As the custodian of the chartered accountancy profession, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), believes that it is the duty of all its CAs(SA) to act in the best interest of the public and the country. One of the ways this is done at a university level is through SAICA’s annual Student Leadership Summit (SLS). Entries for the 2018 SLS – now in its tenth year – have just opened.
‘SLS is a thought leadership competition in which students studying towards a BCom CA-stream qualification at SAICA-accredited institutions are asked to devise solutions to problems that confront our country and the world at large. To enter, students must construct a solution for one of three thought leadership problems in the form of a 1 000-word action-orientated, research-based (where possible) essay,’ explains Teboho Moephudi, Project Director for SAICA’s university projects.
‘From these entries, the SLS judges select the top 30 students whose essays best illustrate their thought leadership capability. These young leaders are then flown to Johannesburg for an intensive three-day thought leadership summit intended to further unlock their unique leadership potential and develop the qualities of a responsible leader. Among others, the top 30 attend an exclusive event where the winners of the competition are announced, and where they have a unique chance to network and engage with key business leaders.’
‘Life changing event’
Vunene Khosa, a student from the University of the Free State who attended last year’s SLS, explains the value of taking part: ‘The [networking event] was amazing, I remember someone saying it felt like a “How to live like a millionaire for the day” and I totally agreed. I’m in awe of the business leaders who were present – they are the most humble people on earth. They made it easy to communicate with them and not once did they make me feel inferior, they made me believe that they truly understood where I was at and where I was headed. It was an invaluable experience.’
She adds: ‘It’s amazing how spending three days with people you’ve never met before can literally change your view on life. My life was dramatically influenced after the Student Leadership Summit; not only did it make me see a different side to the accountancy profession, but I realised there is a lot a person can do with the qualification and how we can change lives. It reignited my passion all over again.’
University of Cape Town student, Rumbi Nyamuda, shares similar thoughts: ‘I was extremely impressed with the SLS Summit. Every workshop made a lasting impact on me and my aspirations to be a CA(SA). The networking that we did at the event and, more importantly, the relationships that I built with the other 29 finalists, will have a big impact in the future when we as professionals and future entrepreneurs are making an impact on our country in a positive way.’
This year’s topics
Responsible leadership is the cornerstone of the chartered accountancy profession. It is a distinguishing characteristic that sets chartered accountants apart, and holds them accountable for their actions and behaviour. The SLS competition, which encourages the development of responsible leadership abilities, is open only to students who are studying towards a BCom CA(SA) qualification at a SAICA-accredited institution.
Students wishing to enter this year’s SLS competition must submit a 1 000-word thought leadership essay on one of the following topics:
How to enter?
To enter, simply email your 1 000-word essay to [email protected] by no later than 24 August 2018.
Include the following information with your entry: full name, contact number, name of university and degree you are studying, student number, e-mail address and word count for your essay.
For any queries regarding entries, please contact SAICA Project Director, Teboho Moephudi at [email protected].