2007 – Completed a BCom Communication studies and management degree at the North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus. This included doing German up until third year level and Business German for one year. All German modules were done additionally and distinction was received in all these modules.

2008 – Completed an Honours degree in Development Communication at the North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus.

2009 – 2011 – Completed a Masters degree in Sustainable Development and Disaster Risk Reduction (Cum Laude) at the North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus. Dissertation title: The role of development communication in Disaster Risk Reduction: The Girls In Risk Reduction Leadership Project case.

In 2012 Yolanda co-wrote a training manual with Kylah Forbes-Biggs for guiding project implementation based on the experience of the Girls In Risk Reduction Leadership Programme. Title: Integration of adolescent girls into community based Disaster Risk Reduction in Southern Africa: a manual for guiding project implementation. This manual has been used in 6 other African countries to train facilitators who then in turn train young adolescent girls in their communities. Funding for the manual was provided by CARE international and the USAID.


2005/2006 While studying Yolanda worked as a student  assistant and facilitator at the North-West University for the German Department within the School of Languages. This included facilitating German and Business German on campus. Working as a facilitator involved receiving training in facilitating subjects and how to work with students in a classroom situation. Being an assistant required a few administrative tasks for the German Department such as filing, marking tests, collecting post, keeping minutes of meetings, organising the German Department’s library and other office tasks. During the same time Yolanda was a facilitator for  KOMS 123, which is a module in Persuasive Communication.

Throughout 2007 Yolanda continued presenting various modules as a facilitator including KOMS 123 (Persuasive Communication) and KOMS 221 (Intercultural communication). She still fulfilled the duties as student Assistant to the German Department on campus where her tasks expanded to assisting with conducting oral tests and examinations.

In 2006 Yolanda served as the deputy president of the German Society on Campus known as DAS (Deutsch-Afrikanischer Studentenbund). The aim of this society is to make students aware of the German culture and to introduce them to the language in a fun and enlightening manner. Yolanda also participated in a seminar for Arts Management through Artema, which is based at the North West University. It was a course that teaches one how to manage your cultural department, how to be a president or deputy and how to manage the finances of your department. In 2007 Yolanda served as the president of DAS (Deutsch-Afrikanischer Studentenbund) and facilitated the first year German and business German modules three times a week.

In 2006 Yolanda was awarded the Golden Key reward for academic excellence within the Economic Sciences faculty and became part of the Golden Key International Honour Society. They award the top students in each faculty with the recognition for their hard work.

April till June 2007 Yolanda was involved in doing intense research for one of the North West University communication lecturers, Dr Tanya le Roux. The research formed part of Dr. Le Roux’s studies towards her Doctorate in Public Relations. Tasks included phoning various companies, emailing corresponging questionnaires to companies involved, corresponding with the companies and giving Dr le Roux feedback on the progress. Yolanda also had to manage the team of students involved with the research and was in charge of coordinating and facilitating the entire research process.

2008 (April) – Yolanda was part of a team who did housing research at the Lonmin mine in Mooinooi on behalf of G3 Business Solutions. The two-day research required conducting questionnaires in a group setting and facilitating the various questions that arose from the research. The focus was to determine the housing needs for C-band miners in the Mooinooi area.

As part of Yolanda’s honours degree in Development communication, an internship had to be completed for 2 months. She applied to G3 Business Solutions, a company focusing on research, sustainability in the mining environment and corporate communication. The two months were spent in various fields within the communication arena and provided her with hands on experience and allowed Yolanda insights into the work of a communications specialist. Here is some details regarding the internship.

Project Manager for the Lonmin Annual perception survey. The tasks as Project Manager included:
– Arranging accommodation and coordinating other logistics
-Supervising a team of 5 researchers
– Working out specific quotas to be completed by each researcher per day
– Managing conflict within in the group
– Managing community relations as the situation within certain areas was marked with turmoil for the duration of the research
– Reporting back to Dr. Naude on a daily basis
– Ensuring the successful management of time, budgets and logistics

The tasks within the communications team involved assisting Kumba Iron Ore with establishing its own communications network, managing stakeholder relations and developing sound internal communication mechanisms.
Yolanda assisted in compiling an effective communications handbook, scheduling meetings, designing templates for various communication elements and assisted in keeping minutes and typing up various documents. The team was based on site in Centurion and had the difficult task to manage the set-up phase of a mine and the various forms of communication that goes with it.