We WON! Best publication 2022 for the UCT Career Guide

Our year ended off with some fantastic news: the 2022 UCT Career Guide took home the prize for Corporate Publication of the Year at the annual SAPF awards.  

Some of the feedback we received from the South African Publication Forum:

“The judges and moderators were blown away. What a great publication – it hits the mark 100%. It is fun, engaging, original and gets the message across. The advice is practical and spot-on for the target audience. It is a positive reflection of UCT with its youthful and engaging images and text. This is an absolutely invaluable publication. It’s bulging with incredibly useful and inspiring information and advice. This is something every tertiary institution should provide. It’s beautifully and logically structured, which is also clearly reflected in the design elements. Top marks for the obviously huge effort.”

Indeed, this publication is incredibly significant to its readers. With the unemployment rate being what it is in South Africa, this guide is one of the instruments used by the University of Cape Town to assist students with carving out their careers. We have found that this annual publication is often even read by students and graduates outside of UCT.

Students flock to it not only for the exclusive job opportunities at the back, but also for the pages upon pages of content empowering them with career advice, the latest news from various industries and articles written by established professionals.


Every year, the content for this publication is written by a huge team of writers: the Careers Service team, outside contributors, alumni of the university, and a chosen service provider. For the past few years, we have been lucky enough to fill the role as service provider. We conceptualise, manage and edit all content, and then get to publication design for it as well. 


The target audience is third and fourth year students ready to transition into the world of work. But the Guide is also used by first and second year students. UCT has more female students than males, and is ethnically diverse. Usually, the guide was mostly aimed at traditional career-oriented students and graduates.

For the 2022 publication, we decided to speak to a variety of career paths – after all, not everyone has to end up working for a corporate organisation. We added more content to the Entrepreneurial section of the guide, expanding it from the handful of interviews from previous years to an expansive guide on students wanting to start their own business or work the gig economy. We also included a new section on postgraduate studies, showing how this route can lead to exciting careers in research and development.


Our theme for the 2022 Guide was “Navigating a changing world”. The idea was to encourage students to embrace the resilience they have learnt during the cruellest times of the pandemic (the average reader has had to pivot from classroom learning to doing everything online / on their own), and use it to brave the new normal.

In using “navigation” as an anchor word, the theme also alludes to how the world has found new ways to connect – for a long time, physical travel was limited, but we learned to adapt and work in new, exciting ways. Now, it is up to the next generation (including students) to keep innovating and exploring new avenues in work and life.

Topics in the guide include taking an interdisciplinary approach to your job and studies, new emerging career paths, interesting research groups and essential skills needed to navigate the new normal.


The design of the guide also took its cue from the word navigation. Elements that were drawn on include compasses, software like Google Maps, clocks, rulers, scopes, subway maps, and more. This can be seen in navigational elements and layout throughout the guide.

Students are bombarded with information, and most university comms have stock photography of students on – we want the guide to be different. We want to put out something that is not cluttered, but rather bold and targeted at cool, smart individuals aged 20-24.

In addition to this prestigious award, the UCT Careers Service’s flagship publication also brought home awards for Excellence in Communication, Best One-off Publication and was runner-up for the Best Cover award.

Various South African corporate publications took part in the competition, and runners-up for the Publication of the Year award are publications from the likes of Capitec, Mediclinic, Sanlam and Nando’s.

Want to look through this award-winning publication? Read it here.

See our previous UCT Guide issues here.

Would you like to collaborate with us on your own award-winning publication? Contact us!
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