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Stellenbosch University’s Gradlinc show exceptional growth in first year
Author: Petro Mostert
Published: 16/02/2024

​Stellenbosch University's startup company Gradlinc — an innovative graduate career development platform — signed up more than 4 200 students and 250 companies in just over one year.

This innovative platform that connects employers, graduates, and universities country-wide was launched at the beginning of SU's graduation week on 5 December 2022. Gradlinc is a must-needed solution to connect employers, graduates, and universities on a national cloud-based platform. The platform's unique matching algorithm ensures that employers' job requirements match very precisely with the graduates' skillset. Stellenbosch University's innovation division, Innovus, funded this initiative.

As a response to the critical need to bridge graduates with opportunities during their studies and as fresh graduates, the Gradlinc journey began with the recognition that many tertiary institutions faced similar graduate employment challenges, with only a handful having dedicated job portals for students. In a bold move, Gradlinc decided to build a national platform to remove barriers for all students.

The platform witnesses daily sign-ups from university students nationwide, representing 23 of the 26 public universities, with ongoing efforts to onboard students from private universities and institutions. Most sign-ups are undergraduate students, followed by Honours, Masters and Doctoral students. Altogether, 20 percent of students studied degrees in Arts and social sciences, followed by BSc Human Life Sciences, BSc Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, LLB, International Studies, Management Sciences, and Financial Accounting, with Engineering Science and Medical Sciences not far behind.

A recent testimonial read: “As an aspiring BSc Human Life Sciences graduate, job hunting was a frequent and often very stressful activity. Not only did Gradlinc help me with the job searching process, but it was also such a simple and user-friendly website. The platform allows companies to post jobs and internships available to recent graduates, which is extremely helpful. Gradlinc allowed for a quick and easy application process and provided the utmost assistance in finding the right job for me."

“The story of Gradlinc is one of developing African solutions for African problems, bringing the solution to those who can benefit. It's a testament to the collective effort required to address graduate employment in South Africa," said Lizane Füzy, General Manager of Gradlinc.

Enhancing a graduate's employability

Gradlinc's latest addition is the Gradlinc Employability Award, a program, designed to acknowledge and reward activities like volunteer work and workshop attendance, and allows students to earn points reflected as badges on their profiles, making it easier for employers to recognise employable talent. “With plans to extend this program to schools in 2024, Gradlinc is actively contributing to enhancing students' employability from an early stage and facilitating a strong foundation to build successful careers," said Füzy.

In January this year, Gradlinc initiated a modern online job shadowing experience through a weekly webinar series titled "A day in the life," where Industry professionals join live sessions and share their insights into various careers. The webinars, open to students and school pupils, feature live Q&A sessions and can be viewed afterward on Gradlinc's YouTube channel.

Füzy says a key differentiator for Gradlinc is their commitment to advocate for the youth and giving graduates a voice, as one student remarked: “usually the job criteria stipulates that an applicant needs experience". But what if you have just graduated? In cases like these, Gradlinc's algorithm assists graduate employers in attracting employable candidates, even without experience. Students don't lose access to the platform after graduation as they have lifelong access. This commitment ensures a sustained connection between academia and professional life. Gradlinc also offers diverse opportunities, including part-time roles, full-time positions, holiday work, and internships, creating a comprehensive platform for career development.

In a recent accolade, Gradlinc was one of the top ten finalists in the AfricaIgnite Pitch Competition. The competition, held in collaboration with the Start-up World Cup powered by Pegasus, was held at the Africa Tech Festival between 14 and 16 November 2023. “This recognition underscores Gradlinc's commitment to creating sustainable solutions for the youth and fostering a thriving entrepreneurial landscape in Africa," says Füzy


Visit Gradlinc for more information and follow Gradlinc on social media:

Instagram: gradlinc_sa 

Facebook: gradlincSA 

LinkedIn: gradlinc

X: gradlinc_sa 

YouTube: @gradlinc