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A rising star in Arup’s galaxy

Global engineering consultants Arup is proud to announce that for the second year running, a young employee was in the finals of the Standard Bank Rising Star Awards programme. This year, Arup’s Human Resources (HR) Business Partner Ntswaki Malebatja reached the finals in the Professional Services Category.
The Standard Bank Rising Star Awards seek out and celebrate young talented South Africans who have demonstrated their commitment to making a difference in the future of South Africa through their hard work, vision and leadership.
Malebatja’s passion lies in developing people. She focusses on learning and development, organisational design, HR analytics, change management and workforce transformation. “My role is broad but I am primarily responsible for supporting management in ensuring that Arup has high-performing and skilled employees. I achieve this through developing and facilitating learning and development solutions that are aligned to the firm’s strategic goals,” she explains.
As a successful woman in her early 30s, the process of reaching the finals of the Rising Star Awards has been more valuable than Malebatja could have imagined when she first set out on this journey, she explains. “This award has given me the opportunity to reflect on my career, and I am grateful for that because I realised how far I have come. It has also given me an opportunity to recognise all the people who have contributed to my journey in one way or another. I am the epitome that it takes a village to raise a child. It took people from all walks of society to help a child raised in rural South Africa realise her potential.”
Malebatja not only credits her family, members of community and previous managers for her achievements, she also attributes her ongoing success to the support she receives daily from Arup and her current managers. “Arup is like a second home to me. I credit my success and enjoyment of my role in the company to my manager who is very supportive.” Malebatja, who delights in learning, has just completed her MBA and, having completed her thesis in HR analytics, returned to work keen to implement what she had learnt. “My manager has been fantastic,” she recalls. “She told me: ‘We are here to support you and we understand your vision. Please let us know where we can help you.’ You don’t often get this type of support in companies.”
Arup, a global firm specialising in services for the built environment, prides itself on developing young talent globally. Last year another employee of the firm, Katrine Lategan, was also a Rising Star finalist in the same category. Having a finalist in the Rising Star Awards for two consecutive years is testament to the firm’s commitment to developing its staff.