GRATITUDE Keloabetsoe Rampota was desperate to become a manager – but she didn’t know how. So, the relationship consultant at Auto & General went to the person who’d hired her to ask for advice. That person happened to be studying for the Post Graduate Diploma in Management Practice at Henley Business School Africa.
“I had no qualifications or experience,” says Rampota – known as Kelo to her friends, “I just really wanted to be a manager. She recommended I contact Henley for advice.”
That was 2018. Today, three years and one pandemic later, she’s on the cusp of becoming the first person in Henley Africa history to complete the first three rungs of the business school’s unique ladder of learning.
She completed her NQF5 Higher Certificate in Management Practice in 2019, her Advanced Certificate in Management Practice (NQF6) during lockdown last year and now she’s doing her Advanced Diploma in Management Practice (NQF7). By the end of this year she will graduate with the equivalent of a bachelor’s university degree. Henley Africa dean and director Jon Foster-Pedley is overjoyed at Rampota’s achievement.
“Kelo is precisely the kind of person we created the ladder of learning for. The key to reducing the levels of inequality in this country is education and especially higher education, but for far too many people the access to tertiary education is a bridge too far.
“Henley’s ladder of learning allows students to learn while they earn and in Kelo’s case, graduate with the equivalent of a university degree in the same time as they would have taken as a full time undergraduate and then be equipped to enrol for the PG Dip programme which is the feeder programme for our internationally accredited executive MBA.”
Rampota is concentrating on finishing her ADMP before considering whether she will proceed to the PG Dip, but already her life has been unimaginably changed – for the better.
“Initially I just wanted to get a management position, now it’s not about that at all. I know I’ll be in leadership at some stage, but I’m happy where I am doing the best I can because I’ve learnt about myself.
“You think when you go to business school, you’ll learn about business models, instead you learn that you have to solve yourself first. It’s about honesty and mastering emotions. I never thought I’d sit at home at night and journal about where I came from, because I was embarrassed. Henley has changed my whole life, in a good way. It’s built a deep confidence. It’s changed how I think, how I do things and how I see things.”
Rampota has become a particular fan of critical and systems thinking, understanding the complexity of business.
“I’m able to apply it to the companies where I’ve worked and see the strategy they applied and how it worked or the problems they experienced. It’s all about seeing the bigger picture. I’ve become much more analytical and much more curious, always looking for the root cause of whatever is happening.”
She’s also been giving back to the community where she grew up.
“In my spare time I go back to Soweto where I’ve been working with my friends to help five schools get libraries and where we now hold competitions like spelling bees to encourage the children to read.
“It gives me purpose to help others. When I was growing up, the school I attended had a library but it was always locked. Today I enjoy reading but it wasn’t something that I was exposed to when I was younger.”
Purpose is very important for her. Discovering that has been part and parcel of her Henley journey, it’s something she believes young adults need to find before studying further.
“We need to teach people to find their purpose, to follow their passion. Too often people study because they think it’s fashionable, instead what they should be doing is finding their purpose and following their passion then when they study, they’ll do wholeheartedly and get the success they deserve.”
- If you would like to know more about Henley Business School Africa’s unique ladder of learning, visit https://www.henleysa.ac.za/henley-academic-programmes
- Henley Business School Africa is a leading global business school with campuses in Europe, Asia and Africa. It holds elite triple international accreditation; has the number 1 business school alumni network in the world for potential to network (Economist 2017); and is the number 1 African-accredited and -campused business school in the world for executive education (FT 2018, 2020), as well as the number 1 MBA business school in South Africa as rated by corporate SA (PMR.Africa 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021).