Change the world

Alumnus empowers job seekers 
In the heart of the Northern Areas of Port Elizabeth, where challenges loom large and dreams often seem distant, Andrea Schutters stands as a beacon of hope, triumphing over adversity with a spirit of resilience and a commitment to making a difference. Graduating from Nelson Mandela University with a Diploma in Human Resources Management in 2012 and a BTech in Human Resources Management in 2013, Andrea's journey is one marked by hardship, dedication, and a profound desire for success.
Andrea's roots run deep in a family of five, where her parents, despite earning a minimum wage, poured their hearts into providing the best for their children. From the early days at Van Der Kemp Primary School to completing her high school journey at Bethelsdorp Comprehensive School, Andrea's path was shaped by the unwavering support of her family.
From a young age, she harboured a burning desire for success, not only for herself but also for her parents and the future children she hoped to have. The journey was anything but easy, compounded by the challenges posed by the high unemployment rate in her community. However, these adversities became the driving force behind Andrea's unwavering commitment to breaking free from the grip of poverty.
Growing up in an environment rife with high unemployment, teenage pregnancy, and peer pressure, Andrea faced numerous challenges. Living in a two-room RDP house made studying an ordeal, yet she persisted. Late-night study sessions, carved out in the quiet hours after everyone else had gone to sleep, became a testament to her determination to pave her own path.
The tireless work of Andrea's parents for a mere R2000 per month fueled her determination to give back. Despite financial constraints, she eliminated distractions and dedicated herself to excelling in university. Securing financial assistance transformed her academic achievements into a valuable bursary, alleviating the financial burden on her family.
Throughout university, Andrea's coping mechanism was a combination of a relentless drive to succeed and a burning desire to break free from poverty.
Her attributes her success to a deeply held belief that our minds are our most powerful weapons—what we think, we inevitably become. Refusing to make excuses, she embraced networking as a crucial aspect of her journey. The relationships forged during the early years of her career played pivotal roles in shaping the success she enjoys today.
In a competitive job market with a high unemployment rate, Andrea advises students and graduates to stand out by acquiring essential skills. Drawing from personal experience, she recommends taking a proactive approach, reaching out to companies through volunteering, and upskilling during waiting periods for employment opportunities.
Andrea is currently the Owner & Director of Divine HR Career Masters, where she offers expert resume writing, interview preparation, career development among others. This after a career with Drake International South Africa as a Recruitment Consultant. 
Her lifelong aspiration led her to establish a business focused on training and development, specifically for previously disadvantaged groups. Transitioning into a career of Professional CV Writing and Interview Coaching, she conducts workshops, provides tailored services, and works towards becoming a facilitator for non-profit organizations dedicated to empowering the unemployed.
Walking across the stage at graduation stands as Andrea's proudest moment. As the first in her family to attend university and earn a degree, it was a milestone that filled her parents with pride. She chose Nelson Mandela University for its recognition and reputation as the best in the Bay.
To graduate in her field and beyond, Andrea emphasizes the importance of finding purpose. She encourages individuals to identify what excites them and to pursue it passionately, believing that with purpose comes favour. Acknowledging the challenges of the road less travelled, Andrea attests that finding one's purpose is a goldmine worth the journey.