Having never completed her art school qualification – she left to pursue her career – TV presenter, radio personality and actress Jeannie D wanted to study practical skills that she could apply directly to her life

She recently teamed up with iXperience, a leading global education provider, to help equip young South Africans with the skills for the digital age. Her digital marketing programme included a virtual internship opportunity with some of the country’s leading companies – an innovative way to gain valuable mentorship and connections amid COVID-19.

Here, are some relevant take-aways from Jeannie’s iX Remote experience:

Monetise your skills

At art school, I never felt like I was being equipped with the knowledge to monetise my art. Through my studies this year, I was able to acquire the skills I need for the modern workplace. I studied digital marketing, which gave me these essential capabilities. Right now, many people are needing to pivot and start a side hustle. Entrepreneurship will be critical to reboot the economy. South Africans are known for our ingenuity. It’s imperative we have the knowledge to monetise our skills.

Add an extra level of proficiency

I believe everyone can benefit from providing an extra level of proficiency in whatever they do. Right now, with jobs in short supply, we all want to stand out. Refreshing one’s skills through continuous learning is a way to retain your relevance, add value and stay ahead of the competition.

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Do a virtual internship

In a country like South Africa, we need to ramp up work experience, apprenticeships, and internship offerings to help bridge the skills divide. A virtual internship is an innovative way to do so. Technology has made it possible to feel connected and immersed in company culture, despite the physical distance. A virtual internship facilitates meaningful mentorship and ongoing learning opportunities. That’s why it’s a critical component of the iX Remote offering and part of the scholarship programme.

Get practical

The pandemic has accelerated a change in the world of work. It’s also highlighted the importance of practical skills like communication. While theoretical knowledge is important, it should be complemented by practical capabilities that empower you to hit the ground running in any work environment. Choose to pursue the kinds of capabilities you know employers are looking for – soft skills like complex problem solving, and hard skills like digital marketing, finance, and coding.

Build connections, continuously

One of the most appealing aspects of iX Remote is that it connects you to a global community. Relationship-building is crucial – you never know how another person could help you work towards your ambitions and goals. The pandemic has highlighted how we all crave connection. It’s also shown what a powerful impact we can have when we lift one another up.

“Right now, many people are needing to pivot and start a side hustle. Entrepreneurship will be critical to reboot the economy. South Africans are known for our ingenuity. It’s imperative we have the knowledge to monetise our skills”

She says that COVID-19 has accelerated change in the world of work, “It’s radically transforming how we work, so arming yourself with digital skills is essential. The aim of this scholarship collaboration is to reach South Africans with the message of a changing world – and inspire them to action. We hope it will empower people to live their best lives by realising their true potential.”

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More about the scholarship

The full scholarship is the perfect opportunity for those seeking to transform their careers and gain practical, relevant skills that equip one for career opportunities in an increasingly digital world. iXperience’s Remote program (called iX Remote) is a dynamic 6-week program, during which you take a career-oriented course that focuses on future-fit skills like digital marketing, web development, or visual design.

Aaron Fuchs, Founder and CEO of iXperience says that iX Remote – a digital version of the study abroad company – was born from the pandemic and is a world-class online offering, “iXperience has been providing students with a study abroad and internship program for almost ten years. Since the pandemic, we’ve brought our offering online, which has made it scalable and accessible. We remain focused on small, intensive classes, with leading lecturers who focus on instilling the hard and soft skills employers really want.”

Fuchs says that he hopes the scholarship will make a difference in a country with one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the world. “We hope the beneficiaries of the scholarships will be given the ‘leg up’, in terms of capabilities and confidence, to land their dream jobs. That’s how we measure success.”

Jeannie concludes, “I am so excited to read every single application. I really hope these scholarships inspire tangible change and help the recipients to feel stimulated and inspired. Learning to learn is an amazing skill. Enjoy the process. Never stop improving.”