The Gradstar Gala Awards Dinner was held at the Indaba Hotel, and it turned out to be a very swish affair! Gradstar flew all 100 finalists to Joburg and paid for their accommodation.
They were given over the period of four days, workshops, coaching and mentoring from the sponsoring employers. So what did the Boston students have to say?
Gabisile from Soweto told us that this has been a life-changing experience and she can’t wait to get back to campus and share what she has learnt
Nthabiseng from Germiston said the same, and she is actually going to be a Gradstar ambassador going forward!
So while they were not selected for the top 10, getting into the top 100 out of 8000 was an enormous achievement!
Our two finalists were surprised and thrilled that a Boston director, senior manager and I were there to share their success – it meant a lot to them.
I could see why they got to the top 100 – very articulate, engaging and dynamic young ladies.
(We would like to acknowledge the selection in the top 100 of Jennisha from Umhlanga, even though she couldn’t come to Joburg due to a family emergency.)
Attendees heard an inspiring address by Hennie Heymans, the CEO of DHL Express, the lead sponsor of Gradstar.
Eric Albertini, COO of Future Fit Academy, head of the judging panel, explained the criteria they used throughout this whole process of assessment, to select future leaders who can ‘disrupt’, and not only survive but thrive in the ever-changing world and workplace – it’s mostly about ‘being’ (this will sound familiar to some of you!)
The audience enjoyed entertainment by Simmy, then all 100 finalists were called up and given a certificate before the top 10 were announced.
And then we left – but the youngsters partied on! Although Gabisile told us they had a workshop starting at 07:00 the next day ….