Youth Month is special as it provides an opportunity to reflect on the importance of helping young gifted South Africans explore new horizons and reach for the stars. Busiswe Mkhungo a young chemical engineer is one of many whose horizons have broadened thanks to Engen.
Reflecting on the significance of 16 June in our country’s history, Busisiwe advises the country’s youth to focus on the real world and stop putting all their energy into boasting on social media. “I’m really concerned about social media because it’s stealing people’s dreams. It seems all young people care about it their next social media brag. We’ve lost touch with humanity.”
When she was in grade 10, Busiswe, who grew up in Kwa-Zulu Natal and matriculated from Makhanda High School in Port Shepstone, knew that she wanted to be a chemical engineer.
Despite her unsettled childhood, with both parents unemployed and frequently staying with relatives, today she has conquered the impossible, and not only achieved her dream of graduating, but is part of Engen’s prestigious graduate programme.
Graduates who join the programme, initially have no fixed position, as their first year is spent across a variety of functions, learning about the business. For now, Busisiwe has joined Engen’s Lubricants Department in Westville, Durban.
“As a graduate trainee at Engen you get to know exactly where you fit in within the company. I really appreciate the company’s culture and beliefs – they put their money into growing people skills,” she says.
Her relationship with Engen started in grade 10 when she first attended Engen’s Maths and Sciences School (EMSS) in Port Shepstone where her desire to excel was sparked. “I attended supplementary classes every Saturday for three years until I matriculated. I allowed myself to dream big because EMSS gave me the confidence I needed. Even though my goals scared me, I knew that by depending on God, my hard work would pay off.
“Engen’s extra classes in maths, science and English really helped me improve. My English mark was around 50% when I joined and improved to 78% when I matriculated.
So, what is Busisiwe’s secret to success?
“I believe that anything and everything is possible if you put God first and work hard. I don’t like to set long term goals but rather prefer to focus on attainable short-term goals which then lead me to the next steps that I need to take along my journey.”
By continuing to attract and grow minds and talents like Busisiwe, and to shape the careers of talented graduates, Engen continues on its path shape the future for the better. Helping young gifted South Africans explore new horizons proves once again that as a company, Engen is committed to building tomorrow’s leaders.