The purpose of Orientation is to admit new Candidate Fellows into the Fellowship Programme and provide a formal induction into the Programme and its activities. Orientation also provides new Candidate Fellows with an opportunity to maximise their Fellowship and university experience.
A natural transition from our selection processes, the Foundation has hosted 11 Orientation events since 2006. After application forms are assessed and shortlisted candidates interviewed, applicants then attend Selection Camp, after which, successful applicants are telephonically informed that they have been accepted onto the programme. At Orientation, these students are formally awarded the Fellowship and receive certificates.
We asked our Personal Leadership Programme Officers, Jehan Chikte (abbreviated JC and representing the Mother City) and Chris Maiketso (abbreviated CM and representing the City of Gold) to share their insights about Orientation.
1.How many Candidate Fellows are the Fellowship Programme in 2016?
CM – 100 for the Gauteng region
JC – 164 for the Western Cape region
2. How does the Orientation enhance Candidate Fellows’ experiences in (or about) the Foundation?
JC – Orientation allows Candidate Fellows to interact with one another and build community at a regional level. In addition, the event provides an opportunity for Candidate Fellows to interact with Foundation Talent and exposes them to the different functional areas of the Foundation. A special awards ceremony is also held to acknowledge Candidate Fellows who have excelled beyond the mandatory requirements of the programme by making the most of the iShift Cognician and Ignitions programmes.
3. What made the 2016 Orientation unique?
CM – Being part of the Fellowship programme is a once in a lifetime opportunity for new Candidate Fellows. A fun-filled Orientation programme, with stimulating information sessions, gives them an opportunity to create memorable experiences with their peers.
JC – A refined curriculum was introduced that aligned the different programmes to the common goal of developing and enhancing the Candidate Fellow’s entrepreneurial mind-set. 2016 saw the largest cohort of Candidate Fellows since the inception of the Foundation. This year also saw the introduction of the Foundation’s new Social Media Policy as well as a refined Disciplinary Policy.
4. Give us a taste of what Candidate Fellows can expect from the new curriculum
JC – The new curriculum is better-aligned to the Learning Outcomes and Success Profile developed by the Foundation.
CM – Candidate Fellows can expect an improved curriculum which will further reinforce their personal leadership skills and entrepreneurial mindsets.
5. Why the inclusion of a session on diversity and social media policy at this year’s Orientation?
CM – Young people are really active on social media and are part of a diverse community. The inclusion of the diversity and social media session was to sensitise our Candidate Fellows on the sensible and responsible use of various online communication platforms.
JC – The Foundation encourages Candidate Fellows to be more aware of the impact of what they share and associate themselves with on social media as well as make them aware that they are affiliated to, and are ambassadors of, the Foundation therefore what they share could have implications on the Foundation too.
6. What is the significance of the venue?
Belmont Square is the perfect fit in terms of what we need and what they offer as a conference centre for the number of Candidate Fellows in attendance. The venue is modern, fresh and close to UCT, where our largest Western Cape cohort studies, so it makes it easier to travel.
Education is the cornerstone of the Foundation’s activities and the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre is Southern Africa’s largest Science centre, affiliated to the Gauteng Department of Education to support STEM education and to help build South Africa’s STEM capacity. The venue is also easily-accessible for our Wits and UJ students.