Namatirai Zinyohwera

Current Job: 
Business Development Associate at Feastfox, a tech start-up company currently in incubation at the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Graduate School of Business (Waterfront) in the MTN Solution Space

What does your job entail?
On-boarding restaurant merchants and developing the sales process for Feastfox. How did you obtain your current position? I applied for a post advertised on the UCT Careers Service website and was then shortlisted for an intense interview process, which saw me being chosen from a pool of 50 applicants.

What particular skills are required in your career?
Interpersonal and communication skills. In what way does your qualification relate to your work, whether directly or indirectly? The disciplines of politics and media ultimately entail the study of ideas and how these can be positioned to better gain popular appeal and thus generate consensus in the public sphere. In working for a mobile app that seeks to change the restaurant industry on a global level, such a macroperspective on the spreading of new ideas serves me well in the development of the Feastfox vision.

What are your day-to-day activities?
I set up and attend meetings with potential restaurant partners in the central business district and on the Atlantic Seaboard.

What are the best and most challenging things about your job?
I am the first employee of the company, working with four founders of the company, sometimes remotely, as most of them are based overseas. Doing everything online has been something of a learning curve.

What other student- or community-based activities did you participate in during your studies?
Entrepreneurship opportunities advertised on the UCT Careers Service website. My participation in many of these competitions solidified my application and matched me up with the needs of the company. Most notably, my participation in the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards and the Falling Walls Competitions made my CV ‘fly above’ the rest.

To what extent did you make use of the Careers Service while you were at university?
I think, on average, I went on to the UCT Careers Service site at least three times a week since my second year of University.

What advice would you give to students wanting to do what you do?
I once heard one of my professors remark that students should stop saying that there are no employment opportunities and instead ask themselves if they are actually ‘employable’. I expanded my CV way before my final year and involved myself in things just for future reference – and, in my case, this worked to my advantage.

In retrospect, what advice can you give to students about how to approach their career-development journeys?
I would say ignore all the things that don’t add value to your CV. At the end of the day, the job market is competitive and nobody owes you anything. Knock on every door. UCT provides so many opportunities and it just takes a student who is attentive to see how best to rise above the rest.

What degree options are recommended for this sector?
BCom degrees, but I managed to get this job with a BA.

How best should students use their time at university to give themselves a competitive edge in your field?
I would say always get on board with internal entrepreneurship competitions like Flux and, at the same time, look out for challenges presented by external bodies. These are opportunities to showcase your natural talents and to get your ‘head in the game’ before the axe falls.