VUT STUDENT SCOOPS COVETED TOP PRIZE AT HUMAN RESOURCE COMPETITION
By: Qhawekazi Memani – 11 August 2023
Marcia Swartz, a fulltime Advanced Diploma in Human Resource Management student at Vaal University of Technology (VUT) secured first position at the recent South African Human Resources University Forum (SAHRUF) student competition sponsored by SA Board of People’s Practitioners (SABPP). For winning the highly contested competition, Marcia scooped a fantastic prize package which includes: R20,000 cash from SABPP, a books voucher from JUTA and Oxford, and an exclusive invitation to the Annual People Factor Conference scheduled to take place on 06 September 2023. She will also be joining the launch of the Revised HR Standards and Gala Dinner at The Maslow Hotel Sandton which says is promising to be an unforgettable experience for her.
The competition’s theme for this year, “Agile Resilience for the Future of HRM Profession,” challenged participants to formulate strategies aimed at empowering African HRM professionals to foster adaptable and resilient organisations. These strategies not only tackle the challenges that lie ahead in the world of work but also align seamlessly with the sustainability goals of the United Nations and the African Union.
Reflecting on her journey, Marcia openly admitted to doubting herself and VUT’s potential to clinch the 1st prize. However, she expressed immense pride and happiness in embracing the opportunity to participate. “The journey was filled with challenges during the preparation phase, and moments of self-doubt crept in but the unwavering belief of my lecturers in my potential and the desire to live up to my department’s faith in me motivated me to persevere,” she said.
She is grateful to her lecturers, Ms Sandra Barbosa and Dr Christine van Rensburg for their guidance and support, along with the entire HR Management department for their collaborative efforts. She added: “Throughout the competition, I waved the VUT flag high, as a symbol of VUT’s potential and personal growth, affirming that teamwork indeed yields great results”
Her message to fellow students: “There is never a night or a problem that could defeat the sunrise of hope.” She emphasizes the importance of seizing every opportunity that comes their way, for one can never truly predict the outcomes. The phrase “if only” should be avoided, as it’s often used in moments of regret for not having taken a chance.
In response to Marcia’s achievement, Professor Johan van der Westhuizen, VUT’s Head of Department: Human Resources Management said: “The department is proud of Marcia’s journey and it stands as a testament to the power of determination, belief and dedication. She continues to exemplify how VUT’s HR Management department is shaping the future of its students.”
Marcia is no stranger to winning – during the University’s Autumn graduations in March this year, she graduated cum laude, and to add cherry on top, she also received an award for best student in her class of 2022.