Sivashnie: fuelled by Engen

Engen is investing in high school learners with great potential. Sivashnie Perumal is one of the students who has benefited from the involvement of the oil and gas company. This is her story.

Sivashnie Perumal has many reasons to be proud, but she says graduating is the achievement of which she feels most proud. It will serve as a stepping stone for her to go on and realise her own personal dream. (Image: Supplied)

Mathiba Molefe

“I’ve always known that this is a man’s world, and that I would need to work twice as hard to conquer it,” says Durban-born Sivashnie Perumal.

And true to her declaration, Perumal has kicked off a promising career in finance thanks to the support of South African oil and gas company Engen. It saw her potential early in her journey through high school.

As a former head girl and top student at Savannah Park Secondary School, Perumal first crossed paths with Engen when she received an invitation to attend the Engen Maths and Science School Programme at Howard College in grades 10 and 11. Sadly, she could not attend because there was no transport.

Perumal did, however, manage to take up a place during her matric year, an opportunity that she grabbed with both hands. She did so well in the programme that the oil company offered her a bursary to study.

Now armed with a B Com degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Perumal works in supply chain and market development in the commercial fuels department at Engen’s Eastern Region Offices in Durban.

She is thoroughly enjoying her introduction to the business world, she says, and is gaining valuable experience within a learning environment that has taken her by surprise.

“The company is highly supportive of women, and in fact seems to be doing everything it can to support and promote us, but this won’t mean that I’ll treat myself lightly.”

Taking it back home

Although she has many reasons to be proud, Perumal says that graduating is the achievement with which she feels the most pleased. It will serve as a stepping stone for her to go on and realise her own personal dream.

“I come from an environment that is diverse and often economically challenged. One day I’d like to repay the faith that many people have had in me, by starting an Engen maths and science programme for deserving girls at my old school, Savannah Park Secondary.”

Perumal’s journey highlights how education is perhaps the biggest player in improving one’s life and giving them the strength to help others who face the same challenges.

With her path firmly set out in front of her, Perumal has armed herself with the skills, knowledge and resilience she will need to make this dream a reality.

By continuing to grow the minds and talents of future generations, and shaping the careers of young, gifted South Africans, Engen is committed to building future leaders equipped with all they need to drive South African excellence.

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