With a full-time job and a family, Adelaide Jansen wasn’t sure what else she could possibly fit into her busy lifestyle. She was thrilled to find that she could easily manage to complete the UCT Supply Chain Management short course with GetSmarter, and we caught up with her recently to find out about her experience on the course.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
I grew up in the Stellenbosch district, and my career started in 1989 at Crown Cork as a quality inspector directly after matric, as there was no money for further studies. After a few months, I was promoted into production and sales. At this stage, I grabbed every opportunity to take the courses my company offered. I was single and very ambitious, and the more I could learn about running a big company the better. I had several different jobs over the years, and I got married and had 2 sons. In 2006, our family moved to Gauteng and in October of that year, I started working as supply planner for Tongaat Hulett, where I still work today.
What made you first decide to take the UCT Supply Chain Management short course?
In my mind, if one continues studying, by doing short courses specifically, I feel one could keep up with the times. There is always new information, technology or research available that would be beneficial. Short courses are also a great way for someone like me: I’m married; have a full-time job; a household to run; have kids that need attention and homework overseen; preparing supper, and then I still like keeping my mind refreshed through studies. Also, the UCT Supply Chain Management short course is interactive and online which is ideal for me.
Who do you think would benefit from taking this course with UCT and GetSmarter?
In my opinion, everyone in an organisation would benefit from this course because supply chain encompasses all activities, from raw material through to customer satisfaction. Everyone should understand how, and in which way, they contribute towards a common goal and that cooperation between parties is important.
How has this course helped you in your career?
I have been receiving a number of calls from personnel agencies this past year – that is a marked difference. Internally, our company is busy reshuffling departments and duties– so I’m waiting to see what the end results are going to be.
Have your colleagues noticed an improvement in your work approach?
I would certainly hope so. I’ve been doing this job since 2006, but for the past couple of years we’ve been working without several key role players, so central planning (my job) ended up having to take on the additional responsibilities. It’s been very stressful, but since I’ve taken this course I feel more confident of my supply chain knowledge and that I’m on the right track and am making things happen. I implement my own little procedures and keep records in order to ensure a continuous flow. I’ve recently had a very good performance rating from my superior!
What was the most interesting or useful thing you learnt on the course?
In my case, this course emphasised that what I was doing was absolutely in line with what was right. We don’t have a broad spectrum of knowledge internally with regards to supply chain management, and this sometimes caused conflict, but I now feel assured that I am on the right track.
How did you find learning online with GetSmarter?
Studying online with GetSmarter was fantastic since I did not have to rush to be at any given place (traffic is a nightmare here). I simply logged on in the comfort of my home, felt relaxed and went for it. The best was that I could study during the night – there simply weren’t enough hours in the day.
Did you interact with the other students or the Course Instructor, Dr Myles Wakeham? Did you find this valuable?
Yes. Very valuable. One gets various opinions and perspectives that contribute to the bigger picture. Especially in supply chain, where so many different parties have to interact and work together for a common goal. I believe one must be open to how others think and perceive things, to really listen to their input. I don’t believe in the adage “it’s always been done this way, so we can continue the trend”. There may be BETTER ways of doing things – times change!