South Africa’s search for the Top 100 Undergraduates launches.


With so much unrest surrounding universities lately, positive news regarding our country’s students can seem in short supply. The launch of the GradStar programme in South Africa seeks to change that, focusing on the immense potential that university students have to bring about change.


The GradStar programme, sponsored by FNB and Fasken Martineau, was created by BlackBark Productions (creators of the Rising Star Awards), with judging partners Khonology, and matches the country’s best future graduates with potential employers and business mentors. It provides participating employers and the Top 100 graduates access to each other in a uniquely developed programme that focuses on quality connections, and compliments existing employer programmes.


These university students show the best potential as the country’s future leaders, and their assessment throughout the process is conducted by key assessment providers, employers and universities. After receiving thousands of entries from across the country in 2016 and offering the Top 100 students access to job offers and many other profiling opportunities, the search for the 2017 Top 100 has begun.


The Top 100 students are selected based on leadership criteria and readiness for the workplace, in addition to their academic performance, and the programme culminated in employer workshops with the Top 100, who represent the financial, accounting, IT, engineering and legal disciplines, amongst others.


“I am particularly proud of the GradStar programme for the way it develops our very young talent in South Africa,” says Laura Barker, MD of BlackBark Productions. “The Top 100 will each be connected with a business mentor, who has been recognised through our Rising Star Programme, to further ready them for the workplace. This is a unique and valuable opportunity for each graduate to draw upon the expertise and knowledge of those who have gone before them, and start their careers on a solid foundation.”


The competition process is designed to emulate the process that top employers use to find their future talent, and uses psychometric testing and video interviewing amongst other methods as measurement tools. It allows students to familiarise themselves with the formal graduate programme application process, and enables them to identify their own strengths and weaknesses along the way.


Dr David Molapo, management consultant, educator and well-known motivational speaker, is the patron of the GradStar programme, and sees the initiative as one deserving of the support of employers and educators across South Africa. “This is a worthy programme,” he says. “It is designed to uplift the student youth at this time of unrest, and provide an aspirational platform to assist them in achieving their potential.”


Entries are open to all students who will still be in full time study at the end of 2017 and applications forms can be requested at

Entries are free of charge

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Oludare J. Olusan
Oludare J. Olusan 249 posts

Publisher, Entrepreneur, Author and founder of The African portal / Presenter at The African Portal Radio / TV

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