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A Day in the Life: Meggan Ceylon
Author: Corporate Communications and Marketing
Published: 15/05/2024

​Meggan Ceylon plays a pivotal role in organising conferences and prestigious events at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS). She thrives under pressure and loves working with the dynamic Marketing and Communications team at the Tygerberg campus. Ceylon shares the passions that fuel her drive for excellence and the diverse interests that enrich her personal life. As we kick off May celebrating Workers' Day, we dedicate this series of profiles to our staff and their crucial contributions to Stellenbosch University (SU).

What does your role at SU entail? 

I was recently promoted to the position of Events and Conferencing Specialist at SU's FMHS. In this role, I am tasked with managing all institutional and faculty events that take place at the Tygerberg campus, as well as overseeing the administrative functions of its Marketing and Communications Division. I am also responsible for managing relationships with Faculty and University's external stakeholders who use facilities at the faculty for meetings, conferences and symposia and ensuring that those relationships are fostered for future collaborations.

What does a typical day at work look like? 

My daily responsibilities include a diverse range of tasks. A typical day may include processing payments and responding to enquiries related to the Marketing and Communications office or liaising with different role-players to facilitate external stakeholders' event requests. On other days I may be running between buildings on SU's Tygerberg Campus (where I am based), meeting service providers, collaborating with campus security and facilities management, or taking clients on venue tours to understand their needs.

How did your education or past experiences prepare you for this job?

My passion for planning and organisation started in my early ears as a library assistant in primary school. This enthusiasm continued throughout high school, where I actively participated in various committees responsible for planning social activities, sports days and even the school's Matric farewell. My BCom degree from SU afforded me with valuable insight into human behaviour, business finance management, relationship building, and most importantly, resilience. This academic foundation, coupled with my experience, has honed by ability to identify people's needs and motivations without them explicitly saying it; anticipating potential issues and developing solutions even before they arise; and I am also able to have difficult conversations.

What do you enjoy most about your role and working at SU? 

The dynamic nature of my role is one of its most rewarding aspects. Every day presents fresh challenges and requires me to adapt and solve problems creatively.

Many days I work under tight deadlines, managing high expectations and mitigating potential risks —all of which contribute to the stimulating environment I thrive in.

Hosting prestigious events is a particularly exciting component of my job. I have had the privilege of coordinating visits from figures such as President Cyril Ramaphosa, national ministers and the Director-General of the World Health Organisation. These high-profile events demanded meticulous planning and flawless execution, making it both challenging and deeply rewarding.

Another favourite aspect of my job is my colleagues, and there is a strong sense of teamwork within my department. Our close-knit team is small, but we work very well together, which creates a positive and supportive environment, which in my opinion is the recipe to happiness in the workplace. I also collaborate with a larger logistics team which includes business management, campus security and facilities management who I rely on immensely. Their efficiency and commitment to teamwork contribute significantly to my confidence in executing on a successful event.  

Tell us something exciting about yourself that few people would expect?

I'm always up for trying new things, whether it's exploring exciting new cuisines or venturing out for unique experiences. I have driven all the way to Caledon spa on a whim to experience the hot springs – and let me tell you, the hype was real! I'm also keeping active with Zumba classes this year and will even be participating in an upcoming charity event.

Beyond that, I'm a big believer in lifelong learning. Lately, I've been fascinated by personal finance, particularly within the South African context. I kickstart my morning by diving into articles about the economy and financial news – it's a great way to stay informed and engaged with the world around me and of course there's always room for a love story.

PHOTO and VIDEO: Stefan Els