Tuesday, April 25, 2006


The company I got my intership at is Rand Merchant Bank (www.rmb.co.za). Most of you know how I've been searching for a company like this to be able to fulfill my dreams of making a success in the corporate world. I have only been here for four day and its been a great experience so far. I have met such great and helpful people and I can already say with confidence that a good network has already been established and is in the process of being expanded.

So far Mpho and I have been working in the Change Management and Human Resources departments. I am very happy to be able to work in these areas because having minimal experience in these fields, this is a great opportunity to learn how things are done. We are both handled with great respect, and our supervisors give us the opportunity to do things hands-on. It feels great to be of use and to learn new things at the same time.

It is also very interesting to see how RMB handles their clients, employees and potential employees. It is an extremely professional environment where everybody is treated equally and fairly. I'm very glad to part of the process, even though it is only a 3 month internship. There is still a lot to learn in that time.

CV - Updated 11 th April 2007

Curriculum Vitae - Celeste Fauconnier

Contact Details

E-mail Address : celeste.fauconnier@rmb.co.za

Personal Details

Nationality : South African
Place of Birth : Johannesburg, South Africa
Sex : Female
Languages : English - Fluent
Afrikaans - Fluent
German - Basic conversational and written
Flemish - Basic conversational and written
Health : Excellent
Drivers License : South African Code EB – Motor Vehicle (No endorsements)
Computer Literacy : MSOffice, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access, Lotus Notes
Hobbies / Interests : Sport - Action netball and golf
Member of the Prince’s Grant Golf Estate
Enjoy socializing and reading, especially business magazines
Keen traveller

Career Objective

My area of interest is corporate foreign policy. I am specifically interested in good corporate governance of different countries and assessing risk issues such as corruption, human rights, terrorism and pressure groups. I would also welcome an opportunity in corporate governance or other areas like business intelligence or corporate communications, another area I am very enthusiastic about.



2001 – 2004 : University of Stellenbosch, Western Cape (Full time)

- BA International Studies
- Subjects: Political Science, History, German, Sociology, Applied Value and Policy Studies, English, Economics, Information Science

2005 – 2005 : University of the Witwatersrand, Gauteng (Full time)

- BA (Hons) International Relations
- Subjects: Theory of International Relations, World Trade Organization, South African and - Corporate Foreign Policy, International Political Economy
- 2005 Main Assignment (Long Essay): From the Washington Consensus to a “Political” Washington Consensus?: The World Bank Ideology in the Post Cold War Era in Africa

2006 – 2006 : University of the Witwatersrand

World of Work Training and Internship Programme


1996 – 2000 : Randburg Hoërskool (Afrikaans High), Johannesburg

- Matric Exemption: Independent Examinations Board (IEB): “B” Aggregate
- Subjects: English (2nd Language), Afrikaans (1st Language), Mathematics (SG), Business Economics (HG), Science (HG), Computer Studies (SG)*
- Distinctions obtained for Mathematics and English

* SG = Standard Grade HG = Higher Grade

Special Achievements

Stellenbosch University

Member of the Maties Community Service Society (2001)

Member of the UN Stellenbosch Chapter (2005). Attended meetings addressing global political and economic issues

5th Team Maties netball player (2001-2002)

Randburg Hoërskool (Afrikaans High)


School prefect and member of the Student Representative Council (SRC) (2000)
Netball Vice-Captain (2000)
Class Captain and member of the Student Representative Council (SRC) (1999)


1st team netball (1998 – 2000)
Provincial colours in netball – Gauteng Province (1995, 1998-2000)
Gauteng Province “Top Ten” Netball Team (2000)
Senior Netball Player of the Year (2000)


Senior choir of Randburg Afrikaans Highschool (1997-1999) and actor in several school revues and cabarets

Work Experience

COMPANY : Esteé Lauder (Cresta Edgars, Johannesburg, South Africa)
POSITION : Part-time promotional worker
DATES : January 1998 to December 1998
DUTIES : General duties e.g. developing customer awareness

