Students network with top companies

10 September 2007 | Story by Chris McEvoy

Sixty UCT students gathered at the Two Oceans Aquarium for the third annual Black Management Forum Corporate Networking Evening on 24 August.

The event was an opportunity for university graduates to network with 10 of South Africa's top companies, including Aspen Pharmacare, Cliffe Dekker, First National Bank and Foschini.

The evening featured addresses by clinical psychologist and corporate consultant, Rafiq Lockhat, along with entrepreneurial success story Thabo Mashologu of tauPRIDE Projects.

Mashologu described how he 'wanted a business with black staff and black management'. Recollecting his early days at UCT and the challenges of perceptive bias stacked against black students, he told the story of one particular professor who took time out to learn about the situation he and his friends faced. Fifteen years later that same professor would go on to work with these once disadvantaged students in a company they now run.

Western Cape chairperson of BMF, Thuso Segopolo, said the event was important for graduates who prioritised networking. 'The trend started at UCT, and other institutions have since adopted it,' he explains.

In 2006 UCT was named the BMF chapter of the year. The organisation is over 22 years old and is currently recognised in all tertiary institutions across South Africa.

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