The brain child of the Women’s Property Network’s Education Trust, the Meet the Expert initiative was launched at Wits in February and at UCT on 2 March respectively.
The purpose behind the initiative, aimed at students studying towards a property related degree at UCT and Wits, is to enlighten students, and increase awareness among them, to career opportunities within the South African commercial and industrial property industry.
The framework of the project currently allows for six to eight one-hour slots during the year, at each of the institutions, where an expert from the property industry is invited to address the students. The guest speakers have not only been asked to discuss their particular view of the industry, but more importantly to focus on how they have been successful in the industry, how they have climbed the “ladder”, their experience of the industry and what advice they would give to new entrants to the property industry. Following the presentation, the students are provided with an opportunity to network with the presenter and to engage on an individual basis, as well as to interact with the regional WPN members and to obtain a wider perspective of the industry and to hear “real life stories”.
At the launch at Wits in February, Ipeleng Mkhari, COO of Motseng Investment Holdings, and past chair of the WPN, presented her experience to the students whilst at UCT, Amelia Beattie, COO of Old Mutual Investment Group Property Investments and current WPN Chair, shared her insight with the students. Clearly evident from both presentations was the “thirst” for knowledge about the industry on a more practical level and what the students need to do in order to equip themselves to communicate more effectively within the business environment, ultimately leading to a measure of success within their chosen career. Some of the comments from the presentations include:
“I really enjoyed the first WPN campus session of the year, I'm looking forward to the next one!”
“Thank you for inviting me to the event - it has definitely left me with some positive thoughts about being a Woman in the Property Industry.”
The line up of presenters over the next six to seven months promises to be equally powerful and inspirational with the likes of Marna van der Walt, CEO JHI, Lynette Finlay, CEO of Finlay and Associates, Romy Titus, anchor presenter for SABC, Leigh Metcalf of Rabie Properties, as well as a series of presentations titled “Success to Significance” focussed on motivation, presented by a well known communication coach for business executives and celebrity/image manager.