Alumni Spotlight

Shaping My Destiny: Llysa on how curiosity led her to her dream-job in Law

The true impact of the Dell Young Leaders Programme means a graduate achieves their goal of being placed into meaningful employment after university.

Dell Young Leaders alum, Llysa Sithole, graduated with a degree in Law (LLB) in 2021. With curiosity and an open mind, she found a career she didn’t know existed with her degree. She currently works in Legal, Ethics and Compliance at a multinational FMCG company.

Below she unpacks how she got into the job-market, what she learnt about herself through this process, and talks to us about her future aspirations.

Q: What is it that you currently do?

I am a Legal, Ethics and Compliance Graduate at a multinational fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company. My role is to ensure the company operates within legal and ethical boundaries in pursuit of its goals and objectives.

Q: You didn’t follow the traditional career path after graduating with your Law degree by completing your articles to become an admitted attorney. What was the reason for this?

I initially aspired to complete my articles, much like my peers from university. However, the job market was not favorable at the time and the opportunities were limited. After receiving career services guidance and connecting with professionals in the field, I was encouraged to pursue a career in Legal and Compliance.

It was the best decision of my life! Learning about this aspect of Law is exciting and challenges me to broaden my horizons within the legal world.

Q: Why are you passionate about what you do?

l can first-hand witness the positive impact my role has on the company by ensuring the company complies with the legal and ethical boundaries set out by the industry. This naturally has a positive effect on the broader community. Integrity is one of the core values that drives me personally, and being able to apply and promote this value in my professional career is fulfilling. My role also pushes me to grow, give my best, and show dedication – all characteristics learnt throughout my experiences in high school and university.

Q: What have you learnt about yourself through this process of exploration?

I have learnt that I don’t have to be afraid to take a different path and go on a journey of career exploration. I am proud that was I brave enough to explore the unknown. Although I am not in the mainstream law professional, I am still able to apply the “traditional knowledge” I was taught at university, non-traditionally.

Q: Do you have any advice to share with other graduates in a similar situation?

Don’t limit or box yourself in and always be open-minded. Following a traditional route is perfectly OK but be open to following a different path. Do research and remember that you don’t always need to follow the crowds.

Q: What are some of the key steps you are currently taking to advance in your career path?

I am goal oriented and I know where l would like to go. I break my goals down into manageable milestones and actively work towards achieving them. Curiosity and willingness to learn constantly drives me forward. New territories are always scary but with the “can do” attitude l am able to challenge myself, build meaningful relationships and gain hands-on experience in my field of work. 

Q: What are your future aspirations in the workplace.

For my growth and development within the Legal and Compliance industry, l am looking into taking compliance courses, the regulatory exam and, eventually being a member of the Compliance Institute of Southern Africa. I am very excited about my future within the legal and compliance spectrum.

Q: Do you have any tips for current students as they aim towards meaningful employment after university?

You are not alone on this journey towards meaningful employment! Don’t hesitate to rely on your family, friends and, the support from university structures. For me, this included the Dell Young Leaders Programme. They were there to make the process towards getting employed easier.

Try and keep your eyes on the bigger picture to stay motivated along the way. Always remember that challenges are an opportunity in disguise. They are there to help you grow and become stronger (which is desirable in the workplace). So, tackle them head-on, with confidence!

Q: For you, what is one word that describes the Dell Young Leaders Community?