COMPANY : American Ski Company (Killington, Vermont, USA)
POSITION : Employee at the Killington Ski Lodge
DATES : November 2003 to February 2004
DUTIES : Serving food and beverages to customers
Cleaning and cooking
General customer service
Till operator
Closing the cafeteria books after hours

COMPANY : Fantasy Promotions (Black Jack Events), Johannesburg
POSITION : Part-time promotional worker
DATES : January 2005 to January 2006
DUTIES : General duties of a promotional worker

COMPANY : African Institute for Corporate Citizenship (AICC)
POSITION : Part-time researcher
DATES : 2 March 2006 to 11 March 2006
DUTIES : Assisting in the finalisation of a report on Corporate
Governance for the African Peer Review Mechanism

COMPANY : Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), Sandton
POSITION : Intern (Change Management and Recruitment)
DATES : 19 April 2006 – 28 February 2007
DUTIES : Assisting the recruitment department and change
management in the business units

COMPANY : Rand marchant Bank
POSITION : Political Risk Analyst (Treasury)
DATES : 1 March 2007 - Current
DUTIES : Assess political risk in different countries

References are available on request.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The World of Work (Literally)

When I say World of Work I don't mean our course anymore, I mean the actual working world. After I finished my course I was ready to go out on take on the scary world of uncertainties. I couldn't fall back on studies anymore. It was time for me to step up and do something about my unemployment issue.

I had a couple of interviews the past two weeks, and thanks to them it made me more comfortable and confident every time I had to step into the next one. That is why I have been neglecting my blog a bit. I wanted to write some positive news in my next entry, thus I waited until now.

My story will be short. Three days ago I had to make a very difficult decision of whether to accept a job offer at one organisation or wait for another interview at another place. I had to do a bit of soul searching, but in the end of the day I decided to take the risk of not accepting the offer and hoping that I will get the job at the other interview. My reasons were very simple: I enjoyed both places and think both of the organisations were fantastic. Only, the second organisation offered me an internship in an area that I was more interested in than the other organisation.

So two days ago I went for that second company's interview. I have never been so nervous in my life. I got there an hour before and just sat and waited in my car, thinking what a mistake I made not to accept my previous job-offer. Eventually I gathered all my guts and went in for the interview. To my suprise, they employed me immediately and I started working there and then!

I finally got that job I have been waiting for almost a year now! It taught me that sometimes taking risks will pay off and that life should be filled with taking a brave step into the unknown, otherwise you'll never learn from your mistakes. So now I'm sitting here typing my blog from my new desk at my new job. I have never been this happy to wake up early in the mornings just to get here.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Dragon vs Lion

The rise of global regional blocks has made politics and economics even more interconnected. And Africa is unfortunately still situated at the bottom of this global change. Africa in general has long ignored the importance and the rise of globalisation, which is reflected in Africa’s unstable ecomomy. This lack of acknowledgment of globalisation is the reason why Africa is battling to survive the global economic pressures. Many disagree with this argument. The counter-argument is that globalisation is in fact the cause of Africa’s backwardness. This is a long debated argument.

But how is Africa going to gain from this argument? Globalisation is inevitable. Rather than arguing about it, why not seek the great opportunities of this global phenomenon? Take for instance Mr. Dlamini’s explanation of the ever-growing Chinese rising. There are problems facing Africa and in particular South Africa due to the integration of China. Take for example the SA textile industry. Almost 37 000 jobs have been lost in 2003 and 2004. Nonetheless, seeing that it is so important for our continent’s economy, it must continue to invest and retain partnership with Chinese businesses.

So instead of fearing the impact of Chinese integration into African markets, embrace the opportunities that it holds. Here are some aspects to take into account:

  • China has the biggest national market in the world.
  • There is a growing need in China for mining equipment and technology and South Africa’s core skills, seeing that China needs more modernization of their mining sector.
  • South Africa’s skills in the infrastructural and engineering sectors can help China with their plan of developing western China.
  • The South African service sector is more advanced than that of China’s. Areas such as financial-, information-, operation management services and so forth can expand their businesses and benefit from entering China.
  • And South Africa is seeking great investment from China, especially in the areas of construction, telecommunications and mining.

