It’s two in one for Pandor

11 June 2012 | Story by Newsroom
Isn’t this fun: Aisha Pandor received her PhD in human genetics, and enjoyed every moment.
Isn’t this fun: Aisha Pandor received her PhD in human genetics, and enjoyed every moment.

Graduand Aisha Pandor likes to multitask. In a rare feat, Pandor, daughter of Science & Technology Minister Naledi Pandor, graduated twice on Friday – in the morning she picked up a diploma for the Associate in Management (AIM) programme she completed through the Graduate School of Business in 2011; she returned to Jameson Hall for the afternoon ceremony, when she was presented a PhD in human genetics, most of which she completed in the same year.

But why two distinct courses concurrently?

After realising late in 2010 that she had completed the majority of her research and laboratory work for her PhD, and long keen on some business studies, Pandor decided to register for the AIM programme. (And maybe lay the groundwork for a later MBA.)

It was also a great way to take a break “mentally, at least” from science and explore the business and corporate world, Pandor adds. She is thinking of, in the long run, a career in biotechnology or in shaping policy for science and research.

With a young baby at home as well, 2011 was hectic but fun, says Pandor.

“My business studies actually gave me a mental break from all the thesis writing, and I think helped me define my story better.”

She was only able to pull off the double feat, she says, thanks to the support of her family and to her PhD supervisors.

Aisha Pandor with her family
Family degrees: Aisha Pandor (second from right) celebrated the completion of her two UCT qualifications with (from left) father Sharif Pandor; mother Naledi Pandor, aka Minister of Science and Technology; and husband Alen Ribic.

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