Since the founding of the GSTM at the University of Pretoria more than 30 years ago, over 3000 degrees have been awarded. While there has been informal contact between the alumni and with the GSTM over the years, a GSTM Alumni Society was successfully established during a founding meeting on the 21st of August 2019.
To start of I need to say that this program has been one of the most enjoyable academic experiences of my life. The structure and content of the program is spot on. It has allowed me to go through a structured journey that built up a solid knowledge base with a broad understanding of technology and innovation management. It’s rare that one’s overall feeling of a program at the end of it, is that as a whole, it was incredibly interesting and stimulating. In no way is the journey easy, but growth does not come from an easy path and while it demands a pound and a half of flesh, it is well worth the effort in the end. I appreciated that the program is structured to accommodate part time studying, especially considering that the majority of participants are already quite advanced in their careers, and do not have much free time in a day. Having block weeks really helps in this regard and the administration around the program was really well executed, allowing time for preparatory study before semesters started. This approach really helps with time management during the active part of each semester. IT often happens with tertiary education that you sit in a class with a fair amount of scepticism, thinking this is all theory and the real world does not really work that way. In this program however, the lecturers were all extremely well versed in their fields with extensive real-world experience which grounds the theory presented in reality and it is presented in such a way that the value of the application thereof immediately becomes apparent. In class discussions are actively encouraged. Considering your surrounded by peers that come from various industries and all with solid work experience behind them, the nett effect is that the class becomes an extremely valuable learning multiplier and you gain valuable perspective on how the theory manifests in the real world. From a personal perspective, I’m looking at the world with a fresh perspective. This program has not only extended my knowledge but also fostered a growth in my personal development. I’m re-aligning my career and future development based on the avenues that has opened up for me because of this program. Furthermore, the knowledge gained is so relevant in my professional life, it has had a significant impact in both what I do in my organisation as well as how I accomplish it. It’s given me a new toolset to draw on.
Andre Schwan , MTIM graduate (2020)
The MTIM programme provided an insightful learning journey into technology management and innovation management. As a Product Manager by profession, the courses and topics were highly relevant to my field of work and provided learnings that I can directly apply in the Media & Broadcast industry. In my current role, the technology management principles from the courses provide a more structured way of thinking about new technologies and the associated best practices A course that stood out, that I greatly benefited from was on project economics and financial analysis. These concepts are often difficult to learn and understand from a product management perspective but the course provided tools and techniques that I can directly apply to the field and future business cases. From a research perspective, the mini-dissertation was an exciting journey and allowed for more opportunities to interact with my colleagues and expand my network within my organization. I am thankful and grateful for the opportunity to have completed the MTIM degree and hope to pursue further studies in this exciting field.
Nishen Naicker , MTIM graduate (2020)
Given that I work in the innovation management space, the MTIM programme has provided me with some useful tools which I use often in my line of work. It has also exposed me to aspects of technology and innovation management which I may not have come across otherwise. During the programme, I was exposed to various stages in the pipeline of innovation commercialization and management; from entrepreneurship, to creating and scaling new products, through to navigating our local innovation policy environment. At the same time, the research topic introduced me to new ways of viewing and articulating various aspects of our innovation system. The programme does well to take the technical background one has and expand it, ensuring growth in our respective fields.
Evah Phago , MTIM graduate (2020)
As 60 year old mining engineer who just started a small consulting mining business, I enrolled for the masters programme with two objectives: to become more marketable as consultant in my sole propriety business, and to provide a safety net for defaulting to lecturing or project management in case the consulting business fails. Both objectives were achieved, and much more. I did not expect to learn much about project management since I have managed numerous projects during my career, but it was quite the opposite – I learned why certain things are done, or should be done in project management, I learned about different types of projects and contracts and control processes. Some of the lecturers were excellent, not only in the way that they taught the concepts, but also their wide and in-depth knowledge of the subject. This master’s degree in project management will not necessarily provide you with the nitty-gritty of how to manage specific projects, but it does give you the comprehension to manage project managers.
Lofty Fourie, MPM graduate (2020)
Before undertaking the coursework required for the MPM, I was often anxious about my career. The various modules gave me a strong base from which to build my career as I moved from a technical role to a leader in my organisation. The exposure I got served to inspire me and unlocked a plethora of new interests for me. I obtained practical knowledge and skills, which I was able to implement in my work immediately. The course covers a wide area, everything from fostering better team dynamics to using system engineering techniques to decompose complex projects. Aside from the coursework, I interacted with several like-minded individuals in both the faculty and my classmates. My interaction with them was invaluable to my progress and enabled me to learn more effectively. While the disruption of Covid-19 was unfortunate, the faculty still found ways to foster interaction between students. My time spent at UP was rewarding. I am proud to add this qualification to my name.
