Student Spotlight

Welcome to our second quarterly update for 2024! As we reach the halfway mark of the year, we are excited to share some thrilling updates with you. Get ready – it’s going to be fun!

2024 Aleit Academy Student Forum

The Student Forum 2024 at The Aleit Academy is all about making student life better. This year’s team includes Inge Barnardo and Chané Crocker for the 3rd years, Gabby Thomas and Fenje Nkoane for the 2nd years, and Simran Natha and Minonet Horn for the 1st years. Their tasks include managing attendance with a new Excel sign-in system, sending birthday wishes, and sharing motivational messages during internships. They also remind classmates about internship feedback, facilitate communication between students and staff, and organise bi-monthly meetings. Additionally, they plan social events, promote camaraderie, boost social media engagement, ensure classroom tidiness, and coordinate charity projects.


  1. First Years

Simran Natha: “I bake the best dog-friendly birthday cakes/cupcakes, and throw the best dog parties. Trust me, my dog told me 😌😉🤭”

Minonet Horn: “I claim to be a surfer but can’t stand longer than 2 minutes on my board😂”

  1. Second Years

Gabby Thomas: “I HATE honey but love honey scented things. 🍯 🐝”

Fenje Nkoane: “A FUN Fact about me is that, Even though I have 8 Siblings I am also still the only child 😆😂🩷✨”

  1. Third Years

Inge Barnardo: “I’ve done ballet dancing for 12 years and I don’t drink ANY coffee, just tea. 🫖 🩰”

Chané Crocker: “I never miss an episode of Binnelanders. 🏥”


Events, events and more events! This is what our students are currently up to

While our 1st years are settled in, sharpening their knowledge through various workshops, classes, and exciting events where they get hands-on experience, our 2nd years are busy fundraising for Huisdans by hosting a series of on- and off-campus events, including bake-offs, karaoke evenings, and dress up days, all leading up to their desert-themed Huisdans taking place 1 August 2024. They are also preparing for two external placements which form part of their 2nd year practical hours starting in August.

Meanwhile, our third years are working hard with one final internship commencing in September before they graduate end of November 2024. We are excited to share some of their stories later this year!

A round-up of updates from each year of study

First Years

Our first years are sharpening their knowledge through a range of enriching workshops, classes as well as events. They’ve participated in image workshops to enhance their personal presentation, make-up workshops to learn industry-relevant skills, and brain profile workshop presented by Marelize Howell, to understand their cognitive strengths. Beyond the classroom, they’ve gained hands-on experience by working at high-profile events like “Entertainment Reimagined,” the “Friends of Amstel” event, and several dreamy weddings, providing invaluable real-world experience. Additionally, they’ve been on various site visits, offering them a deeper understanding of the industry’s diverse venues and operations. These experiences are not only building their expertise but also igniting their passion for the dynamic world of events and hospitality.

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, Paarl Girls High Matric Farewell, Bloemhof Principals Farewell Event and the La Rochelle Girls High Matric Farewell.

These events will be taking place in August, September and October, individually. Not only will they be hosting four incredible events, but they will gain practical experience preparing them for their future careers!

Second Years

Our second years have been fully immersed in their journey after completing six weeks of internal job shadowing. They’ve now shifted gears to focus on organising and executing the Annual Aleit Academy Huisdans, taking responsibility for both planning and execution. With their preparations in full swing, they’ve identified a winning theme for this year’s event – and we are EXCITED! Alongside their fun-fundraising activities i.e. bake-off sale, PJ/ lounge wear, hot chocolate days, karaoke evening, Huisfondsdans and blikskud, they are also attending workshops that further refine their skills and knowledge. Up next: they will be preparing for two upcoming external practical internships scheduled to start in August, ensuring they are well-equipped for their professional endeavours in the events and hospitality industry.

EXCITING EVENTS: Our second year students had the fun task at hand to coordinate the 2024 Huisfondsdans, which took place on the 14th of June as well as the well-known Huisdans taking place on the 1st of August.

Third Years

We’re incredibly proud of our Third Years who completed their Learner Programme 12, Fundamental Accounting Principles. They are currently still busy with their Entrepreneurship & Small Business Course as well as their final thesis of Project Management (LP14). Coming up next: their final internship in September! 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.

EXCITING EVENTS: The third years will be responsible for coordinating the Jan Kriel Wine Auction, annual fundraising event for the Jan Kriel School. A theme to establish the ‘building blocks’ of the school was conceptualised taking place on the 6th of August 2024.


Meet the team

Introducing the heartbeat of The Aleit Academy – our absolute dream team! These dynamic individuals are the creators of magic, serving as mentors who shape the next generation of professionals in the fields of events and hospitality.

Nicola Bernardo – Head of The Aleit Academy | Lecturer

  1. On repeat currently: Nothing specific at the moment.
  2. Go-to Winter Outfit: Anything black with a warm blazer!
  3. Favourite part of your job: Having coffee in the morning with my colleagues 🙂 & lecturing the 1st years…getting to know them.

Bianca Rijnsburger-Kossatz – Course Executive | Lecturer

  1. On repeat currently: Babydoll – Dominic Fike
  2. Go-to Winter Outfit: All black!
  3. Favourite part of your job: Creative Freedom

Markus Botha-Fortuin – Project Coordinator | Lecturer

  1. On repeat currently: A Bar Song – Shaboozey
  2. Go-to Winter Outfit: Coats, coats and more coats with a turtleneck shirt/jersey with jeans, sneakers or boots.
  3. Favourite part of your job: I LOVE the STUDENTS to see their development, especially the 1st years when providing training in becoming young project managers within their 1st Year Event Practical Project.

Annabèlle du Plessis – Practical Placement Coordinator | Lecturer

  1. On repeat currently: Save you a seat – Alex Warren
  2. Go-to Winter Outfit: Warm coat, a scarf & ankle boots!
  3. Favourite part of your job: Seeing the students grow and the onsite coffee shop.

Justine Otto – Project Coordinator | Lecturer

  1. On repeat currently: I get too bored listening to something on repeat. Something different every day. From oldies to gangster rap to classical. If it’s good, I’ll listen to it.
  2. Go-to Winter Outfit: If it’s appropriate, fashionable and warm, I’ll wear it.
  3. Favourite part of your job: The beautiful location, fun colleagues, fireplace, access to good coffee, fun students, the speaker in HQ and DIENS bringing us new cocktails to approve every now and then.


As our students are studying towards becoming qualified event coordinators, it’s always exciting to line up incredible events to ensure they gain all the necessary experience and knowledge needed. From meticulously putting together concept proposals, to executing incredible events, our students have exciting tasks at hand! Look out for the scoop into our annual events on our social channels!