“…Unexpected wonderful moment. Utterly happy #2015 Vega graduation,” an elated Pretoria Vega graduate, Vuyo Sodo (38), tweeted at the graduation ceremony where she received the award as top student in the Advanced Diploma in Brand Innovation. The award was sponsored by the Pendoring Advertising Awards.
“For the past 21 years, Pendoring has consistently encouraged and rewarded creative excellence in the industry as well as at student level. Clearly Vuyo has what it takes to make a significant contribution to the industry and we wish her well in her advertising career,” says Pendoring GM, Franette Klerck.
Darren Meltz, Copywriting and Digital Strategy Lecturer at Vega School of Brand Leadership in Pretoria adds that the institution strives to instil a burning curiosity in all its students across all industry disciplines.
“With this kind of drive and energy, our graduates are brand thinkers who bring a holistically creative and strategic approach to any project they work on. This is what truly sets Vega graduates apart as real-world problem solvers in all aspects of this ever-changing industry. And Vuyo perfectly embodies this,” he says.
Sodo studied graphic design at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth and finished her degree in 2001. Part of her studies was an internship at the ad agency Yellow Lizard.
“Yellow Lizard supplied a total advertising agency experience to its internship programme. The time there really built me up. As an intern I learned everything from good copy writing, how to pitch for an account, to budgeting and iconography.
“I also worked at Specsavers in Port Elizabeth as a junior art director before I started working at Statistics SA in Pretoria in 2003 where I am still employed as a senior graphic designer.”
In 2008 she took three months unpaid leave to go to the Netherlands, where she worked and obtained a PRINCE2 Project Management Certificate in Den Haag.
“I was working mostly with Cathal Mckee and Marjo Kranenborg, the founders of CMK1 Amsterdam. CMK1 is an advertising company that has innovation as a lifestyle and it deals purely with clients from high-end fashion houses and fashion boutique outlets, interior design houses, as well as web and film production companies,” she explains.
When the timing was right, she enrolled at Vega Pretoria to study Brand Innovation.
“I chose The Advance Diploma in Brand Innovation because it had the ingredients I needed to shape my career. Vega provided exceptional real-time industry knowledge and challenges. Collaborations were encouraged, which was the fastest and boldest way to be empowered,” she stresses.
“It was a big challenge to work full time and to study. I fell pregnant in my last year and had my baby a week after I wrote my final paper. But here I am today, with my diploma in my hand. All the hard work and determination paid off,” she says proudly.
As her lecturer and academic navigator at Vega, Amalia van Schalkwyk, has only praise for her as a student.
“Vuyo is a creative at heart, strategic thinker in the making and an inspiration to work with. Not only was she a mentor to her ADBI peers but to various other individuals she came in contact with at the Vega Pretoria Campus. We hope to see great achievements from her in the creative industry within the near future!”
• For more information and to enter for Pendoring visit www.pendoring.co.za
Entries must reach Pendoring not later than 1 August 2016.
Vuyo Sodo and her Vega lecturer and academic navigator Amalia van Schalkwyk