Student Name: Ntombekhaya Mafanya
Program: Virtual Bank Work-Readiness Program
Branch: Cape Town
Growing up, I knew what I wanted to become. I didn’t know what an accountant does but all I knew was that accountants get paid very well so I resolved in my mind that I was going to be an accountant.
I made sure to pass my high school with flying colours so I could be admitted to do a degree in accounting. I was excited when I finally passed my matric at Kwa-Mfundo High School in Khayelitsha near Cape Town. I saw it as a beginning of many things to come.
I applied for a degree in accounting at the University of Cape Town but unfortunately I was not admitted so I went for my second option, a BCom Management degree at the University of Western Cape which I completed in 2005. On completion of my degree, I started with the job hunting. I thought it would be easy for me to get a job as I was a graduate with a good degree. I was shocked when months went by without any response from the companies I had applied to. I was basically jobless with a degree and that didn’t make sense to me.
I later got a job as a call-center agent which I thought would be a temporary job but it went on for 4 years. I didn’t understand why I wasn’t getting a “proper job”. All the companies I kept applying to told me that they needed someone with experience. At this point I was only called for interviews as a call-center agent because I had 4 years’ experience in the call-center field.
I kept on applying in the hope that I would get a job and it was in that process that I saw an advertisement. It was a program for Trainee Bankers, funded by Bankseta and delivered by Guarantee Trust, but the downside was that it was not a job so it meant that if I was to be accepted for the program, then I would have to go on 6 months without an income (just a relatively small allowance for travel and meals). I gave it a lot of thought and I decided it was worth it, so I applied for the program and I was accepted. My parents had to help me financially while I was on the program. I told myself that I would use this job as a ticket to my dream career and I did just that. I completed the program and felt proud of myself for doing that.
I am a Banker in the Small Business Division at Nedbank. I am living my dream and my life has turned out for the best. Starting my career was made easy because the Virtual Bank, a module on the program that simulates real work, equipped me with all the skills I needed to be productive from the first day of work. I felt like I had been working at the bank for a long time. I am thankful for all that I learnt. I mean everything I learnt has been useful, from the dictionary and study course, the office orientation workshop to the communication course and banking textbook modules, to mention just a few. I still have the dictionary that I got from the program and I am using it daily.
I would like to thank Bankseta and Guarantee Trust because they changed my life. I now have a profession and lots of knowledge. I am so happy and looking forward to greater things. I will never forget the time I spent at Guarantee Trust.