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How Futures Studies has shaped my career

  • Dec 05
  • Tags Futures Studies, Postgraduate Diploma, MPhil, PhD, Lifelong learning

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Gideon Botha is the epitome of a lifelong learner. Not only is he busy with the Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in Futures Studies at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB), but he will also be completing his PhD in December 2019. His PhD will offer a framework for the implementation of National Health Insurance. “The aim of my PhD is to recommend a unit costing model and reimbursement model combination that can be used to determine price tariffs in private hospitals in South Africa,” he says.

He also has a BCom Honours degree and has already applied to do his MPhil in Futures Studies next year. He wants to explore new banking scenarios for Africa and identify mechanisms to make banking more financially inclusive for South Africans.

Botha, who works as a senior financial manager within the Nedback Home Loan Division, was also recently nominated as a South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) Top 35 under 35 candidate and category winner.

He was also a Top 4 finalist for the BHF Titanium Young Achiever Award, which celebrates young professionals who have made a notable impact in the healthcare industry.

The PGDip in Futures Studies positively contributed to the completion of my PhD as it provided a different way of viewing the world.

Why did he apply for the PGDip in Futures Studies?

“With constant and rapid change becoming the new normal, I realised that to remain relevant to the employment market, I would need the required skills to navigate this new world. The Postgraduate Diploma in Futures Studies provided the opportunity to acquire these skills.”

He says a highlight of the programme was the opportunity to apply the theoretical learnings of each module to practical real-world situations. “The PGDip in Futures Studies has enhanced my career as it gave me many skills that can be applied in my current role and it also contributed to me being a category winner in SAICA’s Top 35 under 35 competition.

“It also expanded my thinking and changed my view of the world, its problems and opportunities. Each of the six modules on the programme offered different learnings to be implemented in my environment,” he says.

Some of the learning that he could successfully implement, include:

  • The principles learnt in Applied Philosophy, Applied Systems Thinking and Managing for Change presented the idea of incorporating into the annual quantitative budgeting a qualitative questionnaire asking staff to identify revenue growth and process improvement opportunities. This idea has been put forward to our CFO.
  • The Applied Systems module highlighted the importance of having a diverse team from various backgrounds. This led to a BSc graduate being seconded to my Finance Team to improve the automation of processes and the use of data.
  • The Measuring and Making the Future module brought to mind the idea of using a multiple regression analysis in our annual budget process and the Integral Futures Framework to ensure that our strategy is aligned when considering the four quadrants of this model.
  • The various Managing for Change models provided insight into the importance of considering the change management model in my recently completed PhD.

Apart from his Masters in 2020, what are his future plans after that?

“Given the profound impact that the Postgraduate Diploma had on my life, career and world views, I intend to complete my second PhD in Futures Studies and become a leading Futures Studies author in the fields of banking, economics and healthcare in South Africa.”

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