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Unisa Career Fair bodes well for future expansion

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Unisa staff, students and companies that took part in the 2014 annual Unisa Career Fair all had mostly good things to say about this year’s edition of the Career Fair. For a period of nearly two months students from five Unisa regions interacted with employers and recruiters on selected days in order to learn more about opportunities in the world of work.

Among the many employers that exhibited at the 2014 Career Fair were KPMG, Old Mutual, SANDF, Auditor-General, FNB and several government departments. Competition Commission Recruitment Specialist Londiwe Zwane (pictured) vowed to return to the Career Fair next year. She also urged LLB and Honours in Economics students to visit the Commission’s website/career portal regularly.

Career Development Specialist in the Directorate: Counselling and Career Development (DCCD) Mandu Makhanya spoke glowingly of progress she says she noted this year.  She told at the final leg of the Career Fair in Polokwane that, “…the response is good although I feel that there is room for improvement…for more students to participate.”

Makhanya responded to concerns raised by students about the absence of some of their favourite companies by saying that the DCCD invites as many companies as possible to exhibit at the Career Fair subject to each company’s recruitment policy and sentiment towards Career Fairs. She added that Mpumalanga will be included to the list of Unisa regions they will visit in 2015 increasing the total number to six and that Unisa will possibly have a stall during the 2015 Career Fair as well.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 September 2014 08:55

Turning your internship into a job

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One of the post-study challenges is finding a job. Having the paperwork is after all no guarantee that you'll get work thrown at you. An internship could be the answer. Here are some tips to turn an internship into a job.

Prove yourself

As an intern you need to be prepared to work hard, very hard, to make your superiors believe in you, so they will be prepared to hire you. Be an asset to the company, not a burden. Arrive on time, don't be the first person to leave, and take the initiative. Stand out.

Ditch distractions

Want to be hired full time after your internship? Then show your manager that you want to work. This means that social media, texting, games like candy crush and other distractions should be kept to banned to when you are back home or lunch breaks. If you want to be taken seriously, than take your internship seriously.

Bottoms up

The world doesn't owe anything you for having a degree so be prepared to start at the bottom, and work your way up. Do the boring tasks and do them well, offer help and assistance to your colleagues, and be humble.

Ask questions

Not sure about something? Then ask questions (and for help) instead of doing something you are not sure about, with the risk of messing up and wasting your manager's time. You are an intern. You are suppose to ask questions.


You won't be able to improve if you don't know how you are doing. Ask your boss how you’re doing, what you could do better, and whether you are meeting the goals of your organisation. This input will help you grow while showing your managers that you are taking your internship – and the company – seriously. It will make you stand out.

- Follow the author on @miriammannak

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 August 2014 09:22

Students slow to take advantage of Unisa laptop initiative

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Students at Unisa are yet to make the most of Unisa's student laptop initiative according to Association of South African Directors of Information Technology (ASAUDIT) General Manager, Val Theron. ASAUDIT and PURCO negotiate the favourable laptop deals with various technology vendors on behalf of South African higher education institutions, including Unisa. While she is optimistic about future sales, Theron admits to a poor uptake over the past three years since the tender was granted.

"The students have been quite slow to respond. I think that the problem was mainly that we had difficulty in marketing this (the initiative) to students."

The student laptop initiative aims to ease the process of acquiring a new computer for staff and students at public universities by negotiating better service, price and warranty terms. The initiative names its capacity to act as an intermediary in the event of poor service as a unique selling point on its website.

Theron also told that an attempt at reaching more students was made 18 months ago when tablets were added to the tender. The results of that action are yet to be seen and negotiations with mobile phone companies are already underway to add data to the deals in the hope that that will lead to greater uptake. The three year tender is also soon to be renewed and Theron assures that newer devices will be on offer almost immediately.

Last Updated on Monday, 28 July 2014 13:32

Studying tips: How to excel during exams

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Studying for exams is never fun, but you can make the process easier for yourself whilst scoring the grades you are after. We have selected six studying tips that could come in handy.

