21 May 2024

Written by Milpark Communications 

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I grew up in Ermelo, a very small and very cold town in Mpumalanga. I live in Pretoria now – I studied at the University of Pretoria, in fact, and it’s from there that I received my master's degree in strategic marketing management. I’ve been with Milpark for about 10 years, and it’s been amazing. I love the online space we’re currently occupying. It really suits me.

What is something people might not know about you?

I’ve got a very serious Lego addiction! I was at the Lego store recently and saw all these beautiful things that you can build – I want all the Harry Potter and Star Wars Lego sets! Other than that, something people might now know is that I’ve got two beautiful dogs that mean the world to me. They travel with me everywhere, wherever we go.

What is it like being a lecturer at Milpark?

It is the best. I am passionate about teaching and enjoy the online space; and I think it gives us such flexibility in the learning journey. The fact that it’s all online means that I can be wherever I want as well – so if I ever want to move to Cape Town or somewhere else, it’s as easy as getting up and going.

Being the Head of Department at the School of Commerce seems like a mammoth task. How do you do what you do?

It is rather a big undertaking! Some days are better than others. Like all things, we have ups and downs, but I’m part of an incredible team. We’ve been together for quite some time, and I think we just know how to work well together. We know where the gaps are, and we complement each other perfectly.

What was your journey up until you became HOD of Commerce?

I did a lot of lecturing at the Technical University of Tshwane, where my roots are – that was my first teaching job. After that, I did freelance work at Varsity College. Then I worked in fashion for a while.

That was a completely different kettle of fish, but it was very creative and stimulating. Then, of course, I joined Milpark as a Senior Lecturer. I had that position for a year before I became HOD.

If there is one element that stands out in your field, only one, what would that one element be?

I think the biggest thing now is virtual, online teaching. In 2023, we did a course where we built a virtual environment where students could create an avatar and engage with the content there.

It was exciting, and I think we need to keep exploring the new possibilities of online teaching while still being mindful of our students and where they are at the moment, as Internet and Internet connectivity remain an issue.

AI is also very big now and we’re constantly asking ourselves; how do we deal with it? How do we encourage students in a responsible way and how do we testing critical thinking and problem solving at the same times as using these new tools?

Read More: Meet Milpark’s ‘Beyoncé of compliance’: KhanRoy Jacobs

What’s your #1 tip for students to make a success of their studies?

Don’t be scared to fail. There is learning in failure. If you can’t pass a subject the first time, it’s not the end of the world. For example, economics was one of the most difficult subjects that I did at university.

I failed it and had to do it again, and I’m fine now! I think society tells us we can’t fail, but that’s nonsense – you’re supposed to fail. It’s completely normal to struggle with some things. We’ve all got our own set of strengths and weaknesses. Just be brave enough to do it again.

Final Thoughts

Whether you're an aspiring professional or an experienced educator, the wisdom shared by Lizre Botha, Head of Department, serves as an inspiring reminder: don’t be discouraged by failure. Embrace it, learn from it, and use it as a catalyst for growth and innovation. Browse our website to learn more about life at Milpark.