How do you uncover a contemporary genius? A unique individual who demonstrates remarkable insight and a keen intellect, someone who is contrarian in their thinking? These were some of the characteristics that Allan Gray attempted to find in its search for the most promising young leaders.
Adopting an innovative approach to sifting through top academic students, Allan Gray launched a Prizes for Excellence essay competition in order to assess originality and creative thinking. The competition spans a few universities across the country and was run for the first time at UJ this year. This initiative was arranged in partnership with Allan Gray and UJ’s Advancement and Academic Development Divisions. Thando Mhlambiso, a director at Allan Gray, said: “We were looking for students who display intellectual rigour. We believe in individual accountability, in the power of one person to effect positive change.”
Fashioning leaders of tomorrow
A select group of 40 top academic achievers across all nine UJ faculties were invited to participate. The students that chose to enter were required to submit an essay which answered the question: “Assume you’re a leader in your country of origin in 20 years’ time. What would you do to promote prosperity in that country?” A total of three essay submissions were selected to receive a price in the form of Allan Gray unit trusts, valued at a total of R30 000. The winners of the inaugural competition held at UJ are:
“The aim of this competition is to recognise and reward exceptional young individuals for their intellectual potential,” adds Mhlambiso. “They will be the ones that shape our world. We look forward to continuing this programme at UJ in 2013.” Professor Elizabeth de Kadt, Executive Director, Academic Development and Support at UJ congratulated the winners of the competition and thanked Allan Gray for partnering with UJ in this novel manner. “We felt that what was proposed by Allan Gray would support UJ’s own broad educational goals, in that we seek to take students much further than simply satisfying the requirements for a paper qualification. We look to equip graduates to become socially responsive future leaders. UJ already has a very cordial relationship with Allan Gray as one of South Africa’s leading investment management companies, and we were most happy to strengthen this further.”