Oratile Maphumulo is a Manager in Core Data Networks Planning in Technology. Among her many responsibilities is training the Vodacom CodeLikeAGirl initiative, where school girls from around the country are taught how to build their own website with HTML, CMS and Java.
What does your job entail?
I am a manager of Core Data Networks, which means that I am responsible for the building of the routing and switching environment as well as the network security infrastructure. I also plan the data feeds that go into the monitoring systems that network management use. In a nutshell, I make sure that we are able to connect and support all our customers throughout the different regions.
What did you study and how did you join Vodacom?
I applied for a Vodacom bursary when I was in Matric to study at Pretoria Tech, but was then recruited by the University of Cape Town. Vodacom was courteous enough to change the bursary agreement to UCT, where I specialised in telecommunication theory. I then joined the Vodacom Graduate Programme in 2009. I started as a graduate trainee before moving to senior tech officer, specialist and finally a managerial role.
What has your experience been like working at Vodacom?
I love working at Vodacom! It's at a point now where, if any other company makes me an offer, or even asks me over for tea, I just say 'no thanks!'. What I enjoy most about the company is that I get to learn from the people who actually built the network from ground zero and who have been here throughout these technological evolutions. That insight and experience, mixed with the theory I learned in my studies, has been invaluable to my career at Vodacom.
I have been with the company for nine years now, and have seen us move from 2G to 3G to LTE and now 5G is on the horizon. So going through those eras, and learning from the incredible engineers (who are superstars!), and working with people who are so experienced and generous with their knowledge and time has helped me to become a better engineer.
What excites you about working for Vodacom?
This dynamic environment, where you really have to work hard to be bored. There's always something different happening or something new coming along. There are new products, new tech and new customers that we have to engage with through digitisation.
What would you say to someone thinking of joining Vodacom?
My advice would be, if you're young and coming just out of university, then get in into the Vodacom Discover Graduate Programme. It's one of the best graduate programmes in Africa based on what they offer and the exposure you get.
If you are coming in from a previous work experience, don’t box yourself in based on your role. Open yourself up to new opportunities, because you can learn so much from so many people. I have yet to be told no, I engage with everybody, I have numerous mentors throughout the business and everybody's always here for you. It’s a great organisation to work for.
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Find out more about the Vodacom Graduate Programme on the Vodacom website.