Salma Seedat | A Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) success story Stellenbosch Business School Skip to main content
While running a management consultancy focused on socio-economic development,

Salma Seedat applied to study for a Postgraduate Diploma in Development Finance in 2015 without having been to university before. She knew it was a long shot, but the course outline intrigued her. She was pleasantly surprised to be accepted through the recognition of prior learning (RPL) system, which acknowledges that students have acquired various skills, competencies, and experiences.

The PGDip in Development Finance allowed her to study towards her MBA. She says she has emerged from the MBA with a wealth of knowledge, lifelong friends, and experiences that provided lasting memories. In addition, the leadership development journey helped her to challenge her assumptions. It changed her thinking in ways that helped her achieve her career and personal aspirations towards being a responsible leader.

Discussions about responsible leadership and our role as leaders in society excited her. They led to the conceptualisation of her research topic, “Transformative learning in MBA students: Perspectives from engagement with non-profit organisations”, for which she was awarded the best research assignment. Her research findings showed a significant relationship between NPO engagement and responsible leadership development in MBA students.

After graduating, her focus shifted to how she could use the knowledge and skills she had attained throughout her career and studies at the business school to benefit society. She was particularly interested in creating income generation opportunities for women to alleviate poverty and contribute to the creation of an equitable society.

Today she serves on numerous committees that focus on propelling entrepreneurship, investing in Africa and strengthening primary healthcare systems globally. She also mentors several young women through their leadership development journeys while lecturing strategic leadership on the MBA MIO stream and PGDip in Leadership Development.

Her work and involvement have led to her being named the Alumnus of the Year 2020: Social Impact. Despite all her responsibilities, she still manages to balance her time and enjoys hiking and exploring culinary delights with friends and family, which she believes makes her a better leader in the workplace.


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