Where are they now?

Where are they now?

Since its establishment in 2016, the PPS Foundation has funded 105 students through its flagship bursary programme. The PPS Foundation Bursary Programme is comprehensive, covering payment for tuition, textbooks and accommodation. The PPS Foundation often refers to the effort made beyond the financial support provided to beneficiaries as a “work of heart”. This is because the journey with the students does not stop when they start and complete their qualifications.

We spoke to two former bursary programme beneficiaries about their relationship with the PPS Foundation and their growth since the connection was established.

Joshua Motto-Ros, Medical Doctor

Meet 29-year-old Joshua Motto-Ros, who was awarded a bursary in 2018 during his final year of his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBCh) degree at Wits Medical School.

Q: Why did you pursue a medical qualification?

A: I first did a BSc at Stellenbosch University, always longing to study medicine. It is a feeling many people have. I am grateful every day that I was accepted into medicine and can pursue my career.

Q: Please share your experience as a beneficiary from the moment you were awarded a bursary until you completed your studies?

A: Finances are tough for most people. Due to personal circumstances, funding my medical degree proved to be very difficult. My parents and I made it work until the final year of medical school in 2018. Banks would not give me a student loan as my surety was too high risk. Other bursary companies and student funding businesses would not pay for many reasons. One of which was because I already had a degree. It was a challenging year. I will forever be grateful to the PPS Foundation for allowing me to accomplish my dream.

Q: What are you currently doing (professionally)?

A: I am doing my community service in Trompsburg in the Free State. Working in a small rural town, opened a whole new worldview for me. However, it has been a year of growth.

Q: How has your professional journey been thus far?

A: Since qualifying in 2018, I did my internship in Victoria Hospital in Cape Town in 2019 and 2020. What an incredible two years! 2021 is being spent in community service. Where I go to in 2022 is still up in the air. As most millennials like to call it, “funemployment”.

Q: What piece of advice would you have for future and current bursary beneficiaries?

A: One thing the PPS Foundation has taught me is that there is always hope. When I felt like there was no way of funding my final year, the PPS Foundation came through. A day I will never forget.

Q: How did the PPS Foundation assist in transitioning from tertiary into the workplace (work readiness, starting your professional journey without student debt, etc.) How did it impact your life?

A: Moving into the workplace is stressful for anyone; entering the healthcare system knowing that my debt is minimal allowed me to focus on my work and pay attention to my patients. What a privilege! All thanks to the PPS Foundation!

Q: What is the most valuable information or lesson you learned as a bursary beneficiary?

A: Paying it forward. This is a beautiful lesson that holds true with the PPS Foundation’s vision – being able to share your achievements with fellow South Africans and empower them to achieve their dreams in a cascade effect. Exponential growth for our country!

Varuna Kanavathy, PPS HR Graduate Intern

Some beneficiaries who have been part of initiatives like our bursary programme or the LEAP (Learned, Engaged, Accelerated Professionals) work-readiness programme have had the privilege of kickstarting their careers at PPS through the Graduate Internship Development Programme (GIDP). One such example is Varuna Kanavathy (24), who received funding to study towards her Psychology degree at the University of the Free State from 2018 to 2020. She is now an intern within PPS’s Human Resource division. Here is what Varuna shared with us:

Q: Why did you pursue that specific qualification?

A: In some way, I think my passion for psychology stems from the marriage between my inquisitive nature and my absolute fascination and love for the subject itself. I am passionate about people, and I am also driven by my desire to make a difference and leave my mark. I enjoy learning about the mysteries of the human condition. I have been a MOBIEG online counsellor for two years now and have found great joy in helping people all over the world: feel understood, confront their joys and pains, and become motivated to change. All this gives me energy when I wake up in the morning. This is why I decided to pursue this qualification.

Varuna Kanavathy was a PPS Foundation bursary holder and now interning within the HR Department at PPS.

Q: Please share your experience as a beneficiary from the moment you were awarded a bursary until you completed your studies?

A: Over the years of being a bursary holder, I have been in correspondence with the PPS Foundation. I have found the team to be wonderful, kind, genuinely caring and nurturing people.

This is the kind of culture I am now lucky to be a part of.

Q: What are you currently doing (professionally)?

A: After being featured in the 2019 Annual Report, I became aware of the GIDP while reading it. I read all the positive testimonies and reviews and knew that it was something I would love to be involved in. I am proud to say that I am now working as a graduate intern for PPS.

Q: How has your professional journey been thus far?

A: It has been an incredible journey. I felt like I had been part of the PPS family for years by being a bursary holder, but actually, being a PPS employee has been nothing short of amazing. I have learnt so much, not only in my graduate training, in my teams, under the mentorship of inspirational management, or in my thought leadership course – but about myself. This has been the most rewarding part of my journey.

Q: What piece of advice would you have for future and current bursary beneficiaries?

A: Do not take this incredibly rare blessing for granted. Work hard and continue to pay it forward.

Q: How did the PPS Foundation assist in transitioning from tertiary into the workplace? How did it impact your life?

A: I remember reading the annual report and reading people’s wonderful experiences and, similar to mine as a bursary holder, I remember feeling a sense of pride. The PPS Foundation has been instrumental in the attainment of my dreams and has played a huge role in my life. Without the work of this company, I would not have been able to solely focus on my academic pursuits and to have achieved what I have.