Have you ever wondered what people say about you when you are not there? According to Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, "your brand is what people are saying about you when you are not in the room." Some people cringe at the thought of what may be said, but did you know you have the power to influence these perceptions, simply by building your personal brand.
What is a personal brand?
Branding is a crucial part of success. Think of the biggest companies around the world today, these brands stand out from the crowd. Brand identity was until recently exclusive to the business world. But we now know that almost anything or anyone can have a brand, such as celebrities or political parties and most importantly you!
Your personal brand is what makes you unique. These are characteristics that people associate with you. It may be your voice, your fashion sense or compassion. Personal branding however does not involve being fake and putting up an act or show. It's about creating the perceptions you want, just like professional branding.
Why personal branding is important?
Personal branding is very important for everyone, especially if you want to stand out among thousands of job seekers. It does however require time and effort to develop. This involves a proactive way of controlling how you develop your career and how you are perceived in the marketplace. A personal brand is therefore a way to attract new magnet for opportunity.
STEP1: Decide on a platform
You need a place from which you market yourself. This could be social media accounts such as YouTube, Facebook or Instagram and a personal website where you can interact with your fans and followers.
STEP2: Focus on your strengths
Understand your own strengths, what makes you unique from all others. Just like a business, marketing yourself requires you to be aware of who you are.
STEP3: Become an authority
Once you know what makes you different and what are your strengths then get even better. Absorb as much as possible about the topic and share your thoughts as an authority through videos, social media and blog posts.
STEP4: Setting your priorities
The whole point behind branding is to reach a goal. This could be growing a loyal following, making more sales or increasing profits. Think about what it is you wants and let that guide you on the direction you go.
STEP5: Be yourself
There is only one you in this entire world. This is the most important part about personal branding. You have to be yourself. Don't follow the crowd, in fact the more you are yourself the more successful you are likely to be.
STEP6: Be consistent
Define who you are quite early on and stay consistent. Although it's possible to evolve over time, brands must be able to recognise your brand.
Remember, personal branding is not just about selling or marketing yourself. It's the best way to make sure that people perceive you as the person you want to be. Unfortunately, others may consider it bragging or self-promotion – but it really is just taking charge of your reputation.
Written by Karabo Keepile
South African's are queing nationally to vote in what is considered the second most important election since 1994. This is 25 years later since the end of apartheid. For many young people, this will be their first vote. Some on the other hand, have decided not to vote. The IIE Rosebank College, interviewed several youngsters, asking them if they would be voting, and why?
As we prepare to mark off Alchol Awareness month this April and move into Anti-Nicotine campaign month this May, the issue of drug awareness becomes even more important. According to the South African Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use, Cannabis is the most common substance of use in Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo among young people under the age of 20.
In 2008, the Medical Research Council reported that there were 3, 2 million South Africans who regularly consume dagga. But what are the effects?
Some studies suggest that marijuana is a gateway drug to other legal and illegal substances and could lead to the development of an addiction to other substances. For instance, a study using data from the National Epidemiological Study of Alcohol Use and Related Disorders found that adults who reported marijuana use during the first phase of the survey were more likely than adults who did not use marijuana to develop an alcohol use disorder within 3 years. Additionally, people who used marijuana and already had an alcohol addiction at the outset were at a greater risk of their alcohol addiction worsening.
Marijuana use is also linked to other substance use disorders including nicotine addiction. Eliot, a bar manager confirms the use of drugs often increases rapidly, when looking to chase a better high. "From there the addiction escalates to consuming 'harder' drugs," he says.
According to the Cape Town Drug Counseling Centre the effects off drugs are relaxation; users get lightheaded or giddy, feelings of extreme happiness- euphoria, false confidence, increased appetite, decreased concentration, memory loss, impaired judgement and a sense of false reality.
The long term effects include, addiction, a decrease in concentration and memory leads to learning difficulties, decreased motivation, impaired judgement and negative social behavior, a decrease in the immune system functioning, damage to organs especially the brain, heart and lungs, it can trigger mental illnesses where the user will live in a semi-permanent state of confusion and loss of reality, depression and a decrease in sexual health.
There are various methods of seeking help. Schools have professional personnel set in place to help students who need guidance and help to fight substance abuse
According to Hugo Phungwayo, Rosebank College Deputy President of the Student Council, "the institution does not have a Drug-Help Unit, but offers the Student Relations Manager (SRM) to help with issues."
However, with the SRM knowing about these problems, a student will then be referred to a rehabilitation Centre only with a parent's presence and permission
For other users seeking help or friends and family members looking to help their loved ones South African Depression and Anxiety Group and the Department of Social Development have set-up a toll-free substance abuse helpline in an effort to increase access to help, support and appropriate treatment for substance users.The number is 0800 121 314
It might feel good and seem cool to do drugs, but the reality is that drugs have a long term effect on our lives and our future. Afterall, is a few minutes of euphoria worth a life time of self-inflicted health issues such as triggered mental illnesses.
