Since 2008, a total of 8 500 students have been through Microsoft’s Student2Business (S2B) internship programme. These students have accessed opportunities through Microsoft’s partner network, which is made up of 186 companies across public and private sectors that support the programme.
“The major success factor of this internship programme lies in the fact that 70% of the graduating students have gone on to find formal employment in the ICT sector,” says Zoaib Hoosen, MD of Microsoft South Africa. “South Africa’s ICT sector is a key area in which the youth can make a real difference to the country’s future success by addressing current economic challenges and employment problems head-on.”
Wandile Zwane, who hails from Kwazulu-Natal, joined AdaptIt as part of the Microsoft S2B internship programme after finishing his BSC Computer Science and IT in 2013. He had this to say about the programme: “When I started as an intern I felt out of my depth, and inadequate, like I wasn’t adding much to the company. I struggled a lot, but I found my feet, and today I see the value I add to my team, and I am grateful to Microsoft and AdaptIT for this experience.”
“The Student to Business programme also provides support and resources to help graduates get through their internship with ease, which is important for a first jobber, ” says Nomcebo Cele, another S2B graduate. “It’s tough out there, but there are lots of opportunities, but you need to look for them, and do the best you can.”
As one of the participating employer partners on the S2B programme, Discovery Health’s then-HR consultant in the risk intelligence and business intelligence division Natalie Pillai shed light on the benefits of the S2B programme from an employer’s perspective. “It can sometimes be difficult to find the graduates who possess the right set of skills, technological literacy, and attitude to fit in with our company. Thanks to the S2B internship programme, we get to work with students for a year to mould them and provide them with on-the-job skills they require to become invaluable future Discovery employees.”
Through the S2B internship programme, Microsoft continues its commitment to partnering with ICT companies looking for new talent, to help address skills shortage and bring employment opportunities to young South Africans.