A graduate professional, as commonly known, is an individual who has acquired a qualification and is now engaged in a profession. By virtue of my background and current role, I am proud to be one! Coming straight out of university, it was reassuring to have my ideas about the corporate space debunked, because at the end of the day we are human.
The value of being a graduate professional came through the various development and training sessions that were offered to me and the constant interaction within the company itself. Through the graduate training coordinated by the dedicated facilitators of the PPS Academy, I have learned valuable lessons on personal development and on how to interact as a graduate within the corporate environment. I believe all these lessons are indispensable to me; like the lessons on empathy, personal branding, accountability and time management - to name a few.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines empathy as “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.” In my experience thus far, I’ve constantly aimed to be empathetic towards my colleagues in my department and my fellow graduate interns who are part of the 2019 cohort for the Graduate Internship Development Programme. I know what you might be thinking! It may seem as though empathy and the corporate environment don’t go together, but over the months I realised how this soft skill strengthened the quality of the relationships I have built at PPS.
I have built friendships which have resulted in me having a good support system at work. As a person who believes that a good support system is necessary for anyone in the work environment, I have noted how this has helped me get through the challenging parts of my work.
I particularly recall a challenge I faced on how to adequately spread my time across several tasks; while also doing each task with great quality. My mentor, assigned to me through the graduate programme, shared valuable tips with me on how to simultaneously maximise time efficiently and deliver quality work.
Another key lesson I have learned is that of accountability; not only for the work I do in Research and Development, but also for the way I express myself with others. I have collaborated with divisions such as Group Marketing to ensure the meticulous finish to a project that would be received by PPS members and this process taught me how to be accountable for the work I deliver from start to finish.
Looking back at the year that was, being a graduate professional has been a dynamic experience; with many opportunities to grow and to learn. I believe all the lessons I have learned I will use far into the future and they’ll keep adding value to my development.
- Molebogeng Moganedi