SACAP graduate Melonie Gobel studied for her honours degree online and says SACAP’s convenient flexibility was a key factor to her success.
There’s nothing average about Melonie Gobel, 48 from the Eastern Cape. She’s an optimal performance coach to business people and elite, high-performance athletes as well as a wellness counsellor. She’s also the Border Personal Development Manager for the South African Cricketers’ Association, an independent consultant to Cricket South Africa and she serves as a director consultant to Business Network International (a global business network), too. She travels a great deal for work and is in the throes of a home renovation. Phew! With so many balls in the air it’s a wonder how she does it all – and with such aplomb! We managed a quick catch up with Melonie and discovered how SACAP has contributed to her burgeoning success.
“I help people become the best versions of themselves that they can be,” explains Melonie. “By offering coaching, motivational talks, training, facilitation and experiential learning activities, I provide tools to help people maximise their lives.”
Melonie’s interest in psychology began a long time ago and has grown exponentially over the last 20 years, she says. “I was managing an NGO that was supporting vulnerable people, including abused women and children. I realized that I was only providing one element in offering shelter and income-generating programmes, and if I wanted to encourage sustainable and effective transformation I needed to better equip myself. I knew that on the ground, social workers and psychologists could be very effective. I felt drawn to psychology and began the journey.”
After completing her undergrad degree with UNISA Melonie chose to enrol at SACAP and study for her Bachelor of Social Science Honours (Psychology) online. “SACAP offered the flexibility that I needed in order to continue my work and studies,” she explains. “They have an excellent track record and the majority of their students successfully move on to further post-grad studies.”
Balancing full-time work, family, study and travel commitments requires highly effective time management skills, Melonie admits, but fortunately the pros outweighed the cons she says. “The convenience of being able to work, travel and study was the most attractive element of studying through SACAP. I also loved that the lecturers challenged us to think critically and add layers of complexity to the way we view our world and its people.”
Beyond its flexibility Melonie says she liked that her online course offered a variety of interactive opportunities. “There was a weekly video, for example, and students needed to comment and actively engage after viewing the video material. There were also weekly discussion points where both the lecturer and students could engage in active debate.”
A positive and slightly unexpected off shoot for Melonie was the budding friendships that resulted from studying online. “I loved forming new friendships with fellow students from around the country,” she says “My study buddies forged close bonds after studying together and will be life-long friends because of the shared experience.” Despite learning remotely, Melonie feels her small study group also helped mitigate any feelings of isolation. “They were a constant motivation and inspiration throughout the online learning programme,” she says. “The modules had superb student support, too. It felt as though the lecturers were genuinely invested in our learning experience,” she adds.
With so much to juggle, Melonie feels her SACAP qualification is helping her achieve what she’s doing today and provides a solid foundation on which she hopes to build her ultimate academic goal of obtaining her doctorate in psychology. “The discipline and excellence that SACAP demanded has prepared me perfectly for my continued academic journey,” she says.
Melonie doesn’t anticipate slowing down any time soon. “I would love to be even more effective in helping others, both in the rural and urban parts of South Africa, as well as supporting international high-performance and elite athletes around the world.”
If, like Melonie, you have a burning desire to help people, a course in psychology could open all kinds of career avenues for you. No time to study? No problem! SACAP’s online learning programme offers a practical, flexible and engaging study opportunity that enables you to achieve your academic dreams while still maintaining a work-life balance.
SACAP’s online curriculum is diverse and conveniently accessible – you can study for a degree or diploma from the comfort of your own home! Sound like something you’d like to know more about? Enquire here now.