Karen King, Senior Associate, Environment & Energy, advocates that for students who want to grow their career in any STEM field they should also look out for opportunities to job shadow and intern. “It’s important to do what interests you – and to leverage every opportunity to gain as much field experience as you can. In fact, once you enter the working world, your practical experience tends to become more important than anything else as you grow in your career.”
“When afforded such opportunities, it’s just as important to be conscious of the environment, to gain the most from the learning experience. And, if a mentor is not provided to you, seek advice. There are so many people around you that can mentor your way of thinking, your work ethic and that you can draw inspiration from, while there are also formal channels and mentors you can engage with on your career development,” adds Manthose.
King indicates that the mentorship and professional career guidance provided at WSP is very advantageous. “For instance, WSP has had an almost 100% successful registration rate with ECSA over the last three years – and the firm offers a similar programme for candidates in the environmental science space for professional registration with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions. So, for anyone coming into WSP, they will receive mentorship and career guidance – and from people who have been through the process before them and know how to get to that next phase for professional registration.”
“At the end of the day, if you love what you do, you’ll never stop enquiring and innovating, thereby making a difference for society and the world we live in,” concludes Manthose.