Motivational Advice from Themba Seyisi

Themba Seyisi is a first-year candidate attorney at Cluver Markotter Attorneys who is an inspiration to all of us. Not only did Themba excel while completing his LLB at the University of Stellenbosch, but also wrote a book before he turned 21 years called ‘21 Life Lessons @21’.

Gradlinc caught up with him and picked his brain on your behalf, to find out, not only what makes him tick, but to ask him for some tips for future LLB graduates.

  • Given the extensive knowledge you have gained in your field of work, what would your advice be for someone who is still in university or at the beginning of their career trying to get into your field? 

Build your network! It is true that your network is your net worth. The people you allow in your circle are of extreme importance as they determine the opportunities and social goods you will have access to. 

At University or as someone seeking opportunities, attend as much of the public lectures given by the experts in the field – there’s free food anyway. Do not leave without getting the expert’s cell phone number or at least their PA’s.

Also, do not believe anyone who says you can’t do something. Until you’ve tried and failed – you can do it!

 

  • What are the top 3 graduate attributes you think are the most important in your field? 

Analytical thinking, Problem solving, Stakeholder engagement and expectations management.

 

  • If you had to go back to the beginning of your career, what would you have done differently? 

Given the chance, I would have done 3 things differently: 

  1. Accepted right from the start that failure is part of the process. This would have allowed me to be more agile once I’ve failed in something and not waste valuable time beating myself up.
  2. I wish I asked for help more. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness – It actually saves you from making costly mistakes which in the end affects not just you but the company as well. And once a mistake has happened, run towards it and not away from it.
  3. Playing on my strengths. Although it may come across as conceited, I wish I had told people what I knew I was good in instead of shying away and letting the flaws take center stage.

 

  • What general advice (non-study/career related) would you give to the youth?

This particular advice is something I’ve observed from my mentor, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng: 

“Whatever challenges one might be facing, learn and grow to be strong. Do not waste too much time crying. Keep your head up and own your magic!”

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