Written by Andiswa Madlopha and Hunadi Matlala
In coming weeks, public universities and private institutions across South Africa will host a series of Open Days – events meant to showcase their offering to prospective students from the Matric Class of 2019. An education expert says it is essential that learners intending to study next year attend as many Open Days as possible to ensure they make an informed study choice, but more than that, they need to go with a strategy in hand to ensure they look beneath the surface to understand what their likely experience may be at a particular institution or campus.
"This is a very exciting time for Matrics, who for the first time will be able to get some real-life insights about life on campus and what their future might be like in coming years after school," says Wonga Ntshinga, Senior Head of Programme: Faculty of ICT at The Independent Institute of Education, SA's largest and most accredited private higher education institution.
"So we advise Grade 12s to determine without delay when various institutions will be hosting Open Days – an online search will suffice - and then make the effort to attend as many as possible."
Ntshinga says there are many benefits to attending an open day, including 1) to get greater clarity on an institution's offering 2) to visit different faculties at an institution 3) to speak to representatives of the institution who will be able to help you determine which qualification is a good fit if you are still uncertain 4) to get a feeling of life on a specific campus and 5) to weigh up the offering – academic and otherwise – of different institutions.
But he says there is one thing that prospective students must remember when attending Open Days, and that is to keep a level head and not get too starry-eyed by the fanfare of the day.
"Open Days are the perfect opportunity to get first-hand experience of a campus and its students, staff and academics. But the first rule of Open Day is to remember that Open Day might not be representative of every other day. Universities put their best foot forward to impress and attract future students, but you have to be savvy and ask the right questions, as well as make the observations that will help you with this major decision."
Ntshinga says prospective students should spend enough time on a campus to get a good look around, and listen to their gut feel while doing so.
"Look at the campus grounds, visit the library and the IT lab, note the condition of sports facilities, lecture rooms and even the toilets. If, for instance, an institution's restrooms are questionable on an Open Day, chances are that they will be the same or worse during the rest of the year.
"If lecture rooms and the general environment look tired, dilapidated and unkept on this day, it is unlikely they will look better any other day of the year."
If you get a good feeling about what you observe on campus, the Open Day then presents an opportunity to ask the important questions of university representatives, to gauge whether your degree will help you make a smooth transition to the workplace post-graduation, Ntshinga says.
To make that determination, learners should ask the following:
- WORK-READINESS: How much practical, work-integrated experience is incorporated into the curriculum? Any good institution, whether public university or private, must have adequate practical learning integrated into the curriculum, and not focus purely on academics.
- INDUSTRY-RELEVANCE: Is there close cooperation between the faculty and lecturers, and is current industry practice reflected in the curriculum? Employers look for graduates who they know will be able to make a contribution from the first day on the job, which is why they recruit at those institutions that best prepare students for the real world of work.
- STUDENT SUPPORT: What can you expect in terms of support – administratively, academically and post-qualification? Good institutions will have excellent student support from before you sign up until after you graduate, and this support can make a real difference in your higher education experience as well as your career.
"Doing your groundwork in the coming month, by identifying and attending Open Days at institutions you've been considering, as well as others you may not yet have considered but which may well turn out to be the right fit, will make a huge contribution to your ability to evaluate your options properly," Ntshinga says.
"Additionally, you may be exposed to opportunities and qualifications you have not considered before, and which may resonate with you. Open Days are essential to making the best choice for your aspirations and provide insights that desktop research rarely does, so make the best of this limited window of opportunity."
With graduation just around the corner, several IIE graduates will start the job hunting process, looking to put their IIE qualifications to work. Millions of graduates will apply for the same jobs at the same companies, but only few will make it. So, how do you stand out during a job interview to secure that gig?
Do your research
Before stepping into an interview, make sure that you do the necessary research about the company and the people interviewing you. Research the company very thoroughly. Know the company's core business, their clients, competitors and the history of the business. You can conduct this research by scrolling through the company website, or by asking current employees, if you know any.
While your experience, skills and knowledge should be able to sell you, it's best to work on your own personal brand too. Stay authentic, even when tempted to put on an interview persona. After all, you don't want your employer to hire a fake version of you.
Make sure that you are on time for your interview, and that you bring along everything that is requested for the day. Simple things, like following instructions, dressing the part and being courteous go a long way in making a favourable first impression.
Turn the interview into a conversation not a test
A job interview is not a test, nor are you expected to either pass or fail. In most cases, employers are simply looking for the best fit for the organisation and position. Make sure that you are armed with enough questions to keep the interview conversational. Make sure that you have conducted enough research to ask relevant questions and that you show your interest in finding out more about the organisation.
