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Alumni in the spotlight: Timmy van der Grijp

Alumni in the spotlight: Timmy van der Grijp

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The decision to phase out the four-year Baccalaureus Procurationis (B.Proc) law degree in 2001 and replace it with the LL.B. degree qualification in all South African universities left thousands of law graduates in a cloud of uncertainty including Milpark alumnus, Timmy van der Grijp.

As of 1996, after the promulgation of the Qualification of Legal Practitioners Amendment Act, the LL.B. degree was introduced as the universal and only legal qualification for legal practice, superseding the existing B.Proc degree in South Africa.

Van der Grijp, a qualified attorney, graduated in 1995 with a B.Proc degree from the University of Johannesburg and it “brought mixed emotions during the transitional years of our democracy. Even though I was very proud to become a UJ alumnus, but it seemed, all the work that I have put in was futile as the B.Proc. degree was no longer seen as a Honours degree and was replaced by the LL.B. without the necessity of a pre-bachelor qualification,” he says.

Van der Grijp explains that due to life pressures, he was unable to finish the two remaining modules to allow him to have the full LL.B qualification, even though he has earned wide-ranging experience in the legal fraternity, he has always had the dream to study further. But when he was granted the opportunity to study the Milpark Certificate in Management Development Programme (CMD), he not only passed the programme with distinction but the experience gave him a renewed sense of self.

“I was surprised as to how much free time I had available and really enjoyed the study material. I finished the course cum laude which made me, my family and my work colleagues very proud. In fact, I was so inspired by the course that I have now applied to finish both the LLB and LLM degrees over the next two years.”

Van der Grijp says the vibrant Melville campus convinced him that after finishing his legal studies, he is going to register for the Milpark #2 rated Master of Business Administration degree.

Q: How important is continuous learning for working professionals?

A: In business, the only certainty is change. We have to keep abreast of the changing environment globally to ensure our competitive edge. Only continuous learning can keep us relevant in business today.

Q: How has the Milpark CMD programme enhanced your skills at work?

A: During my study of the CMD programme, I noticed that I have implemented most of the strategies in my work environment years ago, but I did not know why. With my understanding of the thinking behind the strategies and management principles after CMD, I am now able to properly make use of such principles to the benefit of my business environment and staff.

Q: With digital disruption changing organisations and professions alike, how is the legal profession responding to this change?

A: Legal people, in general, are still old school. I still do my research in law libraries despite the availability of various internet sources. More importantly, judges and magistrates are even more old school, and until the technology is embraced by our benches, change in the legal profession will be slow.  

Q: Through your work, how do you think you are contributing positively to society?

A: That is exactly what gets me up every morning. In the credit environment, you see lives, marriages and families destroyed in an instant. It is rewarding to provide a service that ensures debt strained consumers retain their family homes, knowing that the knock-on effect of such actions is keeping such marriages and families together. 

31 Oct 2017