Student Journey | 2024

While our first years are hitting the ground running at our beautiful campus, our 2nd-and 3rd years are exploring the industry! Currently our 2nd years are experiencing their first look at working in the industry, teaming up with 9 of our sister companies taking on day-to-day internal job shadowing and learning the ropes. As for our 3rd years, they are out and about with our industry friends working beautiful events, traveling and creating magic as they go! We are so excited to share some of their eventful stories later this year.

A round-up of updates from each year of study: 

First Years

Our First Years of 2024 officially registered on the 13th of February and we are super excited about everything that they have done thus far. The students had an amazing first month that included a social braai at a Lourensford, an exciting photo shoot session at Laurent Lounge, make-up workshops, wine tasting at Lourensford as well as exciting creative days with Academy lecturers and a|CREATE. They are currently completing their first three Learner Programmes, as well as their 350 practical hours through DIENS Hospitality. Being set-up and service staff at several events and weddings is hard work, but with all the practical experience they’ll gain, it will be a phenomenal experience for all!

EXCITING EVENTS: This year the first year students were split into 4 groups that will each be receiving an event project. Their events lined up for 2024 include the Reach for a Dream Annual Gala Dinner 2024, Paarl Girls High Matric Farewell 2024, Bloemhof Principal’s Farewell Event 2024 and the La Rochelle Girls High Matric Farewell 2024. For each event, two groups will be competing – both proposing their concepts to the client, where the client will then select a winning proposal making that group the senior project managers of the event.

This will all be taking place in August, September and October, individually. Not only will they be hosting four incredible events, but they will gain lifelong worth of experience while having fun alongside their fellow students!

Second Years

This year started with a bang for our Second year students! They are currently busy with their 6 weeks of internal job shadowing within The Aleit Group portfolio of companies including Aleit Events, DIENS Hospitality, Laurent, Laurent Lounge, Lourensford Market, Zeitz MOCAA, a|WEDDING by Tatum, a|CREATE and a|FLORAL. They are experiencing some amazing functions such as the renowned Zeitz MOCAA Gala dinner, luxurious weddings and a variety of other exciting events! Each of our students are bringing their A-Game, trying to secure the titles of Internal Job Shadowing Students of the Year.

The students will also commence with their three learner programmes and their external workshops including Photography, Floristry, Visual merchandising, Creativity Wake-up, Fire safety, First aid level 1, Wine certificate and even Image consulting.

EXCITING EVENTS: Our second year students have the fun task at hand to coordinate the 2024 Huisfondsdans, as well as the well-known Huisdans. They will be in charge of putting together ideas and concept proposals within their groups, and presenting them to both our CEO as well as the Aleit Academy team. After that, we will be sharing the exciting winning concept proposal on our socials, and the outfit shopping can commence!

Third Years

We’re incredibly proud of our Third Years who is completing their industry immersion where they are doing internships in various areas in the events and hospitality industry. They will soon the completing their final Learner Programme (or as we call it – their thesis) in Project Management. They will also be completing their financial learner programme and Entrepreneurship & Small business short course!

EXCITING EVENTS: The third years will be responsible for coordinating the Jan Kriel Wine Auction and will be presenting their exciting concepts and ideas to the Jan Kriel Institute where a winning concept will be selected. As soon as this has taken place, we will be revealing this very special theme on our social media – so watch out for it.

A lot of time and effort will be going into matching our students with placement partners that we feel will be a good fit for them for their final specialisation internship. This last year of their studies is to embrace all that the industry can offer, preparing them well for the real-life expectations of our industry and to flourish in the section of the industry they have selected.

Student Spotlights

Alumni In the Industry | Aurore Pienaar

Celebrating the success of our students is always thrilling. This quarter, we proudly shine the spotlight on one of our alumni who have exhibited outstanding creativity, leadership, and dedication, working her way up to project manager for our sister company, Aleit Events.  She speaks French oh-so-beautifully, she loves shopping, and some would say she’s a little secretive… get to know the go-getter that is Aurore Pienaar (Our Aleit Academy Award of Excellence winner of 2023)!

  1. Your story: From being a first year to where you are now.

I chose to join Aleit Academy after an extensive journey travelling around the world and working in many different industries. I have had one philosophy since day one: work diligently and do whatever it takes to achieve my goals. It is without a doubt that I had a fantastic time at the Academy; it provided me with the opportunity to complete remarkable internships both domestically and internationally. I had intended to remain in Paris full time following my previous internship, but one call from Hans and here I am at Aleit Events starting my journey in the event world as a Corporate Project Manager.

  1. If you could plan any event, anywhere in the world, with an unlimited budget, what would it be and why?

New Zealand is by far the country with the most breathtaking landscapes I ever visited, and I would love to organize an “weekly corporate incentive type” of event there for a big organisation.

  1. What’s the most unique or unexpected thing you’ve ever had to deal with while working on an event?

It was when I was a student, I witnessed a bride refuse to exit her vehicle due to the rain. Two and a half hours passed while we awaited her arrival at the ceremony. And well, it

  1. If you had the chance to switch roles with a celebrity event planner for a day, who would it be and why?

Probably, Mindy Weiss – curating extraordinary events for celebrities must be something challenging but incredibly creative.

  1. One item that you ALWAYS take to an event.

Deodorant (I mean we are running around for hours sometimes in extremely hot weather, so it is an indispensable.)

  1. Quote you live by:

“Be the reason someone smiles. Be the reason someone feels loved and believes in the goodness in people.” Roy T Bennett


// Meet the team

The heartbeat of the Aleit Academy – this is our dream team! These dynamic individuals are the architects behind the magic, and the mentors shaping the next generation of event and hospitality professionals.

Nicola Bernardo – Head of The Aleit Academy | Lecturer

  1. On repeat currently: Calum Scott – Rise
  2. ⁠ Go-to lunch at work: Leftovers or have more coffee
  3. ⁠ Motto for 2024: Focus, achieve, repeat & Choose kindness always

Bianca Rijnsburger-Kossatz – Course Executive | Lecturer

  1. On repeat currently: Green eyes: Sienna, Nothing But Thieves
  2. ⁠ Go-to lunch at work: Lunch, what lunch? Jokes, whatever my husband prepared 🙂
  3. ⁠ Motto for 2024: “LEWE!

Markus Botha-Fortuin – Project Coordinator | Lecturer

  1. On repeat currently: Ariana Grande: We can’t be friends (wait for your love)
  2. ⁠ Go-to lunch at work: Chicken Wrap or last nights dinner
  3. ⁠ Motto for 2024: “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different – Coco Chanel” – this is my motto for every day and year!

Annabelle du Plessis – Practical Placement Coordinator | Lecturer

  1. On repeat currently: Beautiful Things – Benson Boone
  2. ⁠ Go-to lunch at work: Toasted cheese
  3. ⁠ Motto for 2024: “Don’t count the days, make the days count”

Justine Otto – Project Coordinator | Lecturer

  1. On repeat currently: Trop Beau: Crisologo, Emma Peters
  2. ⁠ Go-to lunch at work: Fruits, Flat Whites, Croissants or Salads
  3. ⁠ Motto for 2024: ⁠”Take the risk / There is no right time, there is just time and what you choose to do with it.”


We hope that this article will entice you to consider your application at The Aleit Academy.