Mejo ha e rutanwe, ho rutanwa ditlhar [Every (wo)man is the architect of their own fortune]
She decided to build her future by enrolling in a three-year IT course at Sedibeng College in Vereeniging, assisted by funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
After completing the course, Maria came across a Dynamic DNA application on Facebook and emailed the company with her CV. About a month later they contacted her to come for an interview. A few weeks after the interview, they called her back saying that she had been accepted. “I was the only
student from my hometown in Free State to be called for an interview by Dynamic DNA, and then called back again to join their Learnership Programme. The selection process at Dynamic DNA was, and still is, motivated by their passion for empowering young black people in South Africa with the purpose of eliminating unemployment. It started with my application, then the IKM psychometric testing, and finally the interview process.”
Maria has experienced the past two years at Dynamic DNA as a ‘second home’, especially since she was a stranger in Johannesburg when she arrived by taxi from Vredefort. She found a space at Dynamic DNA where she was able to grow and learn. “The climate here is nuturing of both self and professional growth”, says Maria. “I now have skills that I never had before, so it has been a great experience.” Her learnshership has included Systems Development, Programming, Web Applications and Database Access; as well as Mathematics, English and Project Management. Her learnership ended in September and she will have completed both NQF Level 4 and 5. With these skills Maria has been able to secure a position. “I have already been placed in a new company, a small company, it is growing and I feel I can grow with it. I move in a few weeks time.”
Maria explains the placement process: “At the beginning of our training, companies that are in partnership with Dynamic DNA sponsor our learning period for the duration of the programme. This ensures that each company can absorb learners that are aligned with their vision and culture. The learners are either absorbed by their host company, or interviewed by other partners. If successful, they are placed with them in order to receive hand-on experience. In my case, I was very lucky to be absorbed by my host company immediately after the programme. So I believe that the learners and the companies hosting them in the programme both win at the end”.
The challenges that she faced during her learnership were not only emotional but financial: “I was not able to afford much, but I had to juggle through to make sure that I finished, because without this qualification I had nothing.” She anticipates her future challenges to be related to understanding the culture of different companies, different environments and different organisations, but she is confident: “I feel I now have the skills and I don’t mind studying further. I am steeling myself and want to grow and develop.”
Maria feels that Dynamic DNA definitely lives up to the Dynamic Technology group’s culture of diversity and inclusion, which she has experienced in her interactions with a diverse range of people; while being included and empowered as an individual: “They empower us to continuously empower ourselves, to work hard, to have clear goals, to understand where we want to go”. “I believe that I will experience this same culture in my new company. I have been in and spoken to some of the staff there. It is a comfortable place to be in, just like Dynamic DNA.”