Ntobeko Dan Xulu
Ntobeko Dan Xulu is an Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT) graduate and grateful to his employer for the bursary they gave him to study with EIT. He has successfully obtained an Advanced Diploma in Plant Engineering.
He has been working at South Africa’s electricity utility, Eskom, for the last nine and a half years. When he joined the utility in 2008, he spent his time working as a project planner/ planning engineer, eventually becoming a technical project manager. Xulu gained a lot of experience in the field of project management, contract management and turbine maintenance.
He has since progressed to the role of Acting Senior Project Manager in 2017, working parallel also as Project Planning Head of Department in Eskom. Xulu was recently awarded with a Project Manager of the Year CEO Award in 2016.
Ntobeko was surprised to stumble upon the Engineering Institute of Technology as a prospective education and training institution. He was rightfully critical in the beginning, but found out that online study was perfect for him in the end. He says:
“The idea was less appealing until I downloaded a brochure and I looked at the content in detail. I then enrolled for the Professional Certificate in Mechanical Engineering in 2012. I was comparing it to our South African content of N1-N4 courses. I could not believe what I learned in the first 3 months - it almost covered the entire 2-year South African syllabus.”
He is now hoping to inspire others and share the expertise he has accumulated in a career that is maturing with every passing day. Through utilizing EIT’s ebooks, available in the online library, and the course material, he has been able to continue growing his skillset whilst being on-the-job. He says:
“To be successful in this rare and unique type of education, one has to commit for the duration of the program, and spend at least two hours a day. It is fun because every day you learn new things.”
Student becomes teacher
The course material complemented Xulu’s studies in many ways; he went on to develop a training program for trainees being introduced into the industry via the utility. He also developed turbine and generator fundamentals for a project planners program.
“Most importantly, I learned, formally, how to conduct myself as an engineering graduate and leader.”
He hopes to pursue his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering next, reveling in the fact that he has credit from his previously earned Advanced Diploma - a testament to the structure of continuity within EIT, says Xulu.
Motivation was the key for Ntobeko. His desire for knowledge was incredibly strong. He recalls what kept him so motivated to finish his qualification:
“Knowledge, knowledge, and desire for knowledge. I had so much desire to know. I love turbines, I never lost energy. I was always looking forward to the next set of books from the Learning Support Officer - the EIT books make reading interesting, you start to flow like you’re reading a novel, and you don’t get bored.”