Graduating from university provides the opportunity for many young adults in South Africa to shape their own futures. Dell Young Leaders alum Kgomotso Welcome is proud of the opportunity to work as a woman at a well-known global technology company, with a dream of creating similar opportunities for her peers.
Below, she delves deeper into her proudest moments to date and gives advice to current Dell Young Leaders students on how to best make use of the resources around them to successfully transition from university into meaningful employment.
What is it that you currently do, and why are you passionate about your work?
I am a Solutions Architect at a global technology company, and my passion comes from having the opportunity to be myself in the industry – I work for a technical company, I am a female, and I am Black, and there are not a lot of us in this space.
I am from a small township where no one ever dreams of moving out. That coupled with the challenges of growing up – like being raised in a huge household – I would never have thought I would have the opportunity to go to university and study. My only option was to get funding, so in my head, it was never a guarantee.
I always thought I would somehow work at home, but as time went on, and more specifically in Grade 12, I realized: “It’s going to be hard, but it’s possible.”
One thing of which you and your family are most proud?
Definitely graduating – it keeps amazing us! Because of graduating, a lot of doors opened for me. For example, getting a job as quickly as I did. Not only that, but the offer that I received was above market. Because of that, I can afford to rent an apartment that I live in by myself.
Sometimes I am like: “I am even able to afford rent for an apartment where I live on my own.” I also recently bought my own car!
What were some of the key steps you took to get to where you are in your career?
Apart from graduating, I created a social network at university and with companies. I got involved in technology societies that opened a lot of doors for me.
Tell us about one goal you have for the future.
I have big dreams for myself – I want to be at the forefront of women in technology. I want to create opportunities for females in technology regardless of their background.
One day, I want to be able to start an organization helping girls advance in technology. I work for a company where this is possible – they are looking for these opportunities and want to get involved.
Do you have any tips for current students as they aim toward meaningful employment?
Don’t be scared to ask for help or make use of the resources the programme or the university offer – for example, tutoring and speaking to the programme support team when you need to. I remember going to the team when I was struggling, and it helped me so much at the time. I realized there are people out there that genuinely care for you and are interested in you!
For students, help each other out. Leverage the community as best as you can from a social and academic perspective.
One word that describes the Dell Young Leaders community?
Definitely family – it’s so much more than just a scholarship programme!
With the Shaping My Destiny Series, Dell Young Leaders alumni share what they have managed to achieve to date, and how they have created their own paths and goals for the future. They also share a few highlights of how current Dell Young Leaders students can make use of the programme so they can create successful futures for themselves.