Do you want to own a business one day? Maybe you want to help run a business?

The world of business and the opportunities it holds is indeed endless.

It is estimated that there are 190 million registered companies in the world today. Many of these companies started off small and grew into what they are today.

Whether you start out small or big, you’ll need some sort of business knowledge to run or own a successful company or business. Whether it is a passion you have for the industry you are in or the broad knowledge acquired over time, it is always beneficial to have some theoretical and practical experience as a backing.

If you are serious about business – we can help! Prestige Academy offers a Diploma in Business Management and a Bachelor of Commerce in Business Management that will equip you with the skills you’ll need to own or manage a successful business.

We spoke to the business lecturer, Lize-Mari Weppenaar, at our Bellville campus, on why she believes a qualification in business is a stepping stone into the business world, and what the opportunities there are once you’ve got an accredited qualification behind your name.

“The great thing about business management is that it is a very broad field to study towards. You’ll be introduced to various business functions. I’ve had students who decided to travel afterwards, and a student who works at the Cricket Union in Newlands, Cape Town. You will be introduced to various topics. You’ll learn about project management, strategic management, financial management, and entrepreneurship. There are even some students who have started their own businesses!”

“We equip you with the tools to think in a structured manner, about how to approach a business concepts. Some of our students are running finance departments or some are working for the government. No matter what you decide to do – the Diploma in Business Management or the Bachelor of Commerce in Business Management – you are bound to get a decent job, but of course, that also depends on the work and effort YOU put in.”

She talks about the difference between the Diploma and the Degree: “In the Diploma, we encourage the students to go out in the industry and work. They have a work-based learning component integrated into their studies which they have to do in order for them to complete their qualification. Some of our students do so well that they are offered employment at the company the ‘interned’ at.  The Degree focuses more on theoretical knowledge. Our third years finish in September each year.They get issued an opportunity to also go and work for three months to gain valuable work-integrated leanring.”

She believes that the theory you learn in class will equip you to make an informed decision and let you approach a business in a certain way. “You learn about certain aspects of a business, for example; how to market a business, how to make better business decisions regarding the financial aspects of a business. This helps you to not rely on someone else, but lets you manage certain aspects of the business yourself.”

You will learn about how to think strategically, as well as you will learn about logistics and business administration, like executing an office property layout. You’ll have the tools and knowledge of how to work with people as the programme covers human resource management. You’ll gain a competitive advantage in your business when you study towards either of these programmes.

Some of the career opportunities include managing the financial, administration or marketing aspects of a business, You can apply your knowledge to any industry. Wherever your passion lies – you will be able to run or own a business. “The opportunities are endless.”

Ms. Weppenaar gives some advice to prospective students: “If you like numbers you will thrive in your studies because you work with statistics, finance, and accounting. You’ll have to be able to evaluate if a business is doing well or not. Based on that information you’ll have to make strategic decisions. Also, always question things – never accept the status quo. Read ahead, practice finance, AND come to class because you don’t want to miss what the lecturers bring to class. They have the industry experience and examples that you will need in order to understand and learn. If you don’t understand something, ASK, it will help you in the end.”

To find out even more about what it is like studying towards this programme, we interviewed Alumni Student, Bianca Finlay, who graduated in March this year (2018). She studied towards a Bachelor of Commerce in Business Management.

Bianca Finlay – BCom Business Management Alumni

Q:  What did you learn in class that you are applying in your job today?

A: I have been applying all of my accounting and finance work; everything I learned in class I have been applying practically. Most beneficial for me at the moment I would say is my understanding of accounting and the concepts of stock, and stock management.

The work I learned in organisational behaviour has also been very beneficial in terms of employee management and work relationships, as well as dealing with sensitive topics in a conflict situation.

Strategic management and project management were definitely the most beneficial for me as my job required me to start on an entirely new project. Aspects like problem-solving, creative thinking, the direction of my project, how to approach it according to the environment that I will be working within, the understanding of the activities involved in the value chain analysis; all of those aspects have been very beneficial to my work.

Q: Where do you live and work?

A: I live in London in the United Kingdom and I work for a company called Minor Entertainment. They produce children’s theatre productions that tour the entirety of the UK, and I tour with the production managing the Merchandising Process and my team.

Q:  How has Prestige Academy and what you studied opened the door for you for getting the job you have today?

A: The fact that I have a Business Degree was something that my employer was very intrigued by. Essentially I manage the entirety of the finances regarding the merchandising process and therefore my understanding of finance for them was an essential part of them employing me. I had to do a mathematical test as part of my interview process and I scored in the high 70’s; for my company, it was essential for me to score well in order to be considered for the job.

I also had to do a Microsoft Excel test to see my abilities on a computer and my understanding of the program. They were very happy with my results and I can attribute my success there to the Information Systems subject that is required to be taken as part of the Business Management Degree at Prestige Academy.

Q: What were some of the exciting things you learned in class?

A: In all honesty, the most exciting part of any class for me was the practical application of the subject. It didn’t matter what subject it was, it was only important to me that the theory could be practically applied in the workplace. Prestige Academy lecturers perform well in ensuring that the subject matter is applied practically.

Q:  What kind of practical work did you do in class?

A: The practical work done in class was my favourite part of Prestige Academy. My absolutely favourite assignment was the implementation of Project Management into the designing of a board game. My team and I went all the way on this assignment and we scored very highly.

Q: What would you tell a prospective student, wanting to study towards a programme in Business?

A: Don’t take theory for granted, but always make sure you have a practical understanding of the theory, it will save your life.

Q:  What are your thoughts about Prestige Academy in general – what stood out for you?

A: I felt really at home at Prestige Academy. I was a really happy student, I had a great relationship with my lecturers, I enjoyed going to my classes and I looked forward to all of my practical assignments.

Q:  How would you best describe this programme?

A: It isn’t easy. But if it was easy, everyone would do it.

In all honesty, if you are a logical person, you work hard, you have self-discipline and you have a good understanding of finance, you will pass the course.

However, if you really want to better your understanding of Business Management and Finance and really enjoy the subject matter and how businesses operate in the real world, you really need to focus on applying the theory practically. Mrs. Weppenaar always said: “Apply, apply, apply!”

Register towards the Diploma in Business Management and a Bachelor of Commerce in Business Management.