Stellenbosch University
Welcome to Stellenbosch University
Author: Sharon Malan
Published: 11/10/2023

​The primary objective of the OPTIMUS programme within the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences is to provide a stimulating environment and, support top undergraduate academic achievers on their academic journey to ensure sustained achievement while at SU and after graduation.

On 03 October 2023, the programme concluded its activities for the year with its annual “Engagement with a leader" evening at Middelvlei Wine Estate. Throughout the evening industry leaders shared their life stories, experiences and, advice with the group of second year OPTIMUS participants.

These included Dr Debra Shepherd, a senior lecturer and researcher at the Department of Economics; Burtie September, a Chartered Accountant and Chief Financial Officer of the Curro Schools Group; Katleho Mosehle, the Regional Executive at AlexForbes Health Advisory Services (Coastal Region) and Zac Rusagara, an entrepreneur and founder of aiAdvertising and, co-founder and director of

The group shared invaluable advice with students such as the significance of managing fear and embracing failure as a learning opportunity (where FAIL stands for First Attempt In Learning). Students were encou​raged to not shy away from failure but choose to be courageous elsewhere, recognise that life rewards action and, that success comes in various forms. The concept of "dating yourself" to gain a deeper understanding of one's own self was also introduced as an important step in one’s journey.

The evening provided OPTIMUS students with a unique opportunity to draw from the wisdom and experiences of these industry leaders, leaving them inspired for their academic and professional journeys ahead. They also received their certificates for successful completion of the programme.

Photo: OPTIMUS students at Middelvlei.
Credit: Ignus Dreyer (SCPS Photos) ​