1. Strategise

Work strategically, set yourself clear goals, and work towards these. Organize your studying schedule, stick to it by minimizing procrastination, and manage your time by using the following time management tips.

2. Study here and there

Scientists claim that one's memory is to a large extent coloured by circumstances like studying location. They say that changing your study location, for instance from the library to a coffee shop or home, increases the likelihood of remembering what you've learned.

3. Switch in between subjects

Immersion into one subject for hours on end, followed by immersing yourself into the next subject for long stretches of time, is not an effective study method. Researchers advise you to switch between subjects to keep the brain wide awake whilst keeping boredom at bay.

4. Take breaks

When you get tired, rest your brain. There is no point of studying when your brain is tired and stressed. Take regular breaks from your books by having a nap or going for a walk. A tired mind is after all a slow mind.

5. Practice makes master

Prepare by practising on old exams, if these are available. This will help you to get used to the format of the questions and the time frame.

6. Exam breakfast

You will perform much better during your exams when you have fuelled your body (and brain), so don't skip breakfast. Opt for brain food and drink lots of water. Being well-hydrated is essential for your brain to work


- Follow the author @miriammannak



Exam time: Brain food for students

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You are what you eat, and this is particularly valid when it;s exam time. Whilst your scores largely depend on how well you have studied, the correct nutrition can certainly help your brain's performance.

1) Fatty fish

Your brain is mainly made up of fatty membranes. Eating the rights fats such as omega-3 fatty acids is crucial. Think salmon, tuna, sardines and other fatty fish, either tinned or fresh

2) Nuts

Vegetarians in need of omega-3's can pig out on nuts and seeds. Walnuts are the best. Apart from omega-3's, they contain protein and vitamin B6. On a budget? Sunflower seeds in addition contain thiamine for memory and tryptophan which your brain converts to serotonin (a feel good hormone which helps prevent depression and insomnia).

2) Protein

Your body needs protein to function optimally. Great sources include meat, poultry and fish as well as almonds, walnuts, tofu, cheese, beans, seeds and eggs. Women need ±46 grams of protein and men 56 grams. That equals to a 200-250 gram chicken breast.

3) Fruit

Fruit high in vitamin C, fibre, and water will help your memory whilst keeping your immune system in check. Think oranges, naartjies, blueberries and pawpaw.

4) Green leafy veggies

Green leafy veggies such as spinach are cheap, easy to add to sandwiches, salads and other meals and are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium and vitamin B6. These are all essential to keep your brain healthy and happy.

5) Green tea

Green tea gives you a caffeine and energy kick whilst providing you with all sorts of anti-oxidants that are good for your body. It is a good alternative for coffee, and often cheaper too.

6) Eggs

Eggs, apart from being a good source of protein, contain cholin. Your brain needs this to maintain its motor function.


College of Law adopting a cautious approach to LLB reform

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Prof R Songca, Executive Dean (centre, pink shirt) with some of the students that attended the Polokwane leg of the 2014 Student Indaba

Management and staff at Unisa’s College of Law are keeping a wary eye on proposed changes to the South African LLB. College of Law Executive Dean, Professor R Songca revealed this on April 30th during the latest Student Indaba organised in Polokwane.

Extensive and divided debates on the effectiveness of the LLB degree are currently taking place at institutions of higher learning across South Africa. Professor Songca told students attending the Indaba that although the college is waiting on the outcome of discussions at the Council for Higher Education “we cannot just wake up one morning and say we are doing away with LLB for undergraduates.” She went on to say that while the conversation on the future of the LLB is not easy “it has serious implications for our people, youth and for our nation.”

Surrounded by the nodding heads of colleagues accompanying her, Professor Songca added that the College had consulted members of the profession and would soon improve on its practical legal training course as well as the moot court and street law projects.

It was also announced that EUP1501 will be replaced with a new module named ‘Social dimensions of justice” from 2015 onwards. The new module will be rolled out to all law qualifications and offered fully online through myUnisa.

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