By | July 12, 2021

For the Durban University of Technology alumnus, Tristin Noel Stainbank, completing his Bachelor of Technology Degree in Structural Engineering at the institution with academic accolades, (Cum Laude and the Dean’s Merit award) is all about working exceptionally hard, having perseverance and determination to achieve and succeed.

“I was overwhelmed, as this journey has been a difficult one, both personally and academically. I feel my achievements will open doors so I can fulfill my career,” he said.

The 25-year-old analytical thinker shares his journey of being a student at DUT and the vital role internships play in providing students with the world of work experience.

He relayed that he had the opportunity to intern for a year in-between his academic journey at DUT, and it has become vital for students to be placed in internships, especially in the current situation of COVID-19. 

​“Internships​​ are vital as they help narrow your focus and equip you with the necessary skills and tools to succeed in the working world, whether that be with the same company or future jobs. You can gain valuable exposure to how a business operates. Being an Intern allows you to make lasting relationships with potential mentors, who will be there to guide and assist you on your career path,” he said. 

Stainbank relayed that in terms of preparedness as a graduate, DUT had harnessed and prepared him both academically and practically for his stint interning in the corporate world. 

“One of the biggest assets is knowing how to work as a team, to understand how to communicate, compromise and share credit and becoming a valuable contributing member to projects you are involved in. Employers want students who know how to manage a project and how to deliver a product on time/before the deadline. All these skills are taught within the modules we studied,” he said. 

Stainbank said that their projects for the different modules, encouraged them (students) to engage with fellow students to find viable solutions and to ensure the projects are submitted before the deadline. 

“The curriculum also enhances our complex thinking skills, which enables us not only to make decisions, but to make the best decisions to solve a particular problem,” he said. 

However, he did indicate that living in these uncertain times, where a lot of companies are battling to remain afloat and have had to resort to retrenchment; it does create a lot of uncertainty and anxiousness amongst students who are just entering the working world now.  

“There’s a fear of what the future holds, more so now, during this pandemic. Students should look at internships to go gain experience. Enhance your skills and knowledge, and become more employable, so that when companies start finding their feet again and start repairing the damage caused by COVID-19, you look more attractive to them,” he said.