No level of schooling could have prepared me for it. And I have a Masters, so I kinda know.
20th Oct 2020

EM Training Programme: My Experience

I am Siphesihle Dakile, uMphephethe, wasengwethe nangwavuma. uGwala, uVilakazi. A young, African girl from the dusty streets of Volksrust. Who, through a series of grace and luck, made it out and started a journey toward destiny. I endured a, uh, few years of university studying something I later would realize would not serve me and/ or my purpose. Whilst studying though, I managed to figure out what it was that I did want and started making steps toward it. It all really started when I decided I would teach kids around the neighbourhood how to dance. As I got better at that, I realized where my passion lied and well, is your uncle not Bob?

One stormy night, browsing the job search sites -as one does on stormy nights- I came across an ad posted by Genius Premium Tuition. They were looking for someone who was willing to learn, willing to work and had a passion for education. Basically, they were looking for me. So after a few backs and forths, I applied for the position, took the entrance tests, interviewed and started the first phase of training; all within a week. Coincidentally, I was in the final stages of submitting my Master’s degree. So again, this job was for me.

I won’t lie to you, the training was nothing like I’d ever seen and nothing like I could have expected. Firstly, there was no such thing as ‘orientation’. I went from being a candidate to being knee-deep in book summary essays, verbal and written tests, sales meetings etc in literally a blink of an eye. Moreover, it was the most delicate balance of learning and applying principles in real-time. I swear, I could have used an academic coach. However, I digress. What I mean to say is, it was the most significant experience of my life. No level of schooling could have prepared me for it. And I have a Masters, so I kinda know. Other than all the training in principle and conduct, it really exposed my mind to such amazing philosophies and ideologies that I had not been exposed to before. It led me to a journey of self-discovery that has made me more efficient in life and relations. It made me realize who I am, what I’m capable of, and the impact I can truly have on those few I will be blessed to meet in my lifetime. My perspective of the world broadened. I learned about psychology, how to learn, how to teach, how to listen and be present. Man, I learned way more than I thought the human mind was capable of learning in a month.

After having gone through all of that (which I really wish I could take you through, but we’d be here all day) there’s a newfound confidence in me. Confidence in myself, my self-image, the lens through which I see life. Confidence in the journey I have started and where it will lead. Confidence in my ability to be the help that people need. Confidence in making a change, a real change in at least one person’s life. With all the skills I learned during training, I can interact and communicate better with the people around me, colleagues, students and clients. I have learned to identify and put others’ needs before my own. I have learned such high-quality time management skills that I’m pretty sure I’ll never be late for anything ever again. Over and above, I have accumulated so much knowledge about the schooling system, curricula, learning styles and challenges, universities around the world; again, we could be here all day. All that to say, good luck to future trainees. I can guarantee it will be a rollercoaster ride, but instead of puke on the other end, you will come out with Gold. You will come out Gold.

Written by Sihle Dakile

Sihle Dakile is a young, ambitious trail-blazer. She conquered ‘the edge’ at the University of Witwatersrand and holds Honours and Master’s degrees in Human Physiology, specializing in Sleep Physiology and related effects.

She has written poetry, music, short stories and novels since childhood, most of which have remained in her private collection. As a certified ‘jack of quite a few trades’, she can be found singing, dancing, doing research, teaching and marvelling at the wonders of the world.

Sihle got 5 A’s and 2 B+’s in school, and is currently on the EM Training programme.