Age 24

Where are you based at the moment (who do you work for)?

Based in Sandton, I work for ABInBev (SAB)


In what year did you complete your honours degree?



What path did you follow before ending up with your current company?

After completing my studies I could not find any work in the construction sector, so I started looking for work in other markets. During my honours year I came across a job advert on Linkedin (Thanks Prof Smallwood for stressing the importance of Linkedin!) that was for a Global Management Program with ABInBev. After about a 6 month application process and 7 rounds of interviews and testing I was fortunate enough to be selected as one of nine Graduates from South Africa. There were over 60 000 applicants that year, so I was very lucky to get in! The GMT Program is an intense 10 month program that cycles through the business giving you exposure to every side of the business. I worked on some amazing projects throughout the program across various functions which included Sales, Marketing, Supply, Logistics and Solutions. After the program you move into an area of your preference. Although I was very tempted to move into the marketing and commercial space because there’s some really cool things going on there, I decided to rather follow my background and managed to get in with the CAPEX and engineering teams.


What is your current position and what does the role entail

I’m a project Engineer, my responsibilities include:

• Deliver the Regional Capital Investment program to ensure maximized Business benefit by completion of projects in budget, on time and to the correct quality

• Lead Engineering projects

• Prioritize projects

• Design & Implementation analysis conducted (HAZOPS, EIA HACCP, Risk etc.)

• Projects coordinated & aligned to production plan

• Tender and contract solicitation and award processes managed

• Manage Regional governance of Capital Expenditure including Capital Expenditure by Departmental Managers

• Manage projects according to Project Management Standards

• Administer Regional SMDP and 5 year planning processes by facilitating regional Departmental Strategic review of Capital spend requirements to maintain Quality, cost competitiveness and efficiency as well as optimizing Capability as directed by Centre's of Excellence

• Ensure Technical Integrity of Capital Proposals or Requests Drawing & General Engineering Standards

• Spend in terms of value (Capital Optimisation), Commercial terms leveraged and optimized cash flows

• Perform Project Management Administrative Functions to comply with the Manufacturing Project Management processes

• Maintain Safe, Healthy And Risk Free Working Environment , this includes ensuring that contractors comply with all legal requirements, procedures Manage Financial Performance, in specific, the efficiency of Capital and internal QESH Standards

• Ensure all projects at a Region comply with legislation pertaining to Sustainable Development and Environmental legislation

• Manage Human Resources, this includes direct reports, seconded resources to the project, contractors

• Ensure the Capital Expenditure delivers solutions that are holistic and applicable in the Manufacturing Environment and are fully integrated into existing operations


What advice would you give a current construction management student?

Throughout my varsity career I focused on my academic performance and it paid off, I was awarded both the deans and councillor awards for the best marks in the faculty, but at the end of the day when I started looking for work in my honours year I very quickly learnt that companies did not care how you performed at varsity. I applied for hundreds of jobs across South Africa and abroad and 99 % of them did not even get back to me. The outside world does not care about your marks, they care about your experience and who you are as a person. For big companies the degree is merely a tick box exercise just to make sure that you have it. Rather focus on getting experience, build networks and most importantly focus on developing yourself. Build your character, focus on your personality and be the best person you can be. At the end of the day companies are looking for bold and driven individuals who can lead teams and take their company to new heights. Yes academics are important, you still need to pass, but marks aren’t everything!


What was your favourite module?

My Treatise! Loved every moment of it.


Who was your favourite lecturer?

Prof Brink Botha and Prof John Smallwood are my biggest mentors, even to this day I still get career advice and guidance from them. The CM Department however is probably the best in the whole university. We have some awesome lecturers and leaders in the department and every one of them played a critical role in my development throughout my varsity career


What are your plans for the next 5 to 10 years?

I want to continuously develop myself and my skillset. In the short term I want to get as much experience as possible in the project space within ABInBev and possibly move to a project management role for Africa Zone. My Long term plans are to complete my Msc and PhD. I’m also currently looking at the possibility of immigrating, but we’ll see.