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Profile of a BLAST graduate: Thizwilondi Nkhumeleni

Applications for the Anglo American BLAST Graduate Programme 2016 are now open. To celebrate this leadership training programme and its history, we talk to Thizwilondi Nkhumeleni, ORM system analyst, about his experiences.

AA: Why did you want to work for Anglo American?

TN: In my previous dealings with Anglo American, I was impressed by the calibre of individuals that work for the organization. I was also impressed by the number of senior people who had built long careers at Anglo American. In part, the passion that employees had for their work was pretty amazing.

AA: What attracted you as a graduate?

TN: As a graduate, I always wanted to work for a large organization. I also wanted to develop my career and grow. Anglo American’s BLAST programme offered the right mix in terms of the accelerated career opportunities, international assignments and all the necessary development courses. 

AA: How are you supported as a graduate at Anglo American?

TN: I have been very fortunate to have a very dedicated HR team supporting me in my career development. I have always sought insights and guidance from the BLAST HR team whenever a new opportunity was presented. Furthermore, the team has worked tirelessly to identify opportunities for growth such as additional courses.

AA: What programmes did you take part in?

TN: In my second year at Anglo American, I completed The Achievers Program (TAP) which focused on developing my interpersonal and business acumen skills.

In my fourth year at Anglo American, I also completed the Programme for Management Excellence (PME) which focused on enhancing my leadership skills and also offered a great networking platform with colleagues across the globe.

AA: What advice would you give to graduates who want to embark on a career at Anglo American? 

TN: As with any opportunity, be prepared to work hard to advance your career. Be willing to learn from a wealth of experience within the organization but at the same time, be able to share your acquired expertise and talents within your team. 

AA: What differentiates the BLAST programme to other graduate development programmes in the market?

TN: The assignments that individuals are given. Graduates are assigned challenging roles that aim to accelerate their career development. More importantly, this is done in a responsible manner with support to ensure that individuals excel.

AA: Which opportunity has benefited you the most, from a career perspective as an Anglo BLASTER?

TN: Every role or opportunity has brought about significant amount of learnings however, if I have to really pick one opportunity that stands out, it would have to be the role I had as analyst at the CEO’s office in South Africa. I had an opportunity to provide executive support to senior heads within the business.

AA: What challenges have you had to overcome in your role as an Anglo BLASTER and how did you overcome them?

TN: Challenges are part of learning and growth. With different assignments, I had to quickly acclimatize to different working cultures so that I can hit the ground running. Furthermore, I have found that it is always best to focus on the end goal whenever there are challenges.

AA: Have your personal and professional goals been met on this programme? And if so, how?

TN: From a career perspective, I have gained a wealth of experience in various functions across Anglo American. I have worked in different jurisdictions and acquired world class experience with exposure to senior leaders. From a personal perspective, I have had an opportunity to learn about different cultures across the globe through various international assignments.

Find out more about BLAST 2016.

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