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Q & A with IMM Graduate School – Leaders in technology-enabled education

No matter who, when or where you are, we are always open for you

Resilience. It’s a very apt word to describe South Africans and the same can be said about the businesses, organisations, and institutions that keep this great country of ours moving.

In the past few months, and even before that, IMM Graduate School has shown not only resilience, but also how much they care about their students and the success they will achieve. They’ve gone more than the extra mile. Years of constant innovation and drive to do better for their students have lead to IMM becoming front-runners in technology-enabled education, and during our age of Covid-19, it has proven to be exactly what their students need.

We had a quick chat with Charmaine du Plessis, Chief Marketing Officer at IMM, to find out how they’re supporting their students during Covid-19 and their recently launched BCom in International Supply Chain Management.

1.Please tell us a little bit about IMM Graduate School

IMM has been around since 1960, and for the slightly older generation, we are the ‘household name’ for marketing qualifications. We currently offer 10 qualifications across higher certificates, diplomas, degrees, and postgrad. Our areas of expertise are marketing, business, and supply chain.

Focusing specifically on our marketing degree, these qualifications are fairly business-based, hence the BBA or BCom designation. The implication of this is that our curricula include modules such as financial management, business management, statistics, and a reasonable amount of quantitative work. Of course, the core theoretical marketing modules are in place, as well as various, very interesting, ‘applied’ marketing modules as you get to 2nd and 3rd year.

IMM is predominantly an online/distance/digital provider of qualifications. We have students from all over. There are almost 1 000 in Zimbabwe, but we also have various students in places such as the UK, Australia, India, and China. Our courses, content, and delivery model are set up to be able to support students remotely, which is ideal right now as you can imagine.

We also provide face-to-face tutorials for students who require additional help or prefer the discipline associated with a formal class schedule. Our largest Student Support Centre is in Stellenbosch, where we have over 500 students.

IMM Study

We like to define ourselves along 3 key dimensions:

  • Best-in-class qualifications: We have been offering degrees for many years, and we continually update. Many of the core principles remain constant but the case studies and applications are updated regularly.
  • Compelling delivery: We are probably the most flexible institution in terms of learning style. Simple yet compelling study guides, live and recorded webinars, digital interactive content, and face-to-face tutorials. We try to cater to all the various requirements and study styles.
  • Empathetic student support: This aspect is often overlooked by online education providers (in my opinion) and it is probably the biggest ‘gap’ between a traditional face-to-face university experience and online. Online is anonymous and it is difficult for lecturers to know when students are struggling. Because of this, we have implemented a series of interventions – not least of which is our help desk – where we are able to answer students’ questions within 15 minutes (during working hours) and slightly longer after hours. If you are to study remotely, this is a very important aspect to consider in any provider.

2. Covid-19 has changed the business landscape immeasurably. What steps will you take in the coming months to support your students?

Since 26 March, the IMM has been working non-stop to ensure that our students’ academic journey remains uninterrupted. Our various teams have not only been keeping the ‘engine going’ from home but are actually developing new products, content, platforms, and systems to make sure that our students look back at this semester as a successful experience and one that continues to push them toward their career objectives.

Our CEO, Dalein van Zyl, has been emailing students regular updates on all the important tweaks and changes to this semester’s schedule, emphasising some of the important items:

  • Assignments: Our assignment submission processes are ‘tried and tested’ and fully digital, or in other words, can be completed and submitted remotely, but the submission deadlines for most modules have been extended to allow a bit more flexibility for our students.
  • Examinations (Final Assessment): We decided to mitigate ongoing social distancing policies, so we have redesigned all the exams to allow for remote completion and submission. We’ve also put together memos and videos to help our students prepare and write an Open Book Assessment. The exam/final assessment schedule has also been tweaked and pushed out by 1 week.
  • Student support: Through our committed staff and our digital platforms, we have continued to provide support to our students almost 24/7.

Catherine-quote

3. Please share with us one of the courses you’re most excited about.

We recently launched our BCom International Supply Chain Management. It is an extremely relevant and interesting qualification that prepares students for the complex global trade and supply chain management sector. If you consider the most disruptive industries, as well as interesting businesses, it is not easy to ignore Amazon, one of the most valuable companies in the world. This qualification was mapped against industry standards and needs in order to develop skills that are job and industry relevant.

4. What are you looking forward to when it comes to the future of IMM Graduate School?

IMM Graduate School is at the forefront of technology-enabled education in South Africa. We have invested hugely over the last few years in systems and processes, and the result is a best-in-class combination of technology-enabled functionality with a human touch or support. We are able to offer our qualifications anywhere in the world and support students with equal intensity notwithstanding their location. At the same time, our talented and highly skilled faculty ensure that our curricula remain relevant to both graduates and future employers alike.

Source:

by . Q & A with IMM Graduate School – Leaders in technology-enabled education, Job Mail.  Available here.  [Accessed on 25 May 2020]

Watch that space! Recruitment ads can be misleading

Young graduates and professionals are often bamboozled by misleading recruitment advertising.

Jennilee Peremore-Oliver reveals what to look for in prospective employers – and their ads – to ensure you’re not taken for a costly ride.

Having viewed hundreds of job advertisements published by recruiters and human resources practitioners, I often question how much thought was given to it before clicking ‘publish’. Based on how much these job ads reveal about many of the recruiting companies’ (rather questionable) corporate culture, I am sure they would have rather left it concealed.

This might be bad news for the recruiting company, but it is great news for seasoned professionals with a keen eye for bad employers. They can dodge these bullets at the very first stage of seeking employment – the job advertisement. Sadly, young graduates or professionals with minimal work experience fall prey to these companies, because they are eager for the experience.

