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Avukile Mabombo

Current Job: 
Marketing Manager for Reserve Brands at Brandhouse.
Faculty: 
My Honours degree was very much focused on strategy around marketing and at this stage I already knew that I was going to pursue a career in advertising/brand management.

Previous jobs(s):

  • Brand Manager, Amstel, Brandhouse (until 30 Nov 2014)
  • Brand manager, Heineken, Brandhouse
  • Brand manager, Hennessy, RGBC
  • Account Manager, Ogilvy Cape Town
  • Producer, Cape Talk radio

How I obtained my current position:

I was already working at Brandhouse on Heineken and the position opened up with Amstel. Whilst the position was the same, the role and responsibilities were more challenging with Amstel Lite as they were about to launch something new, so I took up the opportunity to do fresh, ground-breaking work.

How my qualifications relate to my work:

I majored in Film production and I’m definitely not making movies right now (although that is still a plan in the works) however, my degree was broad enough to provide me with a very good knowledge base on media and advertising in general, not just from a content creation point of view by also psychologically and how we engage with and interpret communication.

My Honours degree was very much focused on strategy around marketing and at this stage I already knew that I was going to pursue a career in advertising/brand management.

Skills that have contributed to my success:

Curiosity above anything else. Education is fast becoming the base level. There are thousands of people with the same qualifications as you looking for the same type of work. My curiosity about things has led me to meet amazing people and do things that are out of the ordinary which has given me a unique perspective in the way a tackle my work.

Day-to-day activities:

Every day is different. There is no such thing as “day-to-day” because each one brings about its own challenges and opportunities 

Best & most challenging parts of my job:

Being able to create things that people engage with and feel passionate about; be it a product, a piece of communication or activation. People will always have a point of view and it’s most exciting to try and plot how to get them on your side.

The most challenging part is trying to stay relevant and ahead of your competitor’s every day. The world is changing so fast and it doesn’t take long to be outdated so you need to maintain all of that whilst still staying true to your own brand essence.

Involvement at UCT:

Leo Marquard House Committee (Entertainment Rep), SRC (Media & Communications Officer), Leo Marquard Sub Warden, UCT Radio DJ, UCT U21 Rugby.

Gaining a competitive edge while at UCT:

Get involved. You have more time than you think so it doesn’t mean you need to miss out on the ’turn up’. Have a long term plan around what you want to learn or achieve out of the extra-mural activities you do. Don’t be afraid to try things out; you never know what you may find out about yourself.

Outside of varsity, try and do internships during vac. It will give you a good idea of what the working world is like and it also means you are not starting from zero once you graduate.

Advice for graduates entering the world of work:

Things may not always work out according to your plan. Don’t get despondent if you don’t walk into the exact job that you want. Career development is not a linear path and as long as you never lose sight of your north star, you are going to have to go sideways to move forward. It’s part of life.