INDUCTION WORKSHOP HONES STUDENT LEADERS AT VUT TO LEAD WITH IMPACT
By: Tebello Theledi- 14 June 2023
Over one hundred representatives from different student structures at the Vaal University of Technology (VUT), braved the cold winter’s morning of 10th of June 2023 to partake in an induction workshop at the Quest Conference Center, in Vanderbijlpark.
Organised by the Student Life and Governance Department in collaboration with the Student Representative Council (SRC), the primary objective of the Student Structure Induction Workshop was to introduce the student leaders to the principalities of leadership. It also sought to assist in the development of creative, independent, community minded student leaders who will contribute towards a positive living and learning community and the creation of a vibrant student life and experience at VUT. Additionally, the one day fully loaded and interactive workshop aimed to enlighten the participants on what it means to and provide a pathway to holistically developed graduates who can, beyond VUT, make an impact in their respective communities.
The delegates from the more than fifty student-led structures that cover a wide range of interests and activities on campus – including social, cultural, religious, political, and academic, were also orientated on what their roles and responsibilities entail.
During the workshop, Mr. Dumile Mlambo, HOD for Corporate Communications within the Advancement Department at VUT, reminded the student leaders of their unique responsibility not only to inspire and motivate their peers, but to also collaborate with faculties and staff, and represent their respective structures effectively – something he said requires a great deal of effective communication tactics. In his presentation titled: “Mastering Effective Communication: Essential Skills for Student Leaders”, he discussed key principles and practical strategies for mastering effective communication – including active listening, developing clear and concise messaging, building effective relationships and collaborations, as well as mastering effective public speaking.
As VUT brand ambassadors, the student leaders were taken through a detailed presentation on VUT Brand and Corporate Identity Policy, delivered by Mrs. Tisch Farrell, the Marketing and Brand Manager at the University. The captivating talk also emphasized the importance of correct and consistent application of the VUT brand across all the marketing collaterals in line with the policy, which she says would lead to increased positive brand association and later loyalty from the institution’s diverse multi-stakeholder groups.
On leading effectively, participants were pampered with a moving motivational talk delivered by VUT alumnus and burn survivor-turned inspirational speaker, Mr Selepe Madisha. Added to the practical skills for effective leadership, he shared, Madisha also emphasised the importance of self-confidence and the power of networking and establishing valuable connections.
Lastly, the workshop was an opportune platform to provide attendees with an understanding of administrative processes followed by the University. This was done eloquently by Ms Mimi Tsosane, a Student Development Practitioner at VUT who also shared with the participants, a framework of project planning, financial spending and guided them on how to develop and plan their respective structures’ programmes of action (POAs) for the year.