With South Africa’s unemployment rate at 27.5 percent, many job seekers are competing for a handful of roles, and self-seeking employers use this national crisis to their advantage to exploit job seekers.

This article is aimed at young graduates and professionals to help them identify a company with a poor corporate culture at the initial stages of the recruitment process.

1. The impossible list of duties and expectations

This can include advertising multiple different roles as one. For example, they advertise that the company is “looking for a digital/marketing/PR/content manager”. Digital is not the same as marketing, and marketing is not the same as public relations, and PR is not the same as digital. Other practices include an impossible list of duties, which is more than five pages long, or listing only what the company requires from the employee but excluding what the company offers employees.

This creates the impression that the recruiting company aims to exhaust its employees without any consideration or concern for their employees’ quality of life, and that the company does not view employment as a reciprocal relationship.

2. Requesting salary history and expectation

Many job seekers don’t know that employers don’t have the right to ask for their salary history, and those that do know and who exercise their right to keep their salary history private are passed over for the job regardless of whether they are the best candidate.

There are companies that hire young graduates with great potential to excel and give them a very low entry salary, either as an intern or junior employee, and then only provide them with a nominal annual increase when they become permanently employed at the company.

Asking for a salary history or expectation reveals to candidates that the company is not transparent, and that they are potentially aiming to deceive good candidates into accepting an offer lower than they are worth or that is on offer.

3. Advertising a salary bracket with the position and later lowering the offer

Some recruiters advertise a salary bracket and later lower it once they receive the candidate’s salary history and salary expectation, yet the job seeker only applied because they viewed the salary bracket as being commensurate with their skills and experience.

If the candidate is bold and advises that the salary bracket is much lower than originally advertised, then they are immediately removed from the recruitment pipeline without any explanation. This conduct is unethical and reveals that the recruiting company is not interested in a mutually beneficial relationship.

4. Asking candidates to share their intellectual property

No employer should ask a candidate to write a project for them that is longer than one page and will take them more than one hour to complete. The project should always be fictitious – it should not be for one of the company’s existing projects or client projects.

Candidates try to appease potential employers and comply with all requests and develop detailed strategic plans and presentations. The employer is then the recipient of creative and innovative ideas that can be implemented by the company without making any offer of employment or remuneration to the candidate.

These are just a few of the cunning tactics companies use during the recruitment process. Their overarching goal is to get more than what they paid for, which results in the exploitation of South African job seekers.

IMM JOB MARKET 

The IMM Graduate School has launched a new platform to help graduates with future positions in organisations looking for qualified individuals. Here’s what you need to know.

What is the IMM Job Market?

The IMM Job Market is an initiative that aims to match current and past students (alumni) with employers who have vacancies in their organisations. Because the IMM Graduate School mainly offers qualifications in marketing, supply chain and business, this initiative is directed towards vacant positions, internships and graduate programmes offered by organisations in these three fields.

How does it work?

There will be a tab on our website ascribed to the IMM Job Market

function with pages for a) current and past students’ profiles and CVs; and b) any vacancies, with details of how alumni and current students can apply.

External recruiters, corporates and IMM alumni and students will be able to post relevant vacancies in their respective organisations on our website, and alumni and current students can then view and apply for these positions. Once our students select a vacancy, they will be redirected to the company website.

What does it cost?

As an IMM Graduate School alumnus, current student or a dedicated marketer, it will cost you absolutely nothing to either load your CV or post a vacancy for your organisation. Recruiters wishing to make use of this platform to advertise vacancies can also do so at no cost.

How do I upload my CV or post a vacancy, internship or graduate programme opportunity?

You simply go to https://immjobmarket.imm.ac.za/ and follow the easy instructions to load CVs or vacancies.

Who can use this portal?

Anyone can use this portal, so tell your colleagues, HR department and friends about it!

Who do I contact if I need assistance?

Marketing Department: anjab@immgsm.ac.za

Make sure you head over to the IMM Job Market to see the uploaded vacant positions. Remember to add your new qualifications to your profile. Follow the instructions on how to apply.

What is the IMM Job Market

IMM Job MarketThis initiative aims to match current as well as past students (alumni) with employers who have vacancies in their organisations. As the IMM Graduate School mainly offers qualifications in marketing, business and supply chain, we would be looking at vacant positions, internships and graduate programmes in these disciplines only.

 

HOW DOES IT WORK?

External recruiters, as well as corporates and IMM alumni and students will be able to post relevant vacancies in their respective organisations on our website, and alumni and current students can then view and apply for these positions. Once our students click on the relevant or chosen vacancy, they will be redirected to the company website where the vacancy is and then it follows the usual recruitment process.

 

WHAT DOES IT COST?

As an IMM Graduate School alumnus or current student, it will cost you absolutely nothing to either load your CVs, or post a vacancy at your workplace. Recruiters wishing to make use of this platform to advertise vacancies, can also do so at no cost.  It is a complimentary service that we offer our stakeholders, in the spirit of ‘paying it forward’ and assisting our graduates to either find first-time employment or promotion opportunities.

 

HOW DO I UPLOAD MY CV, OR POST A VACANCY, INTERNSHIP OR GRADUATE PROGRAMME OPPORTUNITY?

Job seekers:
Register and login as a candidate. Once logged in, navigate to the ‘Candidate Panel’ page, under ‘My Resume’, fill in the required fields and click ‘update’ to finalise your Resume.

Employers:
Register and login as a Employer.  Once logged in, navigate to the ‘Employer Panel’, under ‘ Post a Job’, fill in the required fields and click on ‘Preview’ then click on ‘Publish’ to finalise the Job listing.

 

WHO CAN USE THIS PORTAL?

Anyone can use this portal, so tell your colleagues, HR departments and friends about it!