Creating future leaders in tech

May 12, 2023

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Creating future leaders in tech

At Ozow we believe in the importance of fostering the next generation of tech leaders. One way we’re doing this is through our innovative grad programme. This year we have 12 bright students taking on the challenge – this is their story.

To get to know some of our grads better, we got them to open up about what inspired them to join the programme in the first place. “I was in my final year of university, and I came across Ozow on LinkedIn,” says Juan Goodman. “I took some time to research the company values and possible available opportunities, and I was intrigued.”

Juan also took the major risk of moving down to Cape Town to pursue the opportunity, “I do believe that everything happens for a reason – applying for the graduate programme is and will be the best decision I have made in my life as an adult.”

This feeling and hunger for opportunity is shared by all the other graduates, who saw the value in the programme and how it could benefit them. But there’s another strong draw the camaraderie the graduates share with one another, their mentors, and the other employees around them is also a major attraction.

Workshop for Ozow graduate students
Workshop for Ozow graduate students

“I get to do work that I love wholeheartedly while learning from the people around me. Doing work that is related to what you've studied is one of the best feelings, and makes me enjoy coming to work,” says Siphelo Mgquba.

Our grad programme has been developed with the entire product cycle in mind. This gives our students a broad perspective, which exposes them to different working environments settings. In doing so, our graduates get to explore a world outside of just the basic tech processes; it gives them the opportunity to develop and explore other passions outside of coding.

“We get to experience the whole process of software development from start to finish. And there’s still more rotations to go. It gives us an overview of how things work in a modern day fintech company,” says Sizwe Mpungose.

A day in the life

Not all our graduates occupy the same learning rotation at once. We’ve designed a rotational experience for our students that sees a group in each department for a set amount of time. While their individual days are different, there are through-lines across the rotations.

“On most days, I start with a stand-up meeting with my mentors and colleagues. We share our progress in the tasks assigned to us and get help for any roadblocks before we get to work,” mentions Masechaba Khoza.

Our graduates also get to enjoy some of the same perks full-time employees do such as breakfast, lunch, and a late afternoon snack to keep energy levels running high.

While this common aspect of the workday might be the same throughout the programme, at a granular level, our graduates experience one-on-one mentoring sessions to assist them in progressing with their day-to-day tasks.

Ozow mentoring session
Ozow mentoring session

“This is an unmissable opportunity. If you happen to struggle with anything, you have kind, talented colleagues around you to lean on,” says Mthunzi Ngcobo.

A welcoming environment

Ozow strives to offer prospective minds an open and welcoming environment that allows them to thrive. Masechaba mentions that “Ozow has a truly impactful footprint. I have met extremely talented people here, and I think the way that we are supported in the programme enhances the knowledge and skillsets we walk in with.”

Ozow graduate presentation
Ozow graduate presentation

This sentiment was echoed by Juan, who mentions that the programme “allows us to learn more, gaining essential hands-on experience.” He goes on to point out that “the mentors do their utmost to aid and assist us throughout rotations. We’re allowed to explore various departments such as Engineering, QA, Product, Support, Data, and DevOps to give us a better understanding of where our skills and capabilities lie. That’s the best part: There’s a broad spectrum on offer from the programme.”

While our graduates are still busy completing their program, we’ll be sure to keep you updated about their progress along their journey.

Staff Writer

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