In this blog series, ‘Sharing Your Story’, I attempt to share the stories I come across that inspire me. In this addition I interview Clint Cook, a top paddler in our Durban community, as he goes through the challenges of leaving Varsity College and finding his first full time job.
In tough economic times where jobs are few, you need to stand out from the crowd and have skills to add value to the job market. The success Clint has had, I believe is directly a result of the environment he has been involved in, as part of the Sports Life program at Varsity College.
I have known Clint since he moved from Joberg to Durban some year’s back, having seen him has grow as a paddler and a strong personality off the water too. I have had the privilege of him work for me as a coach at my Surfskischool in Durban and was blown away by his friendly nature and great people skills.
Clint recently went for his first job interviews and has been successful a landing a position with a top Durban firm. I shared some of his experiences over this time and couldn’t help feel inspired for the students leaving Varsity College.
I have had a long relationship with Varsity College, first as a student and believe that the skills I learnt there prepared me for the challenges of owning my own business. Their focus of preparing students not just to pass, but for the working world has always been a stand out, with sport and part time work off campus, always being at the forefront of this mantra.
Sport Life (Varsity College’s Sporting Clubs on campus) offer students the opportunity to get involved in sports, network and live a healthier lifestyle, preparing them for success. It is awesome to see this program has impacted so positively on Clint and others.
Here is the interview:
BL. How were you first introduced to Varsity College?
CC. I was introduced to Varsity College by Grant Van Der Walt (Sports Life Captain on the Durban North Campus). I had made a return to paddling after a 2 year gap and Grant suggested I sign up.
BL. What did you decide to study?
CC. I studied an HCBPP (Higher certificate in Business principles and practice) and a BCom in Financial management.
BL. How did you involved with Sport Life on campus?
CC. When I went for my interview with Varsity College, The Principle, Keith and Student Adviser, Jo Taylor recommended I get involved with the Sports life program as canoeing was a sport offered by VC.
BL. What skills did you pick up at VC that stand you apart from your peers?
CC. VC taught me how to be myself, be an individual and stand tall. It also taught me that hard work pays off.
BL. What did you learn from sport outside the class?
CC. Sport has taught me that what you put in, is what you get out. It has given me self discipline and a sense of purpose.
BL. What part time work did you do outside of VC to build your skills?
CC. In 2015 I worked as a part time Surf Ski coach at the Surfskischool. This was great as a means of making extra cash, as well as teaching and sharing my love for paddling with others.
BL. How did the skills learnt though your years as a student impact your interviewing for your first job?
CC. When I interviewed for my first job, I knew I had the necessary skills to face any challenge as well as cope with anything that the job may throw at me. Lucie Bouwer from the VC careers Centre was a great help and mentor and gave solid advice.
BL. What were the defining factors in you getting the position?
CC. My passion for sports as well as my achievements, and the higher education and skills I gained from studying my degree through VC.
BL. How do you believe VC has prepared you for the work place now that you are in the working world?
CC. VC offered me a platform to jumpstart my life, the amount of things that VC has taught me is completely invaluable and these things will now stay with me for life.
BL. What advice would you give students starting out at VC?
CC. For students starting at VC, I suggest you get involved, get stuck in. Work hard, make friends with the Lecturers and staff, these relationships provide you with bridges to a better future.
BL. What advice would give a student going for his/her first interview?
CC. For a student interviewing, I would say that VC has taught you what you need to know, and with that qualification behind you there’s nothing you can’t do.
Thanks to Clint for sharing and good luck with a successful career.
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