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Mr Sihle Mkhize.

The decision to pursue a BCom degree when he had not studied Accounting at high school was the first bold step in a successful career for UKZN graduate, Mr Sihle Mkhize, who is National Sales Manager for the beauty channel at Proctor and Gamble (P&G).

Mkhize’s career at P&G started about eight years ago when he attended a careers exhibition which is part of UKZN’s recruitment initiative, resulting in him getting recruited to be a trainee manager in retail operations at the company.

He moved up the ladder quickly being appointed after just nine months as the Key Account Manager handling the Pick’ n Pay Account and then onto a Market Strategy and Planning post before moving into his current slot in 2013.

Looking back, Mkhize is grateful he chose to study commerce and overcome the challenges of that decision.

‘I had a choice between Law or a bachelor of Commerce path. I attended Law lectures for a month but soon realised it was not my passion and then started a BCom.  Since I had not done accounting in high school I had to catch up very quickly and I needed to repeat accounting in my first year.

‘However, I developed a passion for accounting in my second year, becoming intensely interested in numbers, developing theories and hypotheses. This was triggered by attending quantitive economics and statistics. From there my interest just grew and I never looked back,’ said Mkhize

As National Sales Manager, Mkhize’s duties involve developing successful strategies and growth plans for both P&G and its retailer partners. ‘This involves linking the retailer’s strategies with P&G’s while tapping key opportunities in the market and on the consumer landscape. I also manage relationships with key stakeholders in retailers we work with.’

Mkhize is looking forward to exploring more career prospects that will enhance his leadership skills and result in him growing as a business professional.

‘I have a variety of options for my next couple of roles. I could lead another account or I could take on an assignment in another country.’