Ninah Hendricks, a 25 year-old Graduate Intern at the Provincial Treasury, has been pushing her boundaries since entering the Essay Bursary Competition in 2012.
In 2008, the Provincial Treasury identified skills shortages in the fields of Economics, Accounting, Finance and Auditing and launched its Essay Bursary Competition to overcome this challenge by providing youth access to tertiary education. To date, the department has spent more than R3.1 million on bursaries and R15.5 million on internships., thereby creating a youth talent pool to fill scarce skill positions.
As an Essay Bursary Competition finalist, Ninah received a cash prize as well as a bursary to pursue her dream of studying towards a 3 year BCOM Degree in Economics and Finance. Her need and thirst for knowledge did not end and she also completed an Honours Degree in Financial Analysis and Portfolio Management.
“The bursary I won increased my confidence and made me believe in my capabilities. Financially, it alleviated the pressures that have been felt by my parents and provided me with the opportunity to study. I was able to take control of my future” says Ninah.
Besides the obvious financial gain of the bursary, the associated internship at the Provincial Treasury assisted Ninah to gain valuable on the job experience to prepare her for the job market. One of the greatest challenges of any graduate is a lack of practical work experience. Internships plays a valuable role in linking theoretical knowledge to practical work experience. “My tasks involve engaging with departments regarding their budget allocations and the progress being made at the respective project sites. The monitoring, evaluation and verification of these budgets are imperative, as this ensures accountability, service delivery and compliance with the Public Financial Management Act. I also keep record of the unit’s key auditing deliverables, verify lease agreement information and keeping a record of the financial implications” says Ninah.
“I feel that I have made an impact on the lives of our citizens through narrative inputs I have made in the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, Municipal Economic Review and Outlook as well as the 2019 Estimates of Provincial Infrastructure Expenditure” says Ninah.
“Being a part of the public service has been a very sobering experience, seeing the infinite needs out there and pursuing maximum citizen impact” says Ninah.
Ninah is currently studying part-time towards a Master’s Degree in Economics.