25 January 2021 | Story Dr Nitha Ramnath

The University of the Free State Alumni office is pleased to announce the launch of the Voices from the Free State podcast series. François van Schalkwyk and Keenan Carelse, UFS alumni leading the university’s United Kingdom Alumni Chapter – the hub of a developing UFS international programme – have put their voices together to create and co-host the new podcast series. 

Intended to reconnect alumni with the university and their university experience, the podcasts will be featured on the first Monday of every month, ending in November 2021.  Taking a light interview format, our featured alumni will share and reflect on their experiences at the UFS, how it has shaped their lives, and relate why their ongoing association with the UFS is still relevant and important.

The podcasts are authentic conversations – they provide an opportunity for the university to understand and learn about the experiences of its alumni, to celebrate the diversity and touchpoints that unite them, and also to reflect the richness of South Africa. 

“I am delighted that this initiative is being led by our alumni, as it serves as an opportunity for all of us to gain insight and understanding about the relationship that our alumni share with the UFS. This is indeed a great initiative; the format of the podcast is refreshing, as it gives us a personal alumnus perspective without taking too much time,” says Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State.

WATCH: Voices from the Free State introductory video

Our podcast hosts

François van Schalkwyk 

François is an entrepreneur and innovator who is consulting with clients globally. He is an alumnus of the Faculty of Law and the Imperial College Business School. As management consultant and corporate development specialist, Francois has been building and working with remote teams since 2008. He is currently working on long-term projects in agriculture, AI, SaaS/cloud, and medical devices. He is also advising global clients on performance through building organisational culture in this age of the pandemic. Francois, his wife Leani, and children live close to London, enjoying the delights of the English countryside.

Keenan Carelse 

Keenan is currently employed in the healthcare sector in the UK. He completed his BCom Honours degree in Financial Economics and Investment Management at the University of the Free State; he is also personally venturing into the podcast space as an avenue to share ideas and inspire others to make their voices heard. Keenan is a family man, married, with one child and one on the way.

Stay tuned for episode one to be released on 1 February 2021, featuring Likeleli Monyamane, founder of Inspire Innovation Business Consultants. Episode two will be released on 1 March 2021, featuring Bertus Jacobs, Chief Technology Officer of IoT.nxt. 

For further information regarding the podcast series, or to propose other alumni guests, please email us at alumnipodcast@ufs.ac.za 

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