Benedicta focuses on looking after the next generation of graduates
When Benedicta Banga left Zimbabwe in 2003 to study Business and Manufacturing Engineering at Coventry University, little did she know that she would ultimately end up as the boss of her own company!
“I wanted to work in IT and to do a joint honours degree but it wasn’t until I registered for my place at Coventry that I realised my degree was more manufacturing engineering than IT, but I stuck with the course and thoroughly enjoyed it,” said Benedicta.
In terms of being a good place to study, Benedicta looked at the practical side of coming to Coventry as well as the academic side. She said:
“My choice was based on affordability at the time as I thought Coventry provided the best value for money in the region.”
Benedicta found the first year a bit of a challenge but she saw it as a huge opportunity to grow and learn and truly immerse herself into academic and student life:
“In my first year, I was the only girl on the course and to be honest, I struggled to relate to engineering examples that involved cars and manufacturing facilities because of my limited knowledge of how cars worked and what machinery was used in factories. Some of the subject areas of my course were totally new to me.”
However, modules in the Supply Chain, Purchasing and Logistics introduced Benedicta to new business concepts that she really enjoyed and which eventually paved the way to her setting up her own company.Benedicta added:
“I graduated with a 1st Class Honours degree which opened up many doors for me because the knowledge and relevant work experience I got from my course gave me a strong advantage. I worked for 10 years in various roles in procurement, supply chain and logistics in global companies and SMEs. I came back to Coventry in 2010 to do a PG Certificate in Project Management and I also became PRINCE2 qualified.”
“My skills, helped me to set up a ‘niche and specialised’ skillset and my company ‘Gradstrategy’ was founded to assist graduates and undergraduates in landing their ideal roles and managing their careers. It is a Career Management Agency that promotes careers in business, looking mainly at procurement, supply chain and logistics. My agency also provides coaching, mentoring and soft skills training to help graduates and undergraduates perform at their best and succeed in their chosen careers.”
Benedicta has often enjoyed coming back to campus to talk about careers, what employers are looking for and sharing her work ethos with students. She is adamant that if it wasn’t for the opportunities she got at Coventry University, she would not have had the success she has achieved to date:
“I am proud to be associated with Coventry University because of how it has progressed and continues to grow.
“My biggest advantage as an undergraduate was that I learnt something very relevant which I was able to apply in my career. Plus the fact, the lecturers were very committed and supported me throughout my course.
“Going forward, my ambition is to focus on growing ‘Gradstrategy’ and to work with alumni and other organisations to support the next generation of business students and hopefully help them to find their feet in their chosen career.”
For more information on Benedicta’s company, visit www.gradstrategy.com.