Nettie was a full time employee, in 2000, for a candle manufacturing company in the Overberg area in the Western Cape. At that time the Department of Labour identified this specific area as one with a very high rate of unemployment. They then identified various skilled individuals in the area to train those who were unemployed, and so they selected Nettie. She thought it would be an easy and quick assignment. But after the assignment was complete the 4 ladies that she trained told her that it would be unfair of her to train them and then just leave them. Nettie, who has an amazing heart and passion for uplifting others, took this opportunity to teach these ladies further. While still working a full-time job, she would take time before work, during her lunch breaks and then again after work helping the ladies paint items and then try and sell them to earn an income for them. She managed to this for a year. From her own personal savings, she then took the opportunity to purchase a small ceramic factory in Cape Town, but not wanting to uproot the ladies from their own homes, she then moved all the equipment in the factory to the small Overberg town. Seven years ago, while on annual holiday, we by chance walked into the world of Nettie and her small group of ladies, and ever since then, we have seen the exponential growth of the factory as well as the individuals involved in the painting of these items. Today this project employs anywhere between 20-30 staff (depending on the time of year). The ladies earn their wage per item that they paint, and most of them are the sole breadwinners for their households. essay GIFTS is so proud of being associated with the passion that keeps Nettie and the team of ladies painting and growing year after year.
I’m pursuing a Harvard MBA because I want to become a better business strategist and strong general manager. Also, I want to further develop my leadership and presentation skills as I will manage professionals on the content and business side; it will be my task to unite them behind a shared strategic vision. Specifically, I want to learn how to motivate teams and individuals to perform at their highest level, and to become more adept at persuasion and generating “buy-in” from others. Harvard’s unique approach using the case method and emphasis on leadership development will challenge me to grow in both these areas. I also feel that I have much to contribute to Harvard’s community. My varied background in finance and media has given me a unique perspective that will be valuable in classroom discussions and team projects. I want to share my passion for the entertainment industry with my classmates by chairing the Entertainment & Media club and planning conferences, career treks, and other opportunities.