Talk about more than what is on your CV
You managed to get the interview, which is the first step in the right direction. Make the meeting worth your while. After all, this is your chance to shine. When asked to give details about your work history, or about yourself, use this as an opportunity to elaborate and give more details about your accomplishments.
Be aware of your body language
Body language involves the nonverbal cues we give, which like language speak volumes. Maintain eye contact and proper posture. Sit upright in your chair and look the interviewer in the eyes when speaking. Make sure you are not fidgeting and that you look interested.
When Thembeka Sibanyoni (28) completed her IIE IT qualification from IIE Rosebank College in 2011, she had no idea what the future had in store for her. Now a successful entrepreneur, mother and wife Thembeka is an example of how pursuing your passion leads to unimaginable gains. “My goal is to educate people about cooking and make them realise that even they can become the chef of their own kitchen”. Thembeka also aims to show how normal day-to-day ingredients when put together creatively, can produce tasty, good looking dishes.
How did you discover your passion?
I grew up with my grandparents and like most girls, cooking was part of my household chores. My family would always compliment me on my cooking which grew my confidence.
When I met my husband 11 years ago, he was quite the foodie and loved cooking too. To impress him I started putting more effort into the dishes I would prepare for him and my love for styling and presenting food just grew from there.
How did Tee’s Cooking Addiction come to life?
I used to post pictures of dishes I had prepared on my personal social media page and would get comments from my friends to start a page specific to my recipes. At first I was confused by this advice and thought they had had enough of my posts. But eventually, I took their advice and that’s when Tee’s Cooking Addiction started. I offer cooking classes, catering and cooking advice. Today I have over 83 000 followers and travel all over the country to cook.
How did you become a social media influencer?
Being authentic is very important when looking to grow your social media presence. It was never my intention to have all these followers, but it just happened. I also decided to keep one Instagram page (Tee’s cooking addiction) to avoid confusing my followers. The growth has come about organically, and people really enjoy my photo captions too.
Isn’t there a lot of pressure involved with being a social media influencer?
It does get overwhelming, but the secret for me has been staying in my lane. Stick to what you are good at and be the best at it. Also be real with what’s happening with you and stop trying to keep up with the Joneses. Many people try too hard and lose track of where they are going.
What have been some important lessons learnt about entrepreneurship?
Business is very difficult because there are so many moving parts in business and a lot of pressure. I have several sleepless nights and I’m constantly travelling. I’ve learnt to be firm as an employer and I’ve also learnt to appreciate feedback, which includes both positive and negative.
What are your plans for the future?
I would like to launch a YouTube channel in the near future and a cookbook someday soon too.
Written by Karabo Keepile
For over 30 years The British Accreditation Council for Independent Further and Higher Education (BAC) has been responsible for setting standards within the independent further and higher education sector. Its accreditation is held by hundreds of colleges and training providers in the UK and all over the world. Rosebank College, an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) is also accredited by the BAC, which means that IIE Rosebank College is part of a growing respected global network.
About the BAC
BAC was established by the UK's Department of Education and the British Council in 1984 to oversee independent further and higher education in the UK. BAC is a full member of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) and the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE).
BAC is an internationally recognised independent voice. Its accreditation sends a positive and clear message to students and partners that you are studying with a trusted and reliable provider who has met a series of globally recognised quality assurance standards. BAC is a not-for profit social enterprise dedicated to maintaining global educational standards by helping students choose reputable sources of further and higher education that meet globally recognised quality standards.
Organisations in 22 countries now use BAC to demonstrate and prove that their academic services meet the gold standard. As a non-biased, independent body, BAC is able to award accreditation with high levels of integrity and consistency.
What does this mean?
This BAC accreditation means that IIE Rosebank College has chosen to seek external accreditation and receive a review on its processes to demonstrate to you that it is a high quality institution. In order to achieve BAC accreditation, IIE Rosebank College has had to demonstrate that it meets BAC's rigorous standards in six inspection areas:
· Governance, Strategy and Financial Management
· General and Academic Management and Administration
· Teaching, Learning and Assessment
· Student Support, Guidance and Progression
· Premises, Facilities and Learning Resources
· Quality Management, Assurance and Enhancement Higher education experts from the BAC inspectorate assessed the institution against our standards during a formal inspection visit. The Inspection team wrote a report for the independent Accreditation Committee who subsequently awarded accreditation which is valid for four years. The inspection report is available in the Directory and Inspection Reports section on the BAC website www.the‐bac.org.uk.
Do you know your way around campus, and are you familiar with the facilities available to make studying at IIE Rosebank College easier for you? Come with us on a campus tour, as we get to know your campus.
Make use of the library to study, take out books and to catch up with your assignments.
Do you have any IT related queries? Visit your IT office on campus for assistance with password changes, software updates and student card replacements.
