Annual KAS-SAIIA Careers Evening 2018 (Gauteng)

Also available in Deutsch

On 7 August 2018, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in cooperation with the South African Institute of International Affairs hosted the annual KAS-SAIIA Humanities Careers Evening 2018. This year event, which followed on the success of the previous ones, carried the theme of “Unlimited paths with your humanities degree”. 312 participants, including recent humanities graduates and current students from Gauteng-based universities were exposed to the different career paths and opportunities available to them after the completion of their degrees.

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SAIIA careers eve

From Left: Maryam Elgoni (Programme Officer, UNICEF), Dalmar Jama (Principal Strategic Planning Officer, African Peer Review Mechanism), Gillian Hutchings (Head, Membership and Communications National Business Initiative), Anele Mdoda (Radio Presenter, 94.7 FM), Henning Suhr (Country Representative, Konrad Adenauer Foundation South Africa), Elizabeth Sidiropoulos (Chief Executive, SAIIA), Thato Kgatlhanye (Entrepreneur and Author) and three KAS/SAIIA Scholars.

The evening was divided into two sessions. The first session was an interactive exhibitor-student engagement session in which exhibitors showcased scholarships, internships, employment opportunities and study abroad programmes. This year Career Evening welcomed 12 exhibitors from different fields including civil society organizations, embassies, international cooperative bodies, student exchange support and research institutes.

The second session was a panel of 4 guest speakers who delivered 10-minute speeches on their career paths after completing their humanities degrees. This year panel featured Anele Mdoda (Radio DJ, 94.7 FM), Thato Kgatlhanye (Entrepreneur and Author), Gillian Hutchings (Head of Membership and Communications at the National Business Initiative) and Lennon Monyae (Junior Researcher at the African Peer Review Mechanism Secretariat). The session was moderated by Maryam Elgoni, a Youth Consultant at UNICEF and former KAS-SAIIA Scholar.

The session began with the welcoming remarks from Elizabeth Sidiropoulos, the Chief Executive at SAIIA. She gave a brief overview of the purpose of the careers evening, SAIIA student membership and the history of the SAIIA-KAS partnership. Her speech was followed by Henning Suhr, Country Representative of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in South Africa. He introduced and proceeded to explain the work and objectives of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in South Africa, which focuses on promoting democracy, good governance and the rule of law. The purpose of the SAIIA-KAS scholarship, which has been funded by the KAS since 1999, was also highlighted.

The event proceeded with the speeches of the panelists. The presentations included hardships, challenges and difficulties that each individual endured and overcame, advice and words of encouragement to students, as well as details of how they had arrived at their current careers. During the Q&A session participants asked the guest panelists questions about their career paths and what led them to their various decisions. Many of the questions included how to become more marketable, how to deal with competition for scarce job opportunities, how to access information about scholarships, what is emotional intelligence (a theme that came up in Anele’s speech), how can humanities graduates expand themselves, how does one find their purpose and how to use your humanities degree to give back to the community.

To conclude the event, Kate Mlauzi, one of the KAS-SAIIA Scholars 2018, gave a detailed presentation on the KAS-SAIIA scholarship programme and strongly encouraged the participants to apply, noting that the 2019 applications were now open. In her closing remarks, she thanked KAS and SAIIA staff for their help with the planning of the event and the logistics, exhibitors for their participation, guest speakers for their compelling stories and the students for attending the event.

The evening was a success and received much attention as well as engagement from the student community in Gauteng, especially Johannesburg.

Publication series

Event Reports


Republic of South Africa, September 7, 2018


Michaela Braun

Project Manager

Michaela Braun
Phone +27 11 214 29 00
Fax +27 11 214 29 13/14
Languages: Deutsch,‎ English,‎ Español