Sunday Times

Lifelong learning is the secret to being a fundi

Sphiwe Masuku is marketing manager at Fundi, an education finance and fund management solution specialist


What do you enjoy about being a marketing manager?

The most enjoyable aspect is being able to contribute to societal change and offering hope for the future. Appreciati­on messages from customers, expressing how Fundi has positively impacted lives, make my role fulfilling.

What are your four main tasks at work?

● Financial management: efficientl­y managing the marketing budget and delivering on business targets within budget;

● Strategic focus: leading the developmen­t and execution of department­al plans and strategic projects, and supporting stakeholde­r partnershi­ps/collaborat­ions;

● Marketing campaigns and branding: driving marketing campaigns, achieving lead targets and improving brand image. Executing impactful brand initiative­s for the foundation; and

● Internal engagement and analytics: fostering team developmen­t, internal communicat­ion and engagement. Driving brand and culture adoption internally.

What makes you good at what you do?

I take a proactive approach to learning, extending beyond my portfolio to stay well informed. This involves dedicating time to engaging with stakeholde­rs at all levels, valuing their input — and considerin­g this in my work.

I also appreciate the value of data — I want to understand the story and the people behind the numbers. This is something I incorporat­e into decision-making: using these insights about stakeholde­r needs and behaviour to inform and guide decisions and solutions.

I also work to stay informed about current trends — beyond the education/edutech and fintech spaces — to ensure the relevance and adaptabili­ty of our solutions and campaigns.

Tell me what Fundi does.

The company’s purpose is to help others realise their purpose. It is positionin­g as Africa’s single source for all services that enable the education and learning journey.

Fundi’s innovative solutions span finance and education loans; end-to-end bursary administra­tion; and cashless digital devices for students. It is passionate about making a tangible difference in the life of every African through education. In 2019 it launched its own NGO — the Fundi Foundation — and is committed to partnering with public and private institutio­ns to facilitate access to quality education for the “missing middle”.

What did you want to be when you were a child?

I wanted to be a social worker, and help those in need. My current role speaks to this passion, especially through initiative­s like the Fundi Foundation, which supports vulnerable students and communitie­s.

What advice do you have for the recent matriculan­ts and graduates?

Your career journey started before today. Use your skills and experience­s to get closer to your goals. This may not always be easy, but it is worthwhile. Embrace lifelong learning. Regardless of the platform, make a commitment to lifelong learning to ensure that you stay relevant in your field. This includes both formal and informal education. Education is critical to your own success and to the success of others around you.

What is your go-to career advice?

Prioritise fulfilment, peace of mind and passion over money. Start small, stay consistent, and view setbacks as opportunit­ies to learn. Success will follow your dedication and enthusiasm.

 ?? Picture: Supplied ?? Sphiwe Masuku says education is critical to your own success and to the success of others around you.
Picture: Supplied Sphiwe Masuku says education is critical to your own success and to the success of others around you.

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