On Tuesday morning, the 26th of May, twenty one students arrived as part of the new group for the Metro Minds Certificate programme which is applied to the Sales Process and Management Environment. The students are from different companies within the courier industry and the initial development of this qualification was done in association with SAEPA (South African Express Parcel Association), a Task Team from SAAFF (South African Association of Freight Forwarders) and The Da Vinci Institute as the accrediting body. The sponsorship from TETA through the TETA Discretionary Grants: Bursaries has assisted in the implementation of this project.
Piloted in January 2014, the programme has successfully seen two cohorts or groups of students complete their studies. Says Garry Marshall, CEO SAEPA “our members have seen the benefit of developing their sales staff into more than just sales people. They are developing Supply Chain Specialists who are able to provide best solutions to clients thereby becoming a strategic partner in their customer’s businesses.”
“The purpose of this Qualification”, says Belinda Goddard, Project Manager at Da Vinci, “is also to produce lifelong students who are equipped to contribute towards the debate on socio-economic transformation and managerial leadership development in South Africa. This purpose seeks to transform individuals, organisations (public and private, including self-owned businesses) and the community at large, dealing with managerial leadership development challenges such as the management of technology, the management of innovation, the management of people and the management of systems, from a Sales Process and Management Environment perspective.”
The 12 month programme will include core modules such as the management of technology and innovation delivered by The Da Vinci Institute as well as The Art of Selling & Presentations, Sales Finance and Supply Chain Value which is facilitated by Juliette Fourie, CEO at Metro Minds. Students will be required to attend workshops once a month at The Da Vinci Institute in Modderfontein. Assignments are workplace based assignments and require involvement from companies, mentors and managers within the respective companies. Learners will be required to meet the exit level outcomes with the related critical cross-field outcomes through integrated submissions on post-module assignments.
“SAEPA would like to thank all parties involved in making this project a reality – a special word of thanks to Tony d’Almeida and the SAAFF team for having the vision of this programme and driving the project to where it is today. We look forward to reporting many successes through our learners at the end of this programme and thank our members for participating in this project with us”, said Martine Maraschin, Skills Development Task Team of SAEPA.
On the morning of Thursday 21 May 2015, 21 individuals found their way to the Da Vinci Institute. These individuals arrived in call to their curiosity by taking the first step of their learning journey. The Da Vinci team was on hand to welcome the PhD students by introducing the philosophy that Da Vinci relates to. Mr Simon Gathua, Key Account Manager for post-graduate studies was the first to address the group and formally welcomed them to the Da Vinci House. Mrs Carin Stoltz-Urban wears two hats at Da Vinci, within the Client Engagement Management as well as the Registry office at Da Vinci and took the opportunity in introducing the rest of the team including Administrators Boitumelo Serobatse and Lebo Toona, Assistant Registrar Karen Verster and Communications Manager Storm Thomas.
Prof Bennie Anderson, CEO at Da Vinci also addressed the students by encouraging them to critically think, reflect and analyse around the workings of the world, taking into account their pre-conceived ideas and observations of the world and how this may affect or contribute toward the success of their research. The notion of truths was explored as students were encouraged to challenge the rules and norms of society whilst also being true and honest to themselves. As part of the essence that makes up the uniqueness of individuality, perceptions and perspectives related to beliefs, culture and values often define the skeleton of conditioned thinking that promotes enclosed thinking. An awareness of challenging this notion can lead to an opportunity to embrace innovation, out of the box thinking, whilst seeing the unseen and acknowleding the knowing of the unknown.
The students were shown to their workshop room where they found their seat represented by their personalised learning journal. Prof Richard Chinomona facilitated the Research and Dissertation module which allows constant focus on the development of a research proposal by maintaining a skeleton and body that reflects that of the topic and the integration of such throughout their proposal. Prof Chinomona firstly introduced himself and then each student had the opportunity to introduce themselves. The energy in the room exuded dramatically as each student engaged with the rest of the group and similar interests and passions emerged. As the introductions commenced, a sense of networking and comradery developed which is essential for mode 2 research support as an adult learner, and even more imperative is the sense of community and belonging on a journey that becomes challenging at times but ends with a beautiful sense of achievement, meaning and contribution to the self, others and society at large both on a local level but also globally.