Meet Kirsty Vosloo. She holds an Honours degree in Financial Management, but was weary of entering the demanding world of work without actual practical experience. Faced with the familiar catch twenty-two where employers have entry-level vacancies but still require applicants with two to four years’ work experience, Kirsty applied for the Mindworx Business Analysis and Data Analysis internship in order to supplement her experience.
As a bridging programme offering intense work-based learning and experience, the Mindworx Academy internship provides learners with valuable data and business analysis skills and knowledge. This ultimately offers them the edge through experience and extra knowledge that catapults their careers, as Kirsty attests.
By making the most of the insight, valuable professional and personal development opportunities and expert support that the Mindworx team offers, Kirsty gained practical exposure and self-confidence. As a result, she was offered a junior Data Analyst position by Deloitte South Africa, as part of Deloitte’s Project Ibewu initiative and was subsequently promoted to a Consultant Data Analyst, with client facing duties.
How it all began
After completing a Bachelor in Finance and an Honours in Financial Management from the University of Johannesburg, Kirsty boasted a substantial theoretical grounding. Yet she lacked the confidence to go straight into the workplace, fearing that she was not sufficiently equipped with practical on-the-job work experience, like some of her peers.
This was perhaps one of the most pertinent reasons why she started looking into internships and learnerships.
Kirsty admits that it was both an exhilarating and slightly daunting roller coaster. Finding out that she had been accepted into the Mindworx Academy was a real high note for her and the entire Vosloo family.
“What made the Mindworx Academy internship so helpful was the fact that it was a lot more intensive and practical than what I had experienced during my time in varsity,” explains Kirsty. She reminisces about how participating in the programme demanded a much higher level of engagement and that learners actively had to develop relationships with their peers. “I greatly benefited from the individual coaching as well, where we would delve deeper into what my personal and professional development areas are and how I can focus on advancing them.”
The programme covers a comprehensive list of topics related to business analysis; in addition to the core foundational analytical skills required, topics like innovation, data analytics, assurance, testing and systems analysis may be covered (depending on which programme is being offered).
The first phase of the internship entails an intense classroom-based learning experience that spans two months. Focussing on workplace behaviours, developing industry knowledge and applying this newly gained knowledge through case study challenges, this initial phase of the internship (called the Bridge phase) offers an innovative blend of technical skills and personal mastery.
From here, learners like Kristy are fully immersed in the workplace. This involves physically working at an employer’s offices for the remaining months of the internship. During this time, learners are supported through a coaching and mentoring programme.
Needless to say, Kristy and the Vosloo family were elated when she was offered the position of junior Data Analyst at Deloitte – a highly respected organisation where Kirsty was placed for her work experience. Thanks to the Mindworx Academy internship, Kirsty had more than enough practical exposure to the modern and demanding world of work, and plenty of self-confidence too.
Her mature and educated professional approach to her work and team were evident instantly and, within a year, Kirsty was promoted to consultant level. In her new Data Analyst role, Kirsty gets to take on more responsibility and work with clients face-to-face. “I see this as a huge perk, as it affords me the opportunity to meet different professionals in a host of industries,” she explains.
“Being employed full time has had a great impact on minimising financial stress on my family,” says Kirsty, who is one of three sisters. “My mom got retrenched when I was in my first year of varsity and luckily I was able to get a scholarship to complete my studies.” Matters got worse when, her dad was retrenched as well.
Luckily the picture looks completely different today. Kirsty and her mom work together to support the Vosloo family, sharing the responsibility and halving the pressure. What’s more, Kirsty was able to buy herself a car. “This was a particularly proud moment for me and my whole family as I am now officially the first person in my family to own a car,” she delights.
To infinity and beyond
All it takes is a brief interaction with Kirsty to realise that, thanks to the insight and support she gained during the Mindworx Academy internship, she has the professional capability and practical know-how to keep pushing her career to new heights, delivering value for her employer and developing her team as she goes. Kirsty modestly noted that “this is not something that is unique to me, though… I see such qualities in the other Mindworx Academy graduates as well.”
At Mindworx Academy we turn inexperienced graduates into confident and appropriately skilled professionals capable of fulfilling entry level roles, through intensive training and work experience that sets them on a path to long-term employment. Our solutions, which include learnerships and internships, are customised to meet client needs. Read more about the Academy here.