Globalisation is moving companies and business fast and far around the world, thus the notion of “global business standards” changes from Western to multi-national. Africa should integrate itself more deeply into China because China can help us think in different business ways.

This fuels my belief in Mr. Dlamini’s second lesson for us: “Think and act globally, regionally and locally”. If we could understand the global world, we can learn valuable lessons from the way other markets, companies and people work. In turn this will have a valuable effect on our regional and local environments, where more opportunities will be recognised and taken advantage of.

Our presenters

I was thrilled that Mr. Kuseni Dlamini and Tracey Rowe could join us on Monday and Tuesday. Like all the other presenters, they took the time out of their busy schedule to help us understand the world of work. Sometimes one feels that people in higher rankings or professions than us don’t have the time to come and help us graduates. But our guest lecturers are the exception. There are those who love to help us get our foot in the door and even those who are excited to take us under their wing.

Mr. Dlamini and Ms. Rowe's seminars inspired me even more to follow my dream of becoming a successful business woman in the corporate political and economic environment. These are two aspects which I’m greatly interested in and which cannot be separated, especially in the 21st century. And to be able to reach this dream, professionalism should be my number one priority. This will in turn help me obtain my goals, and be passionate and driven. I once read somewhere that humble people are small in their own eyes, honest about their struggles, and open to constructive criticism. I hope I will reflect this in my future job and personal life, and that somewhere down the line I will make that difference.

It was a great honour to have Mr. Dlamini as our guest lecturer to open our eyes to potential opportunities and the necessity of accepting change on a global scale. Being a prominent business man who worked at Anglo Gold Ashanti (http://www.anglogold.com) and now the newly appointed Executive Chairman of Richards Bay Coal Terminal (http://www.rbct.co.za), we would like to thank you for joining us and exposing us to the business world.

And thank you to Tracey Rowe from Investec (http://www.investec.com) for showing us how important it is to be flexible in whatever you do, but at the same time keeping a balance between your family and career. And no matter what, I will be proud of what I do.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Speak up and speak out

Last week I met a very inspiring woman, Ghadija Vallie, a prominent anti-apartheid activist and a strong woman. She is an example of a brilliant role model to many young women like me. Even though the focus of the seminar was empowering communities and creating opportunities, I received much more from this session than that. I have learnt through her example the importance of humility. Being humble and truthful in your heart will help you through many challenges. We must be passionate in what we do now and in our future jobs, and we must yearn for truth and justice.

Ms. Vallie also mentioned the Mustadafin Foundation which was created from the apartheid era to help victims fight political unrest and violence in the Cape Town area. The people who formed part of this foundation gave their services, food, clothes and many other things to those who have been touched by the violence. Now the foundation has extended their services and helps many other people in and beyond Cape Town (http://www.mustadafin.com).

Thanks to Ms. Vallie for being so inspiring. You mentioned a quote spoken by Steve Biko, “I shall always fight and rise against oppression”. You also said how he used to speak with passion and conviction. This is how we felt about your presentation to us.

Skill and determination

Big thanks to Lesley, Des and Robert for helping us understand the importance of good and effective business writing and presentations. Lesley’s session on writing skills was very informative. As a social science and humanities student, I have had many a lecture on this topic, so I wasn’t too happy to go through another one. But this type of writing is totally different to what I know. My writing skills are equipped out of fantastically long sentences and big words. All of us are used to the type of writing that can publish a novel. We explain things three times in one sentence, and you will be lucky if you understand the words. Lesley taught us that our writing and business writing is like chalk and cheese. This type of writing is more to the point, short and sweet, easy to understand, yet very professional. Thanks Lesley for making us see our mistakes with all the examples you gave us. It really helped me a lot.

