The University of Cape Town (UCT) has won the Best Careers Service award for the 13th consecutive year. The award was announced at the South African Graduate Employers Association (SAGEA) Development Conference in Gauteng on Thursday, 17 November.

SAGEA was established in 2004 as a not-for-profit professional association. The 180 members represent organisations from corporate employers to higher education institutions. Careers services and employers that run graduate recruitment programmes meet annually to network, understand trends in the workplace, and learn from national and international leaders in the fields of career and employability development.

Careers Service interim director, Naziema Jappie, had these words to share with the team, “This is very exciting news indeed and well deserved. This is surely an [acknowledgement of] collaborative efforts, and I am sure you will continue the good work in Careers Service and keep shining as a department.”

SAGEA award
From left to right: Hishamodien Hoosain, graduate recruitment manager; Khairunnisa Mohamedali, the director and chief innovation officer at The Smarty Train; Nawaal Boolay, the head of Graduate Recruitment. Photo Supplied.


Henry Ford, said Jappie, described teamwork as follows: “Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress and working together is success.” This award is definitely an accolade to the bedrock of teamwork.

Working together towards a common goal has been vital over the past 13 years for the Careers Service’s development of its offerings and reputation to key stakeholders, including students, academics and employers,” said Nawaal Boolay, the head of Graduate Recruitment. “The team collaborates across faculties with a clear engagement plan to work with colleagues from all over the university, to ensure they are positioned as a critical university service for the employability of UCT students locally, nationally and internationally. They continue to strive and push boundaries as proven by them having hosted the largest Epic Job Expo in the country. This is a true testament to Careers Service ensuring UCT students are connected to the world of work.”

“Working together towards a common goal has been vital over the past 13 years for the Careers Service’s development of its offerings … ”

Being responsive

When asked about how UCT Careers Service wins every year, the answer came easily to the graduate recruitment team. Things like being responsive to emails, answering calls, and reaching out to employers just to stay connected are pivotal to winning.

Hard work and passion add to the ingredients for success, but building meaningful, responsive long-term relationships underpinned by supportive interpersonal skills is the foundation upon which the UCT Careers Service builds their victory.

This was demonstrated when a senior early-career talent specialist approached one of the Graduate Recruitment team members to build an employer partnership with UCT. He recalled the help he received from the same team member when he was a student many years ago: the way Careers Service engages with individuals has a lasting impact.