An army of entrepreneurs: Valuable intern programme on offer from FirstRand

2013-06-16 14:00

Yandiswa Xego draws many stares on the streets of Mumbai.

So popular is the 23-year-old with Mumbaikars, as the city’s residents are known, that they often stop her and ask her to pose for pictures with them.

Xego, from Luzuko in the Western Cape, is one of 10 young South Africans chosen by FirstRand to take part in the inaugural KhulaSangam programme – a six-month practical internship based at L&T Infotech in Mumbai.

The programme is a partnership between FirstRand, the University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (Gibs), and Mumbai-based IT multinational L&T Infotech.

It aims to equip young unemployed information technology, engineering, science, manufacturing, commerce and maths graduates with practical skills.

Xego, who stumbled across the opportunity while completing her degree in computer science at the University of the Western Cape last year, said: “I thought I’m finishing my degree and there is no guarantee I will get a job, so why not take a chance and apply?”

FirstRand initially shortlisted 30 candidates, whom it invited for a weeklong course at Gibs called The Finishing Touch.

There they learnt everything from business etiquette, financial management and goal setting to what to wear in a corporate environment and how to behave at an interview.

They also brushed up on their international general knowledge and were warned about the perils of social media and how to protect their personal brand.

At the end of the week, 10 candidates were chosen. Xego realised that failing to make the cut was not an option.

“Everyone in the IT sector knows that if you want to make things happen in your IT career, at some point you have to go to India – it is the IT hub of the world. There is no better way to learn than to learn from the best.”

Eventually she wants to become a business analyst. “I also want to work with the youth and help them open their own businesses.

“This programme is not just about IT. It makes you an all-rounder and a community-driven person”.

» If you want to apply, send an email to Your name will be added to a database and you will then be sent further information

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