Inspiration hit when Standard Bank introduced this year’s 172 Graduate Programme participants to the group at its Global Leadership Centre in Sandton recently. Diverse in fields of study and talent, representing 10 countries on the African continent, all these individuals have achieved and made their mark in their own individual way, be it academically, in their community, through perseverance, talent, tenacity and a will to succeed or make a difference.
The room of young graduates represent the future of the bank. They will go on to steer our future bank, or they will move on and take what they have learnt at Standard Bank and apply that to other sectors and communities – shaping our unborn future today.
In 2018 a young, newly graduated student posted an innocuous tweet on his timeline. Pictured was his mother, holding him as an infant on the day of her graduation. Solly Modiba also posted a picture of himself more than 20 years later of him graduating, with a proud mom at his side. The only response to that tweet years ago came from Standard Bank. https://twitter.com/sollymodiba/status/984942004961456128
Years later, that tweet, and Standard Bank’s response back then, would resonate even more deeply with Modiba. This year, he joined the almost 180 students who have been accepted into Standard Bank’s Graduate Programme.
Describing himself as a determined yet somewhat shy individual, Modiba comes from a small town in the Limpopo province where, he says, youth in the community do not see the value in getting an education as their world view is limited.
“I don’t think the schools that are located where I am from even know where to start with an education application. Many end up studying courses they are not interested in; they are just desperate to get out of their hometowns.”
Modiba studied a BCom Accounting at UJ and planned to go the CA route but things took a turn after finding a passion for tax. He then came across the Standard Bank Graduate Programme at a career fair and while he didn’t think much of the application, what he did not realise was that this would set him on the path to being employed by the organisation that once commented on his tweet.
As Modiba grows within Standard Bank, he hopes to one day return to where he is from and educate high schoolers on career development and the options available to them. He aims to make a difference in people’s lives and says Standard Bank is the organisation that will enable him to do so.
His story is one of perseverance, following your dreams, overcoming self-doubt, knowing your worth, and setting your goals high.