My Success Story – Tshidi Mashego

Tshidi enrolled in our Residential Energy Assessor course in Johannesburg in November 2015.

How did you find out about Terra Firma Academy?

I found out about Terra Firma Academy after I attended the SAIREC conference in Cape Town in 2015 October. When I came back from Cape Town, I was full of energy and a burning desire to know more about the Energy Industry and the opportunities as well but I had to do some courses because knowledge is power. I started to do some research about the energy academies around Gauteng where I can attend training. As I was busy with my research I came across this academy and I think there was something special about Terra Firma because I ended up choosing it to attend the training with them.

What drove you to search for training in the first place?

At first, I was not sure what to expect as I was new in this industry and I had a very little knowledge. During the class at Terra Firma, I noticed that most of the people that I was attending class with had experience and skills and I was new, so I was scared but tried to calm myself down. The facilitator was very nice, open and made sure that everyone in class was on the same level and I started to relax and learn as much as possible and participate as well.

What was your expectation of the training, and was it met, superseded or not quite what you expected?

Immediately after the course, I started by implementing some action plans by teaching my family first, on how much can we save on lights to reduce electricity bill by first changing our behaviour by switching off electric appliances whenever possible. We have also replaced all the bulbs with Led lights.

Have you done any similar short courses, and if so, how did they compare?

From Terra Firma I developed more desire to learn more about this interesting industry. I was selected to participate on the 2016 Small Business Boost Programme, funded by JPMorgan, facilitated by the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS). The programme aims to promote small business growth and job creation for those involved in providing for the green economy. The training ran for 10 months. Between the training period I also got an opportunity to attend 5 days training in PV Installation. The program’s aim was to focus on building reputable skills based employees for the renewable energy industry and to support women entrepreneurs.

I was invited by SANEDI last month to attend training on Soltrain Thermosyphon hot water systems and Quality inspection as well.

Did the training you did come up in your job interview?

The knowledge and skills that I gained from the course set me apart from other colleagues, as I was able to demonstrate and develop clear methods and plans on how to conduct and implement an energy efficiency program, that eventually led to me being chosen.

Have you managed to use the learning and insight you gained from the training in your job?

By attending training at Terra Firma has contributed a lot especially in my clients, friends and family. I always make them aware of the high cost of electricity and then provide the solution to change their lives. Everything I learned at Terra Firma I practised it big time and apply it in my daily life!

Now that you have experienced the benefits of training to ‘get ahead’/find a job, what is your next step in terms of your career?

My next step is to have a blog online and also write articles on magazines and provide solutions for the readers.

Lastly I would like to encourage women who are in clean energy to learn to be strong and fight for their voices to be heard in this male dominated sector of economy. Nothing comes easy!