied general management after school in Cape Town and started selling meat products in the township of Khayelitsha outside Cape Town. Shortly afterwards, he and his eldest brother were able to open a shop in Beaufort West. For a gap-year he decided on the Gap-year Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Management. He recently opened the Karoo Deli and will be responsible for a new central distribution point in Paarl next year.
- Nina Bezuidenhout matriculated at La Rochelle in Paarl in 2011 and enrolled for the Gap-year Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Management as she was uncertain what to study after school. She’s now planning to study clothing and textile technology in 2013 and to go overseas to gain experience and then to come back to South Africa to open her own business.
- Devan Swanepoel joined the Gap-year Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Management in 2011 and has since started working at Soft Light City, a sound studio in Woodstock, Cape Town. The company produces original music and audio for the advertising and communications industry. He started as general manager and now fills the role of studio manager, where he is mostly responsible for research and marketing.
For more information, click here or contact Charmaine Garcia at +27 (0)21 918 4488