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Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Adversity isn’t your enemy

HARVARD GRAD: Prof Shirley Zinn HARVARD GRAD: Prof Shirley Zinn

Prof Shirley Zinn is an individual who has experienced incredible career highs and gut wrenching personal lows, but it was these lows that she encouraged graduates to embrace and learn from.

Zinn, a Harvard graduate and accomplished businesswoman, was the guest speaker at the Faculty of Education graduation ceremony on Tuesday evening and shared a snippet of her own life story which included growing up in a gang riddled neighborhood and as an adult losing her only son unexpectedly in a car accident.

“Each one of us has faced our own tragedy and heartache but I am here to say that setbacks and disappointments will come,” she says.

“You have the potential to do far more than what you thought you could. Tonight we celebrate the futures you will create, not only for yourself but also for others.”

Zinn knows exactly what she is talking about since she herself spent many years in a classroom teaching, first at Groenvlei High School then later lecturing at UWC.

She grasped an opportunity to do her Masters at Harvard University in the States and despite immense financial challenges continued on to do her Doctorate at the same Ivy League university.

On her return to South Africa she moved her career into Human Resources and went on to work at many multi-national companies, the corporate banking sector and SARS.    

Written by Lauren Kansley

Tel: +27 21 953 8646
Email: kansleyl@cput.ac.za

Liaises with the media and writes press releases about interesting developments at CPUT.