Ronald Smith, MPM graduate (2020)
As a civil engineer, project management became part of my day to day activities, however, I sometimes felt overwhelmed, this alerted me to the need to upskill myself in project management. A colleague suggested the MPM programme at the University of Pretoria, after careful consideration and research I decided to apply for this programme. While applying to the programme I found the thought of studying again after so many years and this time with a full time job a little unsettling, however this has been one of the most enjoyable formal learning experiences for me. This programme is structured in such a way that you are able to schedule your time well in advance and the material is well thought out to allow you to understand and apply what is being taught. It has given me the opportunity to grow and form relationships with some of the most amazing people, both students and lecturers. The knowledge base of the lecturers are so vast as well as relevant as they all have experience in the industry which easily allowed me to be able to relate what I was being taught to my job. This programme has definitely empowered me with extensive knowledge to better plan, manage and deliver my projects.
Keshani Naidoo nѐe Subramani , MPM graduate (2020)
The greatest problem many countries face is the ability to adapt to change, understanding the importance of change and overcoming the impact that change has on everyday life. Management is so much more than simply learning a few principles and applying them. Understanding the human variable, managing uncertainty and providing educated decisions to a seemingly impossible task is what makes the GSTM program at TUKS stand out from the rest.
My time spent at the Graduate School of Technology Management (GSTM) at the University of Pretoria was more than just attending classes and learning strong management techniques; but forging lifelong relationships, engaging with diverse experienced specialists, and being a part of professionals that are eager and willing to shape the management industry towards a brighter future.
The Master’s degree in Engineering Project Management was well structured, concise, brilliantly organised, with lecturers constantly challenging learners to adapt, change and find new and improved techniques to managing risk and uncertainty.
I am certain that the experience and knowledge I have gained through the program will cement a strong foundation toward a future filled with growth and prosperity. Matthew Funnell, MPM graduate (2019)
The Bachelor of Engineering Honours in Engineering and Technology Management is ideal for a young working engineering professional. This course can be done completely part time while maintaining your career. This course is great for engineers looking to steer their careers into project management. By undertaking this post-graduate degree I gained more insight into management and entrepreneurship. I would recommend this course to any individual looking to enrich their career and give themselves a boost in the industry.
Emerald Jordaan, ETM graduate (2019)
After being promoted to manage a 15-person offshore team at work, I soon realised there was a gap in my management abilities. My undergraduate education in Computer Engineering from the University of Pretoria had helped me in establishing myself as one of the high performing specialists in my department at my organization. With the challenge of management now on the horizon, I decided to once again turn to the institution that had established my technological capabilities. Enrolling for the course in Engineering and Technology Management helped bridge knowledge gaps in project and resource management, as well as provide me with an in-depth understanding of the total lifecycle of management in the engineering and technology space. I encourage anyone looking to supplement their engineering or technology background with management skills to definitely enrol for ETM.
Malose Lucas Phaswana, ETM graduate (2019)
I’ve entered the field of project management early in my career and started with the postgraduate degree with little experience. The coursework was eye-opening and exposed me to various fields and disciplines I would only have had the opportunity to witness much further down in my career. The industry techniques and thinking processes, delivered by expert lecturers, motivated me to improve my working environment. I believe the field of knowledge management is vital for project managers, and the research for the mini dissertation allowed me to understand the field better. Christoff Muller, MPM graduate (2019)
The MPM is a brilliant programme for the modern project manager. It has set the foundation for the knowledge required in managing projects. It was not until after I started with the programme, that I started noticing the shortcomings of how our organisation runs its projects and to my surprise, the huge difference from recommended practices. The course offers a balanced mix of theory, group work, case studies and industry scenarios. The programme is helping me tremendously in my career and I would recommend it to anyone who wishes to join the project management profession from any discipline background. Titus KN Haihambo, MPM graduate (2019)
Pursuing a postgraduate degree requires discipline, hard work and perseverance and my experience has been all of this but I didn’t anticipate how much I would enjoy the journey. Being taught by Leading Industry experts, distinguished Engineers and Academics at the forefront of cutting edge studies resulted in lectures that were captivating, assignments that were thought provoking and an education that was beyond world class. My thinking has forever changed thanks to the holistic and well balanced programme that instilled in us a unique approach on how to merge and manage people, processes and technology. This qualification has allowed me to transition smoothly into my new senior management role which entails me leading Process Optimisations for both Manufacturing and Service related processes. Although I am Industrial Engineer by trade, my entrepreneurial spirit has been ignited and I have been inspired to become an Innovator. I have a passion to improve the lives of people and now I am able to think more strategically and approach my philanthropic pursuits in a more structured manner thus making it more realistic and tangible. I found this journey both enriching and rewarding and can guarantee that you will definitely find yourself applying all of the tools and best practices that you learn but more importantly you will enjoy doing it!
