George van Dyk

An education at Stellenbosch University (SU) makes you realize that you need to work hard to achieve something in life according to SU alumnus Dalton Odendaal.

Odendaal with a BCom LLB and now runs his own business specialising in sports marketing and is also a consultant at a UK based specialist law firm, Harbottle & Lewis.

Odendaal was the guest speaker at the Alumni Relation Office’s second Careers Café which was held on 9 October in the Faculty of Arts and Social Science’s building.

“Marks aren’t necessarily an indication of where you’re going to end up, so don’t let that hold you back. They help you to get a foot in the door, but they don’t determine your future success,” Odendaal added.

Odendaal also mentioned how preparation and thoroughness were critical to the perhaps unlikely winning of his first case whilst doing his articles.

When talking about his work abroad, Odendaal mentioned that he discovered that “as South Africans, we can handle pretty much anything that is thrown at us”.

He went on to say that international employers like to hire South Africans, because they know that South Africans work hard.

One of the main points that Odendaal highlighted was that once you have a bit of a feel of where you would like your life’s journey to go, you do need to be strategic about how you’re going to get there.

“Be patient. If you know where you want to end up, over time, hopefully, you will get there,” he said.

Odendaal didn’t take the most conventional route to his current success, and he has developed what one would probably refer to as a portfolio career: a career of multiple part-time jobs.

“That’s a sign of success: if you’re prepared to do something, to put your heart and soul into it and give it a go,” Odendaal said.

Odendaal stressed that people should not to be afraid to do something different, as all the highly successful people in the world have often failed the first time.

He encouraged the audience to ask people who might have done something similar questions, as it is these people that one can learn from.

“The only failure would be if you don’t have the courage to try,” he concluded.