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Monday, 13 October 2014

Partnership of Industry, Academia and Advancement a collaborative coup

Strong ties: Design director at Collaboration, Geoffrey Bennett, with Interior Design intern Nckubeko Shumane and Senior Lecturer Colleen Cocotos Strong ties: Design director at Collaboration, Geoffrey Bennett, with Interior Design intern Nckubeko Shumane and Senior Lecturer Colleen Cocotos

A passion for nurturing strong relationships with industry is paying dividends for both students and the companies who offer internships to them.

Senior Lecturer in the Department of Architectural Technology and Interior Design, Colleen Cocotos, has established this type of collaboration with Collaborate- an Interior Architecture and Commercial Design firm based in Woodstock. The partnership has seen BTech Interior Design student Siphiwe Conco and 3rd year student Nckubeko Shumane find their wings as Junior Design Consultants at the company, via internships, financial support and a significant amount of hands-on mentoring from Collaboration’s staff.

“When a company see how personally invested lecturers are in their students, it becomes easier for business to offer help in various ways, either through internships, mentorships or offers of financial aid. We also encourage the company to have a stake in choosing a candidate they feel will be the right fit and be able to grow and add value during their internships,” says Cocotos.

She says a major bonus of this close interaction between industry and academia is the feedback received from companies during internships, which speaks volumes about the relevancy of the course being taught.

“It also allows our students not just to get valuable work-integrated learning experience, but to feel honoured and elevated by their engagement with industry.”

Cocotos is quick to praise the administrative and advisory support received from CPUT’s Advancement Department, who expedited a smooth process for the transfer of funds from Collaboration to the students.

Faculties and departments wanting to do the same are urged to work with the Advancement Department to nurture and bolster ongoing industry alliances.

Written by Janyce Weintrob

Tel: +27 21 460 3514
Email: weintrobj@cput.ac.za