Classes that require the use of a PC are held in the computer lab and have full access to Wi-Fi.
If you require a PC to complete an assignment or conduct research, make a booking through the librarian to secure time and a seat in the cyber centre.
Do you have a group assignment to work on, and have no idea where to meet with your group to discuss the work at hand? Or are you part of a study group, and would like to discuss your work out loud? Make you way to a discussion room, where you are allowed to talk.
Do you need a quiet space to study or work on written assignments? Go to a study room and study in silence.
Career Centre Office
One of the benefits of studying with The IIE's Rosebank College, is its strong focus on making graduates ready for the world of work. This means that we go all out to prepare our graduates for the world of work through career coaching sessions offered through our Graduate Empowerment Programme. Furthermore we have awesome career centres, with an amazing track record of giving students a head start. For more information on our career centres and the Graduate Empowerment Programme, visit a career centre on campus. For those campuses where the career centres are still under construction email LoveMyFuture@rosebankcollege.co.za for more information
Grab a snack, or take some time off the busyness of campus life with a trip to the canteen.
Student Wellness Department
If you are feeling overwhelmed, which is highly likely, make contact with your Student Relations Manager (SRM) on your campus or approach your lecturer so that they can refer you to the SRM. At The IIE Rosebank College, we care about your wellness as a student and have the Student Wellness department that offers a range of services that aim to empower students with life skills that are essential for adapting to college. The Student Wellness department is made up of Student Relations Managers who are qualified Social Workers and offer a variety of services such as counselling, social awareness campaigns, life skills workshops and community engagement.
Student advisory service
Come into the student advisory office to speak to a consultant about the qualification you would like to study and learn about the careers available in that field.
Even the brightest students can sometimes find themselves underperforming. If you find yourself in this situation the first step is to get serious about tackling the problem.
It's very likely that you are feeling very disappointed and discouraged if you are not performing according to your expectations. However you can't afford to stay down. Firstly acknowledge that you are not performing and take control of the situation. Instead of thinking "I'm a failure," change your thinking to "I will do better, I won't give up, and I will improve." After all it all starts in the mind.
Identify the problem
Figure out which areas need work and why. Are you underperforming across all subjects or is there a particular area that needs attention. Are there external factors that are influencing your grades negatively, such as a family problem or situation at school, is it combination of factors? Once you know the problem, then you can start tackling the issue.
Speak to your lecturers
Schedule a meeting with your lecturer to discuss how they think you can improve. They can offer some guidance on where you should focus.
Pay attention and ask questions
Make the most of your time in class by asking questions and paying attention. Listen attentively and avoid talking to friends or allowing your mind to wonder. Think about what it is you are writing when taking notes and make sure it makes sense to you. Asking if you don't understand will save you more time than trying to figure it out yourself.
Clutter inhibits our ability to operate effectively, so get organised. Keep your workspace tidy and all your notes and textbooks organised. Plan your time too, and prioritise effectively, making time for problem subjects. Allocate time to the subjects you struggle as this may be why you are underperforming.
Find your learning style
Perhaps you haven't identified the right learning style for you. We are all different and we all have our own way of studying to offer the best results. If you have been studying alone for example perhaps consider joining a study group for motivation will help.
Hire a tutor
If all else fails consider hiring a private tutor to help with that tricky subject. This may be just what you need. Private tutors will also give you that one-on-one attention and offer you the opportunity to ask as many questions as you need.
International Women's Day, celebrated in many countries, is a day when women are recognised for their achievements. From its humble beginnings from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the 20th century, International Women's Day has assumed a new global perspective for women in developed and developing countries alike.
A walk in history
The Charter of the United Nations, which was signed in 1945 was the first international agreement to uphold the principle of gender equality. To this day, the empowerment of women continues to be a central feature of the UN's efforts to address social, economic and political challenges across the globe.
1909: The first National Women's Day was observed in the United States on 28 February. The day was in honour of the 1908 garment workers' strike in New York – where women protested against unethical working conditions.
1910: The Socialist International meeting held in Copenhagen brought together over 100 women from 17 countries, which included the first three women elected to the Finnish Parliament.
1911: As a result of the Copenhagen initiative, International Women's Day was marked for the first time (19 March) in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland where more than 1 million women and men attended rallies. At these rallies women demanded the right to vote, to hold office and for the right of women to work and end discrimination on the job.
1975: During International Women's Year, the United Nations began celebrating International Women's Day on 8 March 2019.
2014: The 58th session of the Commission on the status of Women (CSW58) - an annual gathering of States to address critical issues related to gender equality and women's rights – focused on challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls.
2015: In 2015, countries adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Goal 5 is "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
2019: Today women all over the world commemorate International Women's Day, and use it as a day to bring to the fore the progress and continued hurdles that exist towards gender equality.