Mbali Gamede

JumpStart Professional Retail Programme alumni Mbalenhle Gamede explains how this hands-on programme helped her retail career off to a great start.

If you’re at the end of your tertiary studies, you might worry about the transition into the ‘real’ world of work. Fortunately, JumpStart is here to lay the foundation for a successful retail career.

B.Com Strategic Management graduate Mbalenhle (Mbali) Gamede joined JumpStart’s Professional Retail Programme (PRP) in 2018. At the time, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do with her degree. 

“I just knew that I wanted to do something in supply chain in finance, and I did love fashion,” recalls Mbali, who grew up in Newcastle.

A nine-month programme, the PRP is designed to build merchants of the future. It prepares tertiary graduates for junior retail positions in buying, planning and store management through a combination of theory and work experience.

Position with potential

Mbali developed keen insight into the retail business system, as well as in-demand industry skills. At the end of the programme, she landed a position with potential at Mr Price Apparel, as trainee planner.

“My transition from tertiary into the working world wasn’t too difficult. We had gone through most of the foundational aspects about retail in the PRP. It actually added more value to my job. I was able to quickly pick up on tasks. It also helped me improve my public speaking skills.”

PRP graduates are more inclined towards upward career mobility – and Mbali progressed from trainee planner to junior location planner after a year. She’s since been promoted to location planner.

Mbali urges other graduates to pursue skills development programmes to give their careers the best possible start.

“Don’t ever limit yourself. I took a chance. If you work hard and are determined, then you have the universe behind you.”

PRP 2022 is open!

Applications for the Professional Retail Programme 2022 are open from 11 November to 13 December 2021. 

The programme is held in Durban from 1 March to 30 November 2022.

Applicants must be: 

  • South African, aged 18-33, with no criminal record. 
  • A tertiary graduate or final year student holding a diploma or degree relating to retail, finance, fashion design or retail management. This includes:  B.Com or B.Sc degrees, Operations Management, Management, Business Management, Business Science, Stats and Mathematics majors, Entrepreneurship majors, Retail Management and Graphic Design.

Apply here