Posted on November 19, 2019
The Department of Mining Engineering at the University of Pretoria (UP) has revealed that approximately 95% of its 2017 and 2018 graduates are currently employed in various fields of the minerals sector, as well as at consultancies and financial institutions.
Head of the Department, Professor Ronny Webber-Youngman, said: “The department is aware of the challenges our graduates face in the transition from being students to managers and leaders – especially so in a complex and rapidly changing world of cyber technology, Internet of Things and Industry 4.0.”
Students who enter the workplace often lack sufficient levels of self-awareness, interpersonal communication skills and the ability to work in multi-disciplinary settings and diverse groups spanning many generations. In this vein, the department set up a Mining Engineering Leadership Academy (MELA) 10 years ago to groom students for the workplace.
Final-year students attend the MELA programme, structured to help them to better prepare for their careers by establishing an awareness of the stewardship of being a Tukkie and a future mining engineering leader. MELA concludes in July with a Leadership Week where students are introduced to the 4.0D Leadership Model for Industry 4.0.
Women in mining featured prominently during this year’s Leadership Week, with UP alumna Tarusha Moonsamy presenting a global outlook on mining as she took students on a tour of all her work sites in the United States and Australia. She told students, “Don’t be in a rush, stop to smell the roses, create your balance … your career is a marathon, not a sprint.”
“In the context of teamwork during the mine design programme, MELA content focuses on team working, emotional intelligence and conflict management. MELA concludes with four-member teams embarking on an experiential and action learning teambuilding day to gain first-hand exposure to teamwork challenges similar to the workplace. UP is "educating and leading mining engineers to become imagineers", said Prof Webber-Youngman.
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