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Our Students at Work: ArcelorMittal

Steel giant ArcelorMittal has been actively involved in South Africa for many years. As part of their dedication to the country, the company is supporting the development of young people through their bursary programme.

Three Belgium Campus students, Sipho Nxele, Mbali Noxolo and Florence Mkatshe, are completing their in-service (AIT) year at ArcelorMittal.

Although unsure about a career in IT at first, they are making huge strides in the field. “I was interested in IT, but it was my third choice. I never had a background in IT and the first time I ever worked with it was at Belgium Campus” says Florence, who originally envisaged studying Metallurgy Engineering. The bursary offered by ArcelorMittal made them change their mind about studying IT, and they don’t regret that choice: “When I started (at Belgium Campus), right away I felt that the environment was more peaceful and safe, this enabled us to work much better under pressure.”

Florence has worked on a real time web-based material tracking system ensuring material never gets lost. She also had to generate reports on cost saving when the company changed its material rolling procedures. Mbali has completed a web-based Macro Standards Reporting System for steel production and a Visual Management System to monitor iron production shifts at their Sinter Plant. She is currently working on a project which will track casting ladle movements and repair schedules within the plants. Sipho’s first project was converting their operating systems from Windows based to web-based ASP, allowing employees to work almost anywhere using tablets. Currently, he is working on two projects simultaneously. One is an energy metering system which generates reports on electricity, gas and water consumption to reduce production and environmental impact costs. The other project is a billet management system which allows real-time tracking of material as it is transported from the foundry onto trucks and into the billet holding yards.

What are their plans for the future? “I want to improve my skills as a programmer and maybe do my Masters, but I definitely want to stay with ArcelorMittal”, says Florence. “I want to pass my thesis and graduate. After that, I will get a permanent position and spoil myself!” states Mbali, with Sipho adding: “I want to pass my thesis and graduate, and then do my Masters at Belgium Campus ASAP! Then I want to buy myself a (Mercedes-Benz) CLA45 AMG. I know I can get it!”

From left: Florence Mkatshe,Sipho Nxele and Mbali Noxolo