Sound mentorship is key
Sound mentorship is key
By Shareen van Wyk, Eveline Indongo, Mariana Shaakumeni, Wilhemine Mutorwa, Sadam Absalom, Angeline Uunona.
01 December 2016 – Within a period of five months, the Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa-Namibia (PRISA Namibia) granted us an opportunity to receive mentorship as Public Relation students from the University of Namibia.
PRISA chairperson-elect, Ilke Platt-Akwenye, took us on as PRISA interns and guided us through the journey. With many events down the line, we can say today that it was indeed beneficial to us and we hope this opportunity will be available to many more students out there.
This internship experience gave us the chance to explore a variety of roles, allowing us to develop valuable skills that employers look for such as press release writing, events planning, coordination, photography, and many other skills. It boosted our interpersonal skills to deal with various stakeholders.
Our mentorship started with a networking session presented by Mrs Natasha Beyleveld. This exposed us to data analyzing techniques, how to set objectives for campaigns and events, how to monitor internal and external communication in an organization and the writing of media release. It was an eye opener and a great learning experience from someone who is an expert in media and communication.
For an organization to be successful in the services they offer, training needs to start internally and this is what Sanlam did with the launch of Wealth of Wisdom. We learned that when it comes to selling yourself, you have to be very creative in sending out your message. Sanlam sells its message through folk tales, illustrating that life can be unpredictable and the importance of always being prepared. This was a good way of outlining what they offer by telling a story, people are good in remembering things they can relate to, in this case through African proverbs. Through this event we learnt how creativity is important to an organization as well as the importance of building an internal relationship with the employees.
We had an opportunity to be part of the Sanlam team at the Windhoek show in September this year. This was a great experience to work as a team and interact with the clients as well as promote the brand. It was exciting and fun at the same time and required a lot of dedication and hard work. We learned that one has to take every opportunity to forge links. Also, it is important to remember as an employee you are the brand ambassadors of your organizations.
Having the opportunity of exposure and learning from experts in the media and communication industry was amazing. They say nothing comes easy, but at the end of the day everything was worth it. We worked as a team at most events and it was wonderful, there will always be one or two members who take the leadership role.
We grew a lot with these challenges and we definitely learnt a lot. These lessons and teachings will forever be part of us and we are sure never to forget this amazing journey. We truly appreciate and value everything we have learned. It will forever remain a major contributor to our success and achievements. We really look forward to the day we can do the same for someone else.