Benita Olivier on winning the Early Career Excellence-Research Management category:
I have a passion for supporting research development and the natural consequence of passion is to do more than what is expected of one. It was a big surprise when I heard that I won an award for practicing my passion. Although, I cannot claim all the credit for an award such as this one seeing that we work in a team and if the team is receptive of one’s ideas and innovations, it inspires one to do more. In my case, I’m working with a winning team, which was my catalyst to do more. I’m grateful for the recognition that SARIMA/DSI give towards those in research management through these awards. Thank you for motivating us. Let us continue to change this world for the better.
More about Benita:
I enrolled for the Wits Business School’s Executive Development Programme which is a two-and-a-half-month online programme in Leadership Development, running twice a year. The course is aimed at senior managers and executives and has a core focus on developing more effective leaders, something that is crucial in our current academic landscape (as much as it is in all other sectors, I guess). The course includes diversity and change management, ethics and governance, finance, strategy and sustainability. This course came at the right time in my career. In the last 10 years, I completed my formal education (PhD, amongst others) and established a good base for future development by progressing my own research agenda, developing my research portfolio and consequently being promoted to full professor. The last decade was also marked by adapting to family life by being blessed with a husband and three boys. During the next decade, I’m looking forward to developing the world around me, developing current, and implementing new, structures and systems for research development and innovation. By optimising systems and structures, we’ll be able to do more with our limited resources. This is an acute focus of mine, to be strategic in how we use our resources so that we can gain as much as possible from what we have. I’m grateful for the prize money that SARIMA provided and for the new opportunity it provides me.