Alumna Profile: Angela Qithi

Posted on August 23, 2023

Angela Qithi, a University of Pretoria (UP) alumna and a talented human resource professional, skilled in managing human resources, talent management, employer branding and diversity, as well as equity and inclusion, is proud to be associated with one of the top institutions in Africa.

Qithi completed an MCom in Human Resource and Labour Relations with distinction from UP. Her exceptional performance earned her an academic award for overall best achiever in the programme and a spot on the EMS Dean’s List. She is now juggling two careers as a lecturer in the Department of Human Resource Management and as a Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) Leader in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at a Fortune 500 company.

Q: Please share the details of your studies, mentioning the qualification/s you completed at UP, what motivated you during your studies and how you overcame any challenges you encountered.

A: I completed a Master of Commerce: Human Resource and Labour Relations qualification with distinction at the University of Pretoria (UP), becoming the overall best achiever in the programme. This academic achievement also led to me being part of the to the EMS Faculty’s Deans List for top achievers in the Faculty. I was motivated to do my best throughout the qualification as I was going through a devastating, life-changing experience in my personal life. Despite my challenges at the time, I knew I was a conqueror and that I would overcome those challenges. Also, with God’s grace, I always strive to do my best in everything that I do so I can inspire black girls that look up to me.

Q: Briefly summarise your professional career, including your highlights/milestones and current position.

A:  I am an EMEA Leader at a Fortune 500 company. I have over 15 years of experience managing human resources, talent management, employer branding and diversity, and equity and inclusion teams in alignment with organisational strategies. I am also qualified in commercial business management and enabling the people side of mergers and acquisitions. Over the years, I have successfully established and led new functions, business branches, and affinity groups locally and globally. My professional experience and qualifications have enabled me to bridge the gap between business and people strategies while leveraging technology. My love for technology and ability to peruse it as a business enabler whilst leading and developing others has created an opportunity for me to be an HR Data Metrics and Analytics lecturer in the MCom Human Resource Management programme in the Department of Human Resource Management at UP.

Q: To what extent did your studies at UP benefit you in your career and contribute to your success?

A: My studies instilled confidence in me to know that I can achieve anything I set my mind to. I no longer have any self-doubt or imposter syndrome, as I have great confidence in my capabilities. My studies have opened doors for another career in academia as a lecturer. This opportunity would not have availed itself to me had I not completed my master’s qualification in a field I am passionate about.

Q: Can you single out a special mentor/trusted advisor who played an indispensable role in your life/studies/career?

A: There are many people behind my success and I don't want to name and leave out any. Therefore, I will say I am grateful to God who ensured I had all the people I needed around me.

Q: Given your academic experience at UP, what advice can you pass on to current students?

A: Do your best and stand up for yourself.

Q: What really inspires and motivates you personally?

A: My overall life purpose is to send black girls to school all over the world. This was inspired by me being a recipient of many bursaries and scholarships growing up. I aim to pay that forward by partnering with corporates as part of their sustainability goals. Personally, I love life and want to open doors of opportunities for young people to acquire an education and live their best lives.

Q: What, in your opinion, is the foundation of a successful career?

A: Ensuring that your core business success has clear goals about meeting the triple bottom line. Therein lies true sustainability.

Q: Which business/trade-related publications (magazines/newspapers/blogs, etc.) do you enjoy reading?

A: I don't have a preferred publication. It depends on my interest at the time. I am more into researching what I need to know regardless of what source it comes from. I enjoy reading publications or articles that broaden my knowledge of my interests.

Q: If you could have a face-to-face meeting with an inspiring person – in any domain – who sets an example in transforming the world and inspiring others to do the same, who would it be and what would you like to discuss?

A: It would be Oprah Winfrey. If I was granted an opportunity to engage with her, I would ask her how she navigated her personal life when she was my age.

Q: What are your professional/business/personal aspirations?

A: To ensure that my affiliations lead to my dream of sending black girls to school.

Q: As a UP and EMS alumni, what makes you proud to be associated with the University?

A: The opportunity granted to me to teach the current master’s cohort a module on human resources metrics and analytics.

Q: What are your hopes and aspirations for Africa and its people for the rest of this decade and beyond?

A: Freedom for people to be who they wish to be and a plethora of opportunities for them to thrive and help Africa prosper.

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