Fellowship Week 2016: Technical Challenge Champion
I am Takalani Ramakonye, a Fellow of the 2015 Fellowship Week and also part of GirlEng since grade 10 at UJ Academy. I studied Mechanical Engineering at the Vaal University of Technology and completed my studies last year. Being chosen as one of the Fellows was really the best news I had received all year and I totally felt really blessed to have such a wondrous opportunity to be mentored by engineers who had so much experience in the field.
Fellowship Week focused on one of the best themes that I had always thought of doing and focusing on during my career after schooling. The theme was “Engineering Technology for the Green Economy”. The theme brought out so much of my engineering knowledge as well as possible future business plans. During that week I learnt more than the technical part of engineering that people always think engineering is all about. It gave me and the other Fellows a lot of insight on engineering which is a very broad field. I learnt how to work with other people and it taught me the need of having a lot of confidence and leadership skills that one really needs as an engineer because it is a career that enforces team work and leadership skills to make it a success.
The technical challenge was the backbone of the week. It was the one I enjoyed the most because I love technicality in everything I do and I love doing things practically and this challenge fulfilled that so much because it helped me portray the real reason why I chose engineering as my career over others. The best part of this focus was being part of the winning team for the technical challenge which really made me feel half way to my goals. This was one of the best highlights of the week because it was a prestigious moment that made me see myself in a different light and that I was capable of working under pressure and having sleepless nights but still making it out with the best achievement.
The Fellowship Week taught me a lot of skills namely, communication, leadership, working under pressure, open-minded, networking, vision and goal-driven, patience, forever thankful behaviour and motivational attitude.
This is was one the opportunities that every female engineering student should experience and never take for granted because it brings a lot of challenges that every person in the engineering field go through and experience from time to time so being under the guidance of mentors and business coaches during this week is the best opportunity one could get. Fellowship Week brings out the best in female students that never thought were capable of standing out in a group of people but once they are here blossom and shine to the best of their capabilities because they engage with very motivating and empowering people that express a positive side to every individual.
After such a wonderful experience I applied to be an intern for this year’s Fellowship Week and was chosen as the 2016 Fellowship Week Technical Champion Intern, an opportunity that allows me to bring up the best speakers and mentors to guide 2016s Fellows to the maximum capacity so they can go home with so much insight and best experience a female engineering student could ever have. I am the backbone to the technical challenge under the theme “Engineering Technology for Supply Chain” a very broad and wonderful theme for our fellows and a theme that would have them see engineering in a broader perspective. I aim to make this an opportunity were every Fellow will go back and have a lot of paths to choose from for their engineering careers and motivate other females to take this astounding direction in life as women in a field full of men and where women are told they are not capable of being engineers because of their weak physics with no fear or lack of interest because of being undermined but have a positive attitude and goals that will be empowered.