Consulting Engineers South Africa’s School of Consulting Engineering hosted a prestigious gala graduation dinner for the 2019, 2020, and 2021 Business of Consulting Engineering (BCE) Management Development Programme graduates.
Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 lockdown, gatherings like this could not take place. However, as soon as restrictions were lifted, CESA organised the gala evening to officially celebrate the hard work and dedication each student had sacrificed on the 1-year programme. The event was hosted at the end of June at the Accolades Boutique Venue in Midrand.
The flagship BCE programme is designed for engineers and other professionals in the built environment who want to pursue the Consulting Engineering profession. It is also for employers of consulting engineers who wish to upskill their employees by developing their non-technical skills, including project delivery, the consulting engineering environment, business and project finance, legal and contractual matters, and interpersonal skills.
Speaking to a room packed with proud and excited BCE graduates, Chris Campbell, CEO of CESA, said, “This is the first ceremony we have been able to attend since 2019; therefore, it’s an honour to rub shoulders and network with the future leaders of our profession”.
Professional engineers should strive to interact with one another and serve the society around them; this professionalism is what’s required in the engineering profession.
“The aim is to develop future consulting engineers into industry leaders. The programme includes mentorship for students to help them develop into well-rounded professionals,” added Brenda Lacey-Smith, manager: education and training at CESA.
Olu Soluade, CESA president, addressed the audience with wise and inspiring words: “as CESA, it is our objective to continue to feed the stock by promoting an enabling environment for our young engineers to thrive. Therefore, take on the responsibility and thrive. For the graduates, your firms sacrificed and saw potential in you and proceeded to invest in you. Do not disappoint the trust vested in you”. He went on to boldly challenge the graduates: “To whom much is given, much is expected. So, what will you do to make a difference? It is not only about making money and satisfying only yourself but also about service. Be a servant-leader and make yourself available and accessible to your community. Stand out and be different. The old narratives cannot take us forward. A new mindset is needed. Can we count on you? Congratulations and Godspeed.”
The evening was a resounding success and an unforgettable experience for the graduates, who could not physically celebrate their achievements with their peers for the past few years. The BCE Management Development Programme promises to teach the skills lacking in the formal engineering curriculums. These non-technical skills are essential in the consulting engineering industry and required for a rewarding engineering career and thereby turning good engineers into excellent engineers.