For the purists, Randall September’s pathway in studying engineering makes complete sense. He loves science, and he wants to know everything about it.

For the realists his way of studying will make even more sense – he is working full time and had a taste of a 52883WA Advanced Diploma in Applied Electrical Engineering (Electrical Systems). Now he’s gearing up to further expand his engineering know-how.

Randall calls the scenic Western Cape of South Africa home, but he’s also in charge of making sure an entire community has access to municipal services. He’s the Electro-Technical Services Manager for the Cederberg Municipality by day, and at night he’s a committed EIT student.

We caught up with Randall to ask about how he juggles different roles, how he relaxes and also why he loves engineering.

Randall September sitting at his desk
Picture: Supplied

How did you cope during 2021 combining education, work and family life?

I had difficulty juggling between work, life, education and family. With EIT it made life much easier cause I have three different timeslots where I can just log in and attend the sessions.

How have your studies assisted you in your work so far?

There were a lot of aspects that I have been working on over the years, and this course put it into perspective. I also started implementing certain aspects in our day to day and monthly operations.

What do you love about your field of engineering?

I like the science behind it. It somehow wants me to know and explore more. I have always since school had an aptitude for engineering and how stuff works, especially on the electrical side.

Do you think you’ll continue to study, and why?

At the age 38, I can’t actually believe I’m enjoying it. If I enjoy the Advanced Diploma so much maybe I’ll love a degree course…

What is a normal day in your life, where you have to incorporate work, studies and fun?

My day is everything but normal. My day starts off with meetings and then running with the team who’s busy doing maintenance, repairs and inspections. Sometimes I don’t get to have lunch and then attend the evening sessions and on other days I use my lunch to attend the Midday session. This is currently a perfect fit for me because now I can just on the other days where we don’t have class spend time doing research and assignments.

How do you unwind and are there specific activities you enjoy?

I unwind by spending time with family. My two sons love the outdoors so my wife and I like to travel with them and enjoy the simple stuff life have to offer.

What is the strangest or oddest thing to happen to you in the field?

Doing fault finding on something simple and when you sit down, take a break, and work around the science - it all makes sense and then you find the fault. This has always been strange. Also with this is the fact that you always learn something new and I’ve been working in the field for over 17 years now.

What is the greatest invention ever?

Electricity and planes.

Ideally, how would you like to use your education, interests and skills to better the world?

By continuous improvement. This course has enlightened some ideas I could use.

What do you read or watch regularly?

I read the Bible and I watch rugby a lot.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I really think I can sing.

Why do you think it is important to be involved in your education as an ambassador or even just be vocal about studying or using education as a career advancement tool?

It is important because I need and want to develop myself. With the Engineering field changing constantly you need to know what’s the newest technology on the horizon, for example, renewable energy.

What was the one moment in your life, where the penny dropped, and you knew you’re interested in engineering?

When I was a small boy of I think 8 or 9 years old I used to fiddle a lot with my bicycle and then, later on, I realized I like how stuff works especially electricity.

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