Everyone in our class is still talking about the presentation skills seminar. What a great experience. For once in my life somebody has given me constructive criticism on my presentation skills. At school and university we had to do presentations, but never got feedback, only a mark. Here we were focussed on by Robert and Des from Connemara Consulting (http://www.connemara.co.za). The criticism and advice they gave me was extremely helpful. At last I know how to work with my nervousness and now I have the opportunity to sell myself in a professional and striking way. I can influence people to become interested in me and I can make myself stand out from the rest. The session was fun and it is amazing to see how the advice helped all of us in our second round of presentations.

NedLACK or NEDLAC? Shall the people govern?

The purpose of Nedlac is strong and full of hope. It is there to promote goals for economic growth and to encourage and formulate procedures on socio-economic matters of South Africa. Nedlac gives organisations the opportunity to be able to voice their opinions and also put issues on the table. Nedlac will decide whether certain issues should become a priority and work programmes will be set up dedicated to deal with these issues. Overall, Nedlac attempts to translate the concept of “inclusive decision-making” and “the people shall govern” (http://www.nedlac.org.za/). Thanks to Mr. Mkhize for explaining the purpose of the Nedlac Initiative to all of us.

But is there a lack of effectiveness on the part of Nedlac? I think the problem is lying at the people who are involved. There is a perceived problem of Nedlac not living up to its expectations, so nobody is interested in Nedlac anymore.

Nedlac is a suitable negotiating forum that addresses national dialogue on socio-economic issues. This will only be true in practice if the stakeholders involved help Nedlad achieve their goals. Participation is vital, thus the four chambers involved with Nedlac should get up and become more involved.

Also, Nedlac needs a new image. It has to move away from its outdated practices from the day it was formed. On the whole, Nedlac is the ideal place to reach consensus between the stakeholders involved. However, the main problem lies with the actual transformation of the consensus into action.

(As an extra read, please visit the Business Report’s article on Nedlac by Alide Dasnois: http://www.busrep.co.za/index.php?fArticleId=2554997&fSectionId=556&fSetId=662).

This is not just a one-man show

One thing that I never thought of doing is becoming an entrepreneur. I’m not interested in it yet but maybe in the future it will spark my involvement. However, Marius Venter explained to us that you don’t have to be a business owner or inventor to become an entrepreneur. You can use entrepreneuring skills in your future workplace. It is way of inventing new ideas and being creative to be able to help your company save money and become more profitable. Just as long as you got the right idea and the ability to take calculative risks to make it successful. Here is the website of the Department of Trade and Industry’s agency called SEDA (Small Enteprise Development Agency). It is an agency to support small businesses in South Africa, in case someone is keen to do this one day (http://www.brain.org.za).

Another aspect I learned from Marius is that entrepreneurship is not necessarily a one-man show. It can also be communities. The video we watched on local economic development showed how important and effective it is for people in communities to help each other get jobs, share visions, create ownership and responsibility and so forth. The community must be organised and professional, and there should be good leadership and resources use. Here is the website of Local Economic Development South Africa for more information on local development: http://www.led-sa.co.za/.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Connecting with our Humanity

Last week we went for our second visit to Constitution Hill (http://www.constitutionhill.org.za). I postponed my post in order to have my second trip there and blog about it now. In the past two weeks we visited a place of heartache and hope. It is difficult to write down the feelings you experience when walking through the buildings. Emotions were running wild. Sadness, respect, anger, embarrassment, resentment…

But I have realised that this is a place one could look at as a beacon of hope for the future. In one of the blocks where ex-president Nelson Mandela was held, there was a television screen that imaged his experience in this jail. The one comment by him is something that I will never forget, and I think it is also the main message behind his workings. In summary he said that one should never forget the past in order to continue into the future, but one must always remember not to dwell on the past either.

Constitution Hill is a representation of the people who have suffered due to apartheid. It is a means to make the victims, and not the perpetrators, the focus and the central point of the struggle. I think many of the ex-prisoners felt it possible to wake up from their nightmares and they too can share in the healing process South Africa and its people is experiencing. Con Hill is also a way of restoring the dignity of black people and make white people compassionate. This is another step towards reconciliation.

It was a fantastic tour. I would recommend it to anyone. And I’m especially excited to see the outcomes of the Human Rights Campus.