Message from Alumni Association

usb alumni

Message from the President of the USB Alumni Association

AlumNet

Message from the President of the USB Alumni Association

  • Prof Prieur du Plessis
  • DEC 13 2017
  • Tags Technology, Business, News, University

Dear USB Alumnus

 

It is with excitement and pride that I reflect on USB, the commitment and contributions of alumni, and the outstanding achievements of USB alumni globally during 2017.

 

Contribution to USB accreditation

As a proud institution bearing the Triple Crown of international accreditations – namely AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA – USB was assessed by two of the accreditation bodies during 2017. Both AACSB and AMBA recently fully re-accredited USB for another five years. Congratulations to USB’s leadership, management, staff, students and alumni on this achievement.

 

Alumni ambassadors and achievers

During 2017, the USB Alumni Association’s executive, regional committees and members were regularly invited as guest speakers at alumni and industry engagement events, and at events aimed at continuous learning. They served as USB ambassadors at global events and regional information sessions, and contributed to grow the global network and footprint of the association. I thank alumni for sharing industry news and for sharing with others the value that their qualifications add to their work environment and career growth.

 

The USB Alumni Association and senior staff of USB appreciate the various ways in which alumni give back to USB through mentorship, guest lectures, testimonials, as ambassadors of USB, and in financial ways. We remain committed to support alumni in their career growth and continuous learning.

 

USB Alumnus of the Year 2017

At the USB-Kgalema Motlanthe Foundation Leadership Lecture Series hosted in partnership with USB on 27 October, the USB Alumni Association awarded the Alumnus of the Year Award 2017 to Mr Vuyani Jarana, newly appointed CEO of SAA and previously Chief Officer of Vodacom Business. Mr Jarana, an established and responsible corporate leader with sound decision-making skills, has served as the custodian of the values, culture and financial health of various business units and organisations. His success as a business leader is an example of the difference one person can make to sustainable business success in South Africa and beyond. I wish him every success and look forward to a lifelong partnership with him as ambassador of USB.

 

On behalf of the USB Alumni Association’s Exco, I thank our alumni for contributing to the proud legacy of the Business School and for their participation in the USB Alumni Association and its activities.

 

Wishing you and your family a blessed festive season and prosperous 2018.

 

Prof Prieur du Plessis

President of the USB Alumni Association

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bitcoin

Innovation without permission: Bitcoin

AlumNet

Innovation without permission: Bitcoin

  • Mehran Zarrebini
  • DEC 13 2017
  • Tags Technology, Business, News, University

​Bitcoin, blockchain, cryptocurrency have all become mainstream media topics recently with the meteoric rise in the value of Bitcoin, breaking through the 10 000 USD resistance level with needless to say … no resistance and approaching the 11 000 USD level only a few hours later. Naturally, a correction followed. Who knows what the value will be by the time you read this article.

 

Most of the world has now come to realise that it is inevitable that we are now going to see (over a period) broad adoption of a form of peer to peer digital money that is developed on a shared borderless, uncensored cryptographic ledger.  Whether or not this will be called Bitcoin or ultimately something else remains questionable. Broad adoption does not mean just Bitcoin. Bitcoin is essentially a test bed. Alternative cryptocurrencies might also become popular, some even more so than Bitcoin.

 

Adoption will unquestionably not come without various challenges. There is going to be resistance mainly from Financial Institutions due to the inherent threat that Bitcoin poses to them, and Governments who are determined to eradicate cash, the ultimate peer to peer currency in the form of a digital currency system that is driven by control, centralised authority and complete surveillance. We only have to look back at recent events in India, Venezuela and Zimbabwe to realise the scale of this problem.  The other problem facing adoption is its simplicity of use. Currently, very few people are capable of understanding how to perform transactions, store Bitcoin and secure Bitcoin on an individual basis without the need to involve a centralised authority or custodian.

 

With time, the technology will be simplified in a similar manner to how technology surrounding the use of email evolved. In 1989, this was an incredibly complicated and arduous process. Within a few years, it was not necessary to have computer programming knowledge to send an email. With Bitcoin, we are therefore at a similar stage in its evolution. Its broad adoption will be successful when you do not need to understand how the technology behind it functions.

 

We will see many new applications built on the bitcoin blockchain. We see many new variants of the original blockchain in the form of alternative cryptocurrencies. These new variants aim to improve the limitations of the existing bitcoin blockchain. There are now literally hundreds of alternative cryptocurrencies available. I believe that ultimately only a few will be adopted mainstream, the remainder will be insignificant.

