Phillip Mlotshwa – Graduate Analyst, Saratoga

An interview with Phillip Mlotshwa, Information Systems graduate from the University of Witwatersrand, and now Analyst at Saratoga.

“The Saratoga graduate programme has helped me build existing skills and provided me with new career insights, which have ultimately enabled me to become a professional consultant.”

My first experience with Saratoga began with the internship. I was immediately drawn by the fact that I was assigned work that would have a real world impact, as opposed to other internships where you’re given work that isn’t a priority.

I think the biggest, most noticeable change in the transition from the educational environment to the workplace at Saratoga was the level of responsibility (and freedom) I was given. At first it was overwhelming (and exciting) but as I grew into my position and started learning from those with more experience and knowledge, it became a lot easier to manage.

I have been able to convert my skills and knowledge into action in solving real problems for clients. It has been a great validation of my academic efforts; I frequently use them to tackle issues and come up with solutions that benefit the client’s needs. At the same time, it is also humbling to find out that what you learn does not always apply perfectly and eventually you can use those skills in a more pragmatic manner.

So far the most important lesson I’ve learned is the necessity for effective communication, whether you’re working with a client or communicating with your peers. It’s important to try and convey your ideas clearly so that people not only understand what you mean but also don’t make unnecessary assumptions.

Saratoga has a mentorship programme that assist graduates in assimilating into the workplace and succeeding at what we do. And the mentorship almost feels like therapy! It was a nice platform that allowed me to speak to someone senior about my current challenges and goals. They also provided me with career and life advice which is always useful regardless of where you end up.

Another factor that sets the company apart is the type of interaction that Saratogans have with each other. Most companies attempt to create an organisational culture which seems simultaneously driven by excellence and friendliness. This can sometimes come across as insincere and forced, but with Saratoga it feels natural. This makes me feel confident that I’m in an organisation that truly cares about the lives of the people it employs as well as advancing their careers.

If I had to describe what it’s like to work at Saratoga, I’ll only use one word: “Epic!” My advice to other graduates who aspire to join Saratoga is: “Apply now! This is an amazing organisation.”

Become a part of Saratoga’s graduate recruitment programme and start building your career. Internships are also available. Go to join.saratoga.co.za/graduates/  to apply.

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