- Published on Tuesday, 07 August 2012 12:35
- Written by Lyndall Thwaits
UCT students from across all six faculties engaged in the annual UCT Emerging Student Leaders Programme from July 8th to 14th 2012.
The programme was hosted by the Department of Student Affairs and Student Development in collaboration with the Centre for Higher Education and Development and Careers Service.
The class of 2012 exposed delegates to a number of issues, from a personal level to a broader context. Questions surrounding transformation, race and the meaning of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) were raised.
The programme served to aid delegates in their own search for leadership as emerging leaders. Delegates and mentors moved into Kopano Residence for the duration of the programme. This allowed individuals to work together in a safe space on a group project which needed to be presented to the entire delegation by the end of the week.
The first day of presentations focused on leadership from within UCT, with the current SRC president Insaaf Isaacs as well as 2010 SRC members Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh and Erik De Ridder speaking to the delegates.
Clem Sunter, known for his “Mind of a Fox” strategy of thinking, was a highlight for most delegates this year. Sunter spoke to students about applying his theory of “thinking like a fox” to being effective in leadership, the goal being able to think in multiple directions and having the ability to move and adapt to change.
The list of speakers for day two of the programme included experts in human resources management, communication, marketing, media and reputation management as well as in entrepreneurship.
Day three exposed delegates to some fundamental issues surrounding personal reflection as a leader, the issues of leadership and the outlook of South Africa and leadership in a talk by Dr Vuyokazi Mahlati, who works for the National Planning Commission.
The final day of presentations from speakers focused on EQ, discussed by Stephanie Vermeulen, MD of The Effective Training Corporation, and looking at your own future career, by the director of the Careers Service at UCT, David Casey.
The evenings held “leadership journeys” which were more informal sessions, where delegates had a chance to discuss issues with UCT Dean of Law Prof. PJ Schwikkard and Hennie Van Vuuren, Office director of the Institute for Security Studies, both experts in their fields of work. They shared their own leadership paths and inspired students to question leadership in a worldwide context.
The programme was well received by participants. Margo Davies said: “I’m leaving [ESLP] more self-assured about my role in the world. It was an emotional roller-coaster, but every second was worth it.” For delegate Emma Selfe, one of the important elements she got from the programme was meeting individuals she wouldn’t normally meet in everyday life.
Fadzai Chitiyo, a mentor for ESLP 2012, said there was “a little bit too much focus on the SRC, but [she] saw a lot of growth within students.”