 

Many of the applications built on the Bitcoin blockchain will be introduced by individuals who will have grown up in a decentralised environment, in a similar way to how successful applications like Facebook and Twitter were developed by individuals who never experienced life without the internet. This is inevitable.

 

Bitcoin is not a failed experiment. It is a practical manifestation of a major invention. It is un-censorable, durable, portable and fungible. It is the Internet of Money.

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Become a mentor to USB students

AlumNet

Become a mentor to USB students

mentor

  • DEC 03 2017
  • Tags Technology, Business, News, University

Alumni mentors provide an invaluable service by sharing their expertise and experience to help guide students in terms of their careers and studies.

We would therefore like to invite you to register as a mentor for students. The Alumni Mentorship Programme is a joint initiative organised by USB’s Alumni Office and Careers Office.

When USB students request mentoring services, they will be matched with an alumnus who can provide these services based on the mentor’s field of expertise, the location of both the student and the mentor, and other criteria. To help prepare alumni for this role, we host Mentorship Masterclasses. Our first Mentorship Masterclass was presented in March 2017. Another Mentorship Masterclass is planned for March 2018. This will be presented on campus as well as online (i.e. in blended learning format), allowing alumni from all over the world to link up via an internet-linked device.

What you need to do next

Please complete the registration form for alumni mentors. You can do this by clicking here​. We then compile a database of alumni who are willing to give back to USB by mentoring students. You will also be invited to attend the Mentorship Masterclass. This provides us with the capacity to support students with mentoring services and to match mentors with students.

Further information

For more details, please contact Christélle Cronjé, Manager: Alumni and Stakeholders at [email protected] or Janine Truter, Manager: Careers [email protected].

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Message from the Director of Marketing USB-ED

AlumNet

Message from the Director of Marketing USB-ED

  • Brigitte Schwartz
  • AUG 31 2017
  • Tags Technology, Business, News, University

Dear USB Alum

In a rotation of ExCo members writing for the AlumNet, this month for my turn I find myself reflecting on our USB Alumni Association vision, “To be the most desirable alumni association in Africa”. As far as vision statements go, it is powerful and effective with a purpose and yet only achievable if we work together.

We are extremely proud of our more than 27 000 alumni who have excelled in managerial and leadership roles all over the world. In fact, alumni together are from 30 countries in Africa, 12 countries in Europe, 10 countries in Asia, 5 countries in the Americas, Australia, New Zealand and the UAE. This is a powerful network to leverage on!

We have all been through the blood, sweat and (hopefully not too many) tears of studying either at USB or USB-ED but too often after the exhaustion of studying and the celebration of graduating, we forget that we can give back and would prefer to return to the daily grind of our own worlds where suddenly time is a constraint again. Admittedly, I am guilty of this too. However, can you remember the thrill of networking when you were a student of USB? The eagerness to attend all events, meet new people, likeminded individuals who shared your passion to make a difference and have an impact on the world? I was recently reminded of this when attending some events in the SADC countries.

Given the current economic climate and the ever-changing political landscape, it is even more crucial now than before for us as Alumni to come together and be inspired to pull our resources, intelligence and leadership to make a difference going forward.

During August we had another successful run of “First” events in Africa with “First Wednesday in Swaziland”, “First Thursday in Botswana” and “First Friday in Namibia”. The purpose of the events are to gather our clients and alumni in country on a monthly basis to participate in a knowledge sharing session with USB Executive Development and USB Alumni Association. Since starting in April this year, they have grown immensely popular and this month, Dr Tienie Ehlers (USB-ED’s Chief Learning Officer) was the guest speaker and shared his thoughts on omni-channel learning and how we need to adapt our skills in the work place faster than what the job requires it to change.

There are two Masterclasses coming up in the near future. Firstly at The Country Club, Woodmead, Johannesburg on 24th August with Prof Anita Bosch sharing the latest research and best practices on attracting and retaining women in the workplace. Alternatively, if you are based in the Western Cape, join Dr Morne Mostert on the 1st of September discussing the future of universities (who knows, your children may not have the same opportunity or experience that you did!). The final “first” events run in September too.

I am not sure what it will take to re-ignite your spark to attend one of the many sessions available to Alumni across the world (and I don’t want to play on your guilty conscious) but hopefully I have inspired you to see your classmates again, continuously improve your personal journey, to network, laugh and bond with new exciting people who you would not have otherwise met and to help form the most desirable alumni association in Africa when it is needed most.

All the best
Brigitte Schwartz

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