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My JETStreaming experience: Tshepo Baloyi

“Only after upgrading my matric and getting entrance into university did I begin to understand the concept of education or access to knowledge as a resource for lifting oneself out of the varying forms of poverty.”

The JETstreaming programme served as an excellent opportunity to seek out a diverse career field, build skills, grow my network and potentially become employed. “The way the programme was designed promised development in the critical research skills, which were skills that one would otherwise have to learn further to acquire.” The thought of combining added learning, workplace experience and skills development was appealing.

The programme was designed to produce researchers and I wanted to become one. I was thrilled at being selected as one of the JETStreamers, victorious at the thought of once again accomplishing my goals.

Throughout my JETStreaming experience, I have learned a lot both about work, organisational culture and myself (through personal mastery). I have a different outlook on the work environment and most importantly, I am aware of myself and my filters. This enables me to carefully navigate the work environment mindful of other peoples’ personalities, cultures and behaviours. Being and staying positive is key to making the most out of any situation. I’ve learnt that work ethic is not only defined by passion, but instead by consistency. The best thing about my experience has been the nature of the work and the diverse colleagues that I’ve gotten to know.

One of the best things of my experience has been the nature of the work that I got to do. I was part of the Seriti Institute (NPC) as my first placement and now I am currently placed with the JET Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) department. At Seriti I was involved in various activities which included, new business development, the Seriti Solutions Exchange (SSE) where I was profiling the beneficiaries of the programme, and the ECD baseline questionnaire development for the Standard Bank project. At JET I am involved in the updating of the landscape report, and writing-up a research piece on the infrastructural challenges faced by the Township ECD centres. I’ve also had the exposure of gathering qualitative data coding for the Nal’ibali project, and contribute to writing reports for the Jobs Fund’s support for work seekers (SFW) partners.

So far, my experience as a JETStreamer has allowed me to grow personally, it has also helped me gain new skill and to successfully engage and collaborate with other people. I’ve learnt to pace myself in terms of my workload and timelines.

Through the stream, I have definitely also learned that work is not only about having the necessary skills, but it is also about having the right personality to fit the culture of the organisation and the ability to effectively interact with other people. I would advise future JETStreamers to take the opportunity, be more proactive in their approach, and communicate their desires and experiences in order to strengthen their view of professionalism in a professional world.

The highlight of my experience has been the support of the other JETstreamers and our ability to learn, work and grow as a team. When the programme has ended, my ultimate goal will be to secure a permanent job.

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