• Siphokazi Vuso

Meet Khwela alumni Puleng Tebesi

Updated: Jun 20, 2019

Tell us a little about yourself?

I am Puleng Tebesi from Welkom in the Free State. I am a 23 year old who is passionate about travel and the tourism industry.

How did you find out about Khwela?

I found out about the Khwela program through an Indeed post while looking for a job. I sent out my CV, there was a response with a questionnaire that I had to fill in, which I did and sent back.

What were you doing before?

Before the program I had finished my studies in college and was looking for a job.

How did you get selected for the program?

I kept following up, but on the day of the telephonic interview I missed the call. Luckily Asanda (co-founder) called me the next day. We did the interview and I received an email the following day that I was accepted to attend the boot camps. I was so happy to be accepted and ready for the next step.

What are some of the lessons you are taking away from this experience?

The program taught me a lot about the tourism industry. Although I had studied it in college, I didn't know much about it. I didn't know anything about backpackers and have never travelled. The program opened my eyes. I also learnt so much during the internship at Once in Cape Town. And while we were attending classes we had educational days where we would tour around Cape Town.

Tell us about your experience on the road trip?

The road trip was challenging for me at first. I have never been in a position where I had to take a leadership role, and on the road trip I and a partner had to be tour guides for a day for the whole team. When it was our turn my teammate got sick and I had to be the tour guide on my own. It was very challenging, but I learned a lot from that experience. The overall experience was eye-opening, I had never travelled to so many places at once - we travelled to places such as Swaziland, the Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, etc. Now I can look back and say I have seen most of South Africa and beyond.

Where were you placed and what are you doing at the moment?

I got accepted at Once in Cape Town for an internship and worked in their reservations department for two months. Once I completed the internship I moved to the Front Desk as a Receptionist which I am doing now.

The entrance to Once in Cape Town on Kloof street.

Any advice to the Khwela participants for 2019?

For me, Khwela was my one-way ticket. If I was not accepted into the program I would not have moved to Cape Town or have had this wonderful experience that Khwela has offered me. To anyone who is going to be part of this program I would say a passion for tourism and travel is a must. I would also say hard work and not losing sight of why you started are very essential to succeeding in this industry. Work hard - but don't forget to laugh and have fun.

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