Igniting investment education for talented students
 

Lynn Bolin

Head of Communications and Media

August 2016

Igniting investment education for talented students

Valda Clarke & Lynn Bolin

Operations Manager & Head of Communications

May 2016

Igniting investment education for talented students

As one of our corporate social investment programmes, Prudential supports TSiBA, the Tertiary School in Business Administration, a private, not-for-profit business school whose aim is to develop leaders and entrepreneurs from disadvantaged communities by “igniting opportunity” for them. 

Founded in 2004, TSiBA has so far awarded over 1,500 full-tuition scholarships to deserving young people who would otherwise be unable to access higher education. The students are not required to repay their tuition, but rather they are encouraged to transfer the knowledge and skills they gain to their communities (“pay it forward”). Entrepreneurship and leadership are the major subjects in the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree programme, and built into the curriculum are numerous opportunities for personal development: students can begin a business, complete internships, and make a difference in other people’s lives while still studying. Graduates have included
seven Mandela Rhodes Scholarship winners and three Kofi Annan Scholars.

As part of their experiential learning programmes, Prudential takes on TSiBA students for internships during their studies or to complete practical experience after graduation. We also provide funding for students who have selected the finance stream of the degree to complete the Investment Management Administration & Client Servicing (IMACS) course through the ASISA Academy. 

Prudential has taken on five TSiBA interns since 2012, and all have proved to be very successful. Our first two interns have subsequently become permanent employees, and the other three have only recently completed their internships. Following are snapshots of Muneer Vollenhoven and Jason Mashonga, our first two interns, and we will profile the remaining three in our next edition of Consider this.

Muneer Vollenhoven

Muneer was our first intern. He completed his internship at Prudential in 2012 while still studying at TSiBA for his BBA degree, and subsequently joined permanently.  Says Muneer: “Growing up in a humbling environment granted me a gift to live life appreciating the value of hard work and giving back. This perfectly aligned me to the ‘pay it forward’ values at the core of the TSiBA BBA programme. Through this unique academic theme, TSiBA helped me harness my drive to work hard, and meet my goals. This translated to maintaining competitive academic performance, while choosing the most challenging concentrations, which lead me to investments. 

“I am going on four years at Prudential now, which has turned out to be a real life changer. I am now part of the Data Management team, where I maintain a hybrid role, which entails derivative trade support, asset pricing and static data. In this Prudential journey I have gained great exposure and done work which I had not thought I would have the ability to do at this stage in my career. I have grown to be independent and resourceful in nature. I have learned that developing long-standing, healthy relationships with colleagues from different business units can positively leverage the general understanding, productivity and work ethic required to get the job done well. I have also been sponsored by Prudential to study for my Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) degree, which I hope to use to add value to the company, and help me further my career.” 

 

Jason Mashonga

After finishing his internship in 2014, Jason joined Prudential in 2015. Says Jason: “As a young man born and raised in Manenberg, it was challenging living and attending school there, as I was constantly faced with pressures involving gang-related activities. Despite this, I was always determined to outperform people’s expectations of me: my mother always encouraged me to be the best that I can be, even after she was diagnosed with lupus when I was very young. From a young age I knew that I shouldn’t succumb to the influences around me – I was motivated to excel in my schooling, and thrive towards a good career.

“After matriculating from Manenberg High School in 2007, I was awarded a one-year bursary to study towards a two-year diploma in Accounting and Financial Computing at Rosebank College.
I managed to raise funds and borrow money to pay for the second year in order to complete my diploma. However, as it was a strong passion of mine to complete my degree, I never gave up searching for opportunities, and was awarded a four-year scholarship at TSiBA to study for a BBA degree. As I had a strong interest in the financial industry, I had the privilege of being sponsored by Prudential to obtain a Certificate in Investment Administration at the ASISA Academy at the same time.

“Once I had completed my studies and the internship with Prudential, I was offered an extended contract to gain additional experience, which was converted to a permanent role. Then in March 2015 I lost my mother to lupus, and the support I received from Prudential was overwhelming. I am truly grateful to officially be part of the Prudential family now, and I look forward to what the future holds for me.”   

At Prudential, we are very pleased to be in a position to give deserving students like Muneer and Jason an opportunity to learn more about investments and financial services, and to explore – and ultimately pursue – careers in this field. South Africa still faces a shortage of graduates with the appropriate math and finance skills that will help to further transform our financial
services industry.

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