30 MARCH 2012
Sandile Mkhize is no ordinary student
Sandile Mkhize is no ordinary student. His philosophy, that the sky is the limit and that he can achieve any goal he puts his mind to, has paid off judging by the string of qualifications behind his name and his recent Milpark Business School award for the best MBA dissertation of 2011
Born in the small south coast township of KwaMakhutha, Sandile became involved in the struggle for liberation at the tender age of 13. In his own words, he quickly “realised the value of education in order to contribute meaningfully to society”. “It is a miracle that I managed to complete my BSc degree in Chemistry and Microbiology in 1996, with the violent disruptions that were taking place in KZN in the early 90’s and my political activism,” comments Sandile.
After a disappointing job hunting spell, and motivated by his mother who graduated with her first degree in 1990, he decided to study further and to work even harder at completing his studies. He registered for a Bachelor of Technology in Biotechnology in 1997 which he completed in the same year. The following year, he registered for a Master of Technology in Environmental Biotechnology and on completion of that qualification joined the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. A year later he was promoted to the Gauteng Provincial Department of Environmental Affairs and in 2002 he joined the Development Bank of Southern Africa as an Environmental Analyst.
During his time at the Development Bank of Southern Africa his colleagues studying towards their MBAs encouraged him to join them but he remembers being “afraid of leaving my technical comfort zone to step out into the management environment”. “I decided to introduce myself slowly into the business world of study by registering and completing the MAP (Management Advanced Programme) at WITS. After this I felt I was ready for an MBA which I then registered for at Milpark Business School in 2006,” he explains.
When Sandile did not achieve distinctions in his favourite subjects he did not despair but set his sights on performing better with his dissertation. He carefully selected a topic that was both unique and challenging; one not generally addressed by many MBA dissertations. “Working with my dissertation supervisor, Andre Vermeulen, was empowering and motivating. He allowed me the space to think and he regularly challenged my reasoning.”
The lack of readily available information locally forced him to read widely and at times he admits it was difficult not to get carried away and read more than was needed for the topic. Even so, he found time for road running and is preparing to run his second Two Oceans Marathon in April and his first Comrades in June this year.
Looking back on his MBA journey he concludes: “An MBA is worth all the sacrifices that you have to make and upon completion you will feel that you are a changed and better person. Compared to all the qualifications that I have completed, the MBA is by far the best qualification to equip you for the future.”
Milpark Business School celebrates Sandile’s achievements and looks forward to being part of his future endeavours.
Source: Milpark Business School has provided postgraduate business education to students from South Africa and Africa since 1997. Our programmes have been developed and peer reviewed by specialised faculty, leading academics, practitioners and industry experts to ensure that graduates are able to ‘think globally and act locally’ in their organisations. Visit our web-site at: http://www.milpark.ac.za.