The Recognition of Achievement Ceremony for the 28 students on the AIMS-ESMT Industry Immersion Programme 2019 took place on 1 August.
The guest speaker at the event was Mr Clifford Klaas, Executive Director Siemens Africa. Siemens has been a partner of the programme since its launch and has provided several internship opportunities for programme candidates. “Our partnership with AIMS is one of the vehicles that allow us to contribute to the development of jobs and skills in the African continent,” said Mr Klaas.
This year’s AIMS-ESMT Industry Immersion Programme ran at AIMS South Africa from 24 June to 2 August 2019. This is the third year of the programme. The IIP is a partnership between AIMS and the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) Berlin supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation through the German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD. The programme provides business skills training for postgraduate mathematicians to enhance their employability. Candidates are drawn primarily from AIMS students and alumni and come from across the continent. The programme benefits from the participation of companies across the continent that provide internship placements for the candidates. Many of the participating companies have been members of the German Chambers of Commerce in East, West and Southern Africa.
The student speaker was Ms Khotso Matlou, “I have been honoured to develop such a great network, make such great friendships, and to have my thinking and skills challenged,”she stated. To her fellow students she noted, “We came here as mathematicians with very analytical and critical thinking, but we were also drilled with problem solving skills and I would like all of you to embody that in the future.”
Candidates on the programme this year were from 14 countries across Africa and included 17 women. Professors from ESMT Berlin gave lectures on a range of business subjects including Data Analytics in Business for Mathematicians, Organisational Behaviour and Culture, Finance and Accounting, Marketing and Strategy. The candidates also received training delivered by Marga Business Simulations, Stellenbosch Careers Service and AIMS, as well as training for workplace readiness through sessions with business and industry representatives. A start-up/give-back competition was also run in which teams had to come up with a plan for a start-up or a give-back program. The candidates also visited the Stellenbosch Launch Lab on 22 July 2019 to hear about support provided for entrepreneurs.
Mr Nick Barniville, Associate Dean of Degrees, ESMT and the IIP Programme Lead at ESMT who handed out the certificates noted that the faculty in Berlin have been very impressed with this year’s group “particularly for their energy and excitement and the level of preparedness in the classroom.”
Ms Thobeka Msi, Virtual Career Information Coordinator, Stellenbosch Careers Service also addressed the students, “You have been equipped with skills for you to explore careers outside academia, an attempt has been made to nurture your smooth transition from a scientific environment to an applied scientific industry environment. So we expect all of you to contribute to the economic transformation of Africa.”
Following the courses, it is planned that candidates take up graduate placements in companies across the continent.