Sanera Maharaj, ETM graduate (2019)
I took 8 years after finishing an Honors degree in industrial engineering to carefully select a Masters degree that would make the biggest difference in society. During the same time I spent 8 frustrating years in engineering firms as I experienced 3 major management meltdowns between small firms and multinational consultancies. I was very critical of engineers who were promoted on their technical ability to management roles and decided ultimately to pursue a master's degree in engineering management. I believe it was the most rewarding choice and the best value for money. There are a few pervasive management practices that I experienced as an engineer that are completely at odds with the findings of management science. Now that I have completed the master's degree I can recognize and avoid the common pitfalls and management pseudoscience. This degree allowed me to effectively utilise tools that will assist in how any enterprise manages its finances, assets, human resources and information to reach its strategic goals.
Eduard Horak, MEM graduate (2019)
I consider myself very lucky to have been enrolled in the MTIM programme presented by the GSTM at UP. I was part of the inaugural class for the MTIM degree, starting in 2018. I thought the degree would be a good way to navigate new opportunities presented by technology advancement, but what I got from it was so much more. Each class opened new doors into interesting, inspiring topics that were thoughtfully presented by the top notch GTSM professors, lecturers and industry guests. I met some truly exceptional people in my classmates and I have learnt so much from each person's unique perspective.
Most of my professional experience has been focused on technical aspects of software development and design. The MTIM degree gave me a new perspective on topics that I had not previously considered but that are integral to building a successful technology product or business. In practice, there is often a divide between "business" and "engineering". This course brings these viewpoints together in a very thoughtful and effective way and has opened up new career avenues to me that I had not considered before.
If you are thinking of enrolling in this course, don't hesitate. It is now, more than ever, that we must use technology and innovation to address the many challenges we face in our lives, in our country and in the world we live in. Thank you to everyone at the GSTM for this fantastic experience!
Louise Liddell, MTIM graduate (2019)
I value my experience with the GSTM very highly. The technology and innovation management programme ties together a number of tools and processes that are particularly well suited to a dynamic technology management environment. Within the relatively small group, contact sessions often resulted in lively debate that challenged our thinking and stimulated peer learning. This degree supported me as a technology manager and rekindled a mindset of continuous learning.
Francois Theron, MTIM graduate (2019)
The course helped me to be able to see the bigger picture within the organisation, understand how various processes interlink, as well as to be able to manage various project teams in an effective manner.
Bianca Nel, ETM graduate (2019)
Following a number of years of hard international professional interaction as a Consulting Engineer, the MEM course was a very refreshing dose of academic and disciplined self enlightment which certainly contributed to my own management capabilities and general conceptualisation of the industry. In today’s very globalised and diversified world, this degree certainly adds to an Engineer’s tools to perform and become internationally recognized when dealing with multifaceted and multicultural projects stretching across the continents. It is a degree that is highly recommended for professionals who want to prepare themselves for a top-notch management career.
Jose Miranda, MEM graduate
The MEM is a well rounded course which deals with all aspects that a modern engineer/manager will have to deal with in the work environment. We are no longer just engineers but have to play financial manager, risk expert and HR practitioner (to name a few) once in a while. I enjoyed the course and it adds value to the work environment.
Viroshka Sudoi, MEM graduate
MEM widened my choices for career development at work, and it opened my thoughts to new ideas. Currently I am actively using most of what I learned in my current position; it especially helped me in my interaction with different people. My professional networks grew a lot during my time of study.
Christine Pretorius , MEM graduate
The MPM is an excellent program which sets a solid foundation for the modern project manager. It is a hands-on program that applies to all disciplines, such as accounting, HR, IT, Engineering, etc. I would recommend any aspiring project manager to go for this course as it has tremendous benefits.
Shupikai Chihuri, MPM graduate
MEM was the perfect balance of management and engineering combined to give the engineering student a high quality world-class exposure to the field of engineering management. The faculties and professors presenting the various courses had good management experience firmly founded on a background of engineering, and so were able to guide the students on how to be successful the modern engineering-management world. The learning experience was a healthy balance of theory, case studies, group work as well as individual research. I would definitely recommend this course to anyone with an engineering background who wishes to create a world-class career.
Hemant Grover, MEM graduate