Melissa Nortje mentors for Phakama Women's Academy

Phakama Women's Academy

First Car Rental's Melissa Nortje, Executive Head of Strategy, Development & Marketing, has been invited to mentor for Phakama Women's Academy.

The academy is a new CSI initiative from the brand experience agency, VWV, that aims to empower young women in the marketing sector by equipping them with the skills they need to rise up in the corporate world.

Phakama Women's Academy

(L-R): Koo Govender (VWV Group CEO); mentee Amukelani Hlabano; Melissa Nortje (First Car Rental's Executive Head of Strategy, Development and Marketing) and Cheryl Carolus, a Non-Executive Director for Gold Fields.

Nortje joins a list of high-esteemed South African women mentors including Heather Harington, Human Resources Director at Estee Lauder; Vilashni Vandayar, Marketing Manager at SAB; Grace del Fava, the Head: Marketing Manager at Sanlam; Joni Peddie, Managing Partner at Energy-for-Resilience; and Fahmeeda Cassim-Surtee, the Sales and Marketing Director at DSTV Media Sales, to name a few.

Says Melissa Nortje,“This pioneering programme aims to give talented young women a head start in their careers by providing them with the skills and experience needed to excel in the workplace, rising to become business leaders of the future.”

Phakama means 'to rise' in Zulu and Xhosa

Twenty-six students from three tertiary institutions - the University of Johannesburg, the AAA School of Advertising and the Vega School of Brand Leadership - have been selected for the 2014 pilot programme after a rigorous screening process that saw them submit a written application and attend interviews at VWV.

Phakama Women's Academy

(L-R): Amukelani Hlabano and Melissa Nortje

The six-month programme consists of two parts: the students will receive one-on-one mentoring by leading South African women, all experts in their fields, and will also receive training at VWV that aims to help them develop their skills and grow their confidence.

Training, which begins on Friday, 8 August 2014, will cover areas such as presentation skills, developing a personal brand, CV development, interviewing skills, stress and time management, and personal finance.

First Car Rental is the official transport sponsor for the Phakama Women's Academy, and will be getting the young women to and from the schools for the VWV training every two weeks.

Nortje's mentee is Amukelani Hlabano, a PR intern at the University of Johannesburg. Hlabano is also publicity manager at the university's Students' Public Relations Association and a radio presenter at UKFM 95.4.

Find out more about First Car Rental's CSR initiatives here.

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