It is not an everyday occurrence where graduates return and share their testimonies on how a particular programme contributed towards growth in their careers. This was the case during the School of Consulting Engineers (SCE) Information Session hosted at the beginning of February.
The SCE was founded by Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) and aims to provide the opportunity for Consulting Engineers, their staff, their clients and other interested parties in the Built Environment to enhance their business, professional and entrepreneurial skills.
The graduates lauded the SCE’s Business of Consulting Engineering (BCE) Development Programme for its impact on their careers. The programme focuses on developing non-technical skills, from project inception to project completion, essential for a career in consulting engineering, but not part of normal tertiary engineering education.
Senior Engineer at AECOM, Xolani Mandindi attended the programme in 2018 and was one of two people sent by his company making the decision that it would be beneficial not only to staff but to the organization as well. “The following year the company sent four engineers, and this to me showed the confidence they have in the programme, and there is no doubt why they felt that way after I had gone through it,” he stated. One of the benefits he derived from the BCE came in the form of his ECSA registration having submitted his application earlier in the year. “When it was time for my interview, I found that the questions were quite easy because of some of the topics we had covered in the programme,” stated Madindi.
Eliane Balegamire, Civil Engineer at Hatch Africa completed the programme in 2019 and felt it helped her in many aspects of her career. “When I was given the opportunity to be a project manager, I needed to understand the financial side, which was quite difficult, however, with the help of the programme I understood my assignment,” she stated. Another benefit for Balegamire was report writing which greatly improved after attending the programme. “I underwent my professional registration in 2019, and through the communications skills I acquired from the programme, I managed to go successfully submit a well-structured report.”
Rowland Burke, Design Director at Zutari is a class of 2013 graduate and felt the programme was a highlight in his personal development journey. “It has taught me what it means to be a consulting engineer because what we learn on a daily basis are technical skills, however, what is missing for ECSA registration are the other skills that people have to know about,” stated Burke.
Over 50 subjects are covered in the programme, with modules focusing on Project Delivery, Consulting Engineering Environment, Business and Project Finance, Legal and Contracture Law, as well as other inter-personal development subjects. This programme enables students to learn from the best, courtesy of 15 subject matter experts, who are highly experienced, local industry practitioners.