Voices Of Youth Inspire: "What I studied taught me a lot about what kind of life I want to live"
Name: Milisuthando Bongela
Age: I’ll be 28 on 30 April 2013
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
According to your business card – what’s your job title?
That’s a good question, I designed my business card to include all the various things I do! But over time, have realized it’s best to keep it short and sweet – A blogger, entrepreneur and trend consultant.
And how does that compare with what you wanted to do when you were 10 years old?
When I was 10 I think I wanted to be a politician or a lawyer because I was so argumentative but had good intentions. So it’s very different. It was when I was about 14 that I want to work in a creative industry.
Give us 10 words that describe your typical work day?
Unpredictable, unplanned, balanced, social, courageous, fun, slow, fast, detailed, administrative
What did you study?
I studied Journalism and Media Studies, History, Sociology, Art History and Philosophy.
How important was your choices of degree/field of study at university for what you’re doing now?
[ ] Really important – couldn’t do the job without it!
[ X ] Not directly relevant but taught me a lot of skills which I use now
[ ] In this career, other factors are more important than a degree
What I studied taught me a lot about what kind of life I want to live rather than how to live my life. I use the principles I learnt in all my subjects everyday. My work is not separate from my personal life, they are intertwined, they inform each other which is how I can continue doing it – for me that is work life balance.
What are the top three things someone needs to excel in your field?
A curated perspective, the ability to really enjoy beautiful things and it helps to be protean.
What do you think is the MOST important thing governments and/or companies can do to help young people get started in their careers?
Providing them with an opportunity to get work experience, so apprenticeships. I don’t know how, but there needs to be a bridge built between commerce students and BA students – BA’s have ideas and commerce people have skill and I think we would benefit from introducing these two faculties to working together at an early age, in the interest of entrepreneurship. Everybody wants to do their own thing these days.
[ ] Subsidize the cost of tertiary education more
[ X ] Governments should create incentives for companies to hire young people
[ X ] Companies should create more formal internship programmes for university students at all levels – with stipends.
[ X ] There should be a stronger focus on developing entrepreneurship at school level
On a lighter note, tell us about the strangest day you’ve ever had at work or the strangest thing you had to do?
The strangest thing I had to do was to try and make a cheese sauce with no cheese while making burgers for one of our events, with a CNN camera watching my every trip and fall in failing to make the cheese sauce.
Strangest day: Reading in a magazine that I’m an ‘’it girl’’ who basically does nothing all day but attend parties and focus on my good looks.