By | April 7, 2022

New Business Development Manager at the Transnet National Ports Authority, Nozipho Booi, is the first MPhil in Maritime Studies graduate at this year’s Autumn Graduation at Nelson Mandela University.

In addition, Nozipho managed to complete the two-year programme in one year. The programme was introduced in 2020 and currently has 18 registered students.

Nozipho, 34, decided to explore the theory side of the maritime sector. She wanted to expand her fundamental understanding of the different functions within the sector and how those can be harmonised to grow the sector.

“I am currently working within my dream area of focus, namely Business Development in the Ports Authority space. The most exciting part is that I am continuously learning new things and my leaders are some of the best sector specialists, who contribute to my knowledge and future growth opportunities”, she says.

The theoretical and interactive programme was packed with modules covering key maritime sub sectors and delivered by specialists and guest lecturers. Students, of whom some were already working in the sector, could engage in the topics, making them more meaningful and providing a great networking platform for future use, she says.

Nozipho holds a BCom Management and Economics and a BCom Economics Honours in Financial Markets from the University of Fort Hare and a Master of Arts in Development Studies from Nelson Mandela University.

MPhil in Maritime Studies programme coordinator Roshin Petersen, says most of the students are permanently employed and the pandemic placed enormous psychological pressures on them. “Learning from home or your office at work is just a different ball game”, she said. In addition, many people lost their jobs and loved ones during the pandemic.

The programme is designed to equip students for exciting career opportunities in the booming fields of marine, maritime and coastal development, port management and sustainable development. Career opportunities exist in harbour and port management, marine resource management, maritime journalism and consultancy, marine tourism, marine policy and governance, education, research, and innovation.