Category Archives: Personal Branding

The Who’s Who of tomorrow demonstrate that success starts today

You don’t need to wait for the day you land your first job to start working your way to the top. You also don’t need to be a genius to be successful. By setting goals for yourself and working hard to achieve them, you too can achieve success – just as these 11 South African students have demonstrated.

They form part of 1 700 students from around the world were awarded the opportunity to showcase their independent research and compete for approximately $4 million in prizes. These South African students chose to tackle issues of energy and food security currently faced in South Africa.

Meet the Who’s Whos of tomorrow, and their innovations:

An innovative alerting mechanism for mobility-assistive devices

Nishka-Ramkhelawan-from-Ladysmith-High-SchoolNishka Ramkhelawan, 16, from Ladysmith High School designed and built a portable and user-friendly alarm targeted at the elderly and physically disabled individuals. When a user falls or is in distress, the device sounds a siren, alerting the individual’s caretaker or people around him/her.

An easy way to measure a Sidereal day

Iselle-Van-Den-Heever-from-Jim-Fousche-High-SchoolIselle Van Den Heever, 16, from Jim Fousché High School developed an apparatus that measures the time it takes for a star to reach the same position in the sky from one night to the next – also known as a sidereal day.

Utilising organic chemical dyes to produce dye-sensitised solar cells

Tyrique-Byroo-from-Star-College-Boys-HighTyrique Byroo, 15, from Star College Boys High discovered that a dye-sensitised solar cell that uses blackberry dye generates the highest millivolt of current. He also found that this solar cell can be manufactured for less than half the cost of a standard solar panel.

Generating electricity from mud

Siyabonga-Nkosi-from-Kiriyatswane-High-SchoolUsing loamy mud, 18 year old Siyabonga Nkosi from Kiriyatswane High School, built a basic fuel cell. He found that microbes contained in the mud consume organic matter which produces electrodes. These electrodes can be collected through copper and zinc terminals. This solution will be highly effective in rural areas where loamy soil is in abundance.

Investigation of Platinum substitutes as an effective catalyst for Hydrogen fuel cells

Roland-Dubb-from-Herzlia-High-SchoolIn an aim to make fuel cells cheaper, Roland Dubb, 16, from Herzlia High School compared costly platinum to copper and palladium as catalysts. He discovered that by using palladium as an anode together with platinum as a cathode, a similar output voltage can be produced at a lower cost.

A portable sun tracking solar power kit

Fritz-Keyzer-and-Josiah-Senior-from-Pinelands-Boys-High-SchoolPinelands High School’s Fritz Keyzer and Josiah Senior, both 17, developed a portable power source to be used in developing communities, the military and for camping.

By following the sun, the power source collects energy through solar panels. This improves their efficiency by 45% compared to immobile solar panels.

Generating electricity with magnetised bacteria

Bernard-Smit-from-Hoerskool-WaterkloofBernard Smit, 18, from Hoerskool Waterkloof developed a method that generates eco-friendly and sustainable energy with Magnetotactic bacteria. By making use of Faraday’s Law of electromagnetic induction, the magnetised bacteria are moved through an induction tube to generate electricity.

Optimising energy consumption from your tablet

Armand-Duvenage-from-Hoerskool-GarsfonteinArmand Duvenage, 17, from Hoerskool Garsfontein, created a mobile energy management system that allows the monitoring of energy usage in a home or small business. This system is able to monitor the voltage, frequency and current consumption of each circuit that is linked to it.

Using worm tea as a substitute for artificial fertilisers

Avuyile-Mbangatha-from-Stirling-High-SchoolAs a way to increase food security and reduce poverty, Avuyile Mbangatha, 17, from Stirling High School applied worm tea to crops in developing communities.

Made from worm castings, the worm tea triggers the growth of plants, while also providing an environmentally-friendly alternative to artificial fertilisers.

High protein Fynbos nuts – a New Superfood

Anna-Midgley-from-Herschel-Girls-High-SchoolAnna Midgley, 16, from Herschel Girl’s high school has identified  the environmentally-friendly fynbos plants as an alternative to the typical starchy diets present in rural areas. These plants are high in protein and have the potential to be a crop that will grow in low-nutrient soil and at a cheaper cost.


Packaging yourself for the future

Street sunset_big

Sometimes success is easier to spot in others than to achieve for ourselves. But without realising it, by adopting small habits that lead to small gains, you can make it to the top.

Want to know how? Look no further. We’ve summed up four habits you can start doing today:

Develop your brand

The growth of social media has immensely contributed to the need to constantly manage your online reputation. Whether you want a career change, are a first-time job-seeker or you’re simply browsing to see what’s out there, it’s important that you think, act and plan like a business leader.

Before employers contact you for a job interview, they will conduct an online search of your name. Chances are that your current employer is already clued up about your online activities too. When you interact with people, whether online or offline, it automatically causes them to build an image of who you are and what you’re about.  Why leave your professional reputation to chance when you can be your own PR guru?

Be a great communicator

Communication is easy; it’s something that you do daily. But effective communication is another thing. It is an essential part of your professional life and success. If you want to be a thought leader in your industry, it is essential to be a great communicator. When you learn to communicate effectively, you’ll be better equipped to understand people, build trust and respect, and establish avenues that’ll lead to an improved personal brand.

Look and act confident

Building a strong first impression is important when it comes to creating your personal brand. And one of the most important things you can do to create an everlasting first impression is to project confidence.

When you bring out confidence from within yourself, you present yourself to everyone else in a very authentic manner. When you are honest with yourself and those around you, only then will you build trust for your personal brand.

Write down your life goals

Goal setting is a vital exercise used by many top-level athletes, business-people and achievers in all fields. So why not use it for your personal development?

By regularly setting goals for yourself you decide what you want to achieve and how you want to get there. Thereafter, with a precise knowledge of what you have to concentrate on to achieve your goals, you can take steps that lead you to success.

Related to: 6 Things not to do to if success is what you’re after

How to prevent Google from destroying your career

Have you ever googled yourself? No? Do it NOW!

And while you process all the information about yourself you are confronted with right now, we will provide you with some nice tips for a proper online presentation.

When you apply for a job, obviously Human Recourse Managers or Recruiters will google your name. If they find negative or slanderous information, your chance of landing the job might reduce. So what kind of information should not pop up on Google?

1. Negative news articles
If you owned a business would you want to hire a person who has been in the news in a negative way? No, you would rather pick the person with a more positive record.

2. Arrest or legal mix up information
This information is absolutely not what you want to share with a future employer. It is important to ensure that this information is not showing or is at least extremely hard to find.

3.Bad break ups
Sometimes break ups can tarnish your reputation. Both through the ugly things you have said and through the scandalous things being said about you. Make sure recruiters cannot find any online backlash referring to you.

4. Negative reviews
Whether it is a review from a former employer or an anonymous review site like HelloPeter, it is not helping your reputation. It should rather show a letter of recommendation.

Last but not least, there will always be negative results but most recruiters won’t look at the third or fourth results page of any search engine they’re using. They probably do not even check the second, but in case they do, make sure the first and the second results page only shows positive (or at least neutral) information.

The key is to build a positive and active online presence by building a personal or professional website or a blog and maintain them actively.

Don’t forget: There is nothing wrong with showing your character and being different from the ‘standard’ office person, as long as it is all positive. In the end, nobody wants to hire a person that has the potential to tarnish a business’ reputation.

Written by Krista van Zeijl, International Content & Marketing Intern at Who’s Who SA.