Meet Melissa Cronje | GetSmarter Notable Achiever

3 minutes   |  LAW

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In recognition of students who stand out from the crowd, GetSmarter’s Notable Achievers campaign highlights a top-performing student each week.

Melissa was chosen by our Student Success Team because of the commitment, hard work and passion she showed while completing the UCT Paralegal Practitioner online short course.

This online paralegal course sets out to train paralegals by arming students with a broad knowledge of South African legislation, as well as administrative competencies, to ensure they receive the most relevant content, backed by a UCT paralegal certficate.

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Here’s what she has to say about her experience:

Why did you decide to take this UCT online paralegal course?

UCT is considered as one of the best Universities in South Africa regarding their speciality in law. This was one of the reasons I decided to join this paralegal course.

It’s more user-friendly to join an online paralegal course in which I could control my own study time. I could go online to study the course material at any stage and refer back to the study material without being worried about traditional study hours, I was comfortable knowing there were discussion forums that I could look back on. I could read what my Head Tutor asked and what other students opinions where. The fact is I felt more comfortable at home.

There was no doubt in my mind that I would love this paralegal course due to the content covered in the modules. The topics covered in the modules were explained in interesting ways and I’ve never studied some of the subjects before. Knowledge is power and I wanted to learn more from an experienced Head Tutor.

What were your concerns before enrolling on this UCT paralegal course? How were your concerns alleviated and why?

I’m not a youngster anymore, and dealing with the internet and the online learning environment was a new concept to me but once I got to know this system, it became so easy to navigate. The technical team that was available 24/7 and helped me with my concerns, actually, they really helped me a lot.

What aspects are you enjoying about learning online with GetSmarter?

I have to say it’s the GetSmarter team. My Head Tutor, my Success Manager and the fellow students all contributed to a great experience. The case studies also broadened my mind, to such an extent that I wanted to know more about the case study and do more research. I couldn’t wait for the new module to be released.

Everybody could see that I was happy because I was learning so much. To be very honest, being in my position I thought I knew everything. Little did I know that I would learn so much in 16 weeks.

Studying with a group of passionate individuals made this course all the more worthwhile. I would recommend it to anybody who wants to consider paralegal as a profession. I am sad that my journey here has come to an end. I would definitely be back soon.

How do you plan to use the skills you learned on this course in your career?

Law is constantly evolving, and I have already applied a lot of the paralegal skills I gained from the modules in my professional role – it’s becoming a lifestyle.

I actually believe that if you have to ask me in the next two weeks what else I enjoyed and applied to my career, I would definitely say everything that I studied would be applied in the correct situation, and the only way you learn is by applying a skill and that’s exactly what I am intending to do!

What does it mean to you to earn a UCT paralegal certificate?

I have always loved UCT, I might come from Springs in Gauteng but I support the Stormers. A few years ago this was still my dream, but now my dream has become a reality thanks to GetSmarter.

I can’t wait for my certificate to be placed in a frame and put on display.

Will you be displaying your certificate?

Definitely! Displaying my certificate is an honour. Having this certificate means that any person whatever obstacle they find in their way can achieve such a certificate

Our Student Success Team identified you as being an outstanding student. Why do you think you are a Notable Achiever and what advice can you give to others looking to do this course?

As much as I would like to accept this the honour goes out to an outstanding institution that had faith in me. The GetSmarter team, my Success Manager, Head Tutor and the fellow students. This honour should go to them as well because the bar was set very high, and I thank them out of the bottom of my heart.

In terms of advice, have a goal in mind from the start, don’t sell yourself short, you can do anything that you apply your mind to. When times are tough to remember your goal, stay motivated.

Have a structure in place what times that you are going to study, stick to that routine, it takes 21 days to learn a new skill and it actually works, mine wrote papers or quizzes on Sundays, because you don’t know when your internet would be down, so it gives you time and once finished you can look forward to your Monday Module.

Don’t beat yourself up if you did not obtain the result that you wanted, you can only learn more from mistakes, so what does not break you makes you stronger.


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