Penetrating a male-dominated career

Making the stares worthwhile

16 October 2020 | People

MICHELLINE NAWATISES

Paulina Kornelius was born and raised at a village called Ombwana in the Okalongo constituency in northern Namibia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in transport management as well as a logistics honours degree from the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST).

She joined the Megabuild team in 2019 through the Pupkewitz Megabuild Graduate Programme at the fleet department where she got the chance to put theory into practice. The Pupkewitz Megabuild Graduate Programme is an excellent platform for graduated students as a way of market entry.

From the Graduate Programme Kornelius secured fulltime employment at Pupkewitz Megabuild and is currently employed as fleet coordinator, where she is responsible for managing the entire fleet of Megabuild - from the acquisition of the fleet to maintenance until these assets are disposed of.

“I ensure legislation compliance and monitor the life cycle of Megabuild’s commercial vehicles,” she says.

Lately, Kornelius has realised that she is in a male-dominated career, and everywhere she goes, she gets a certain stare as if she is at the wrong place and being redirected to a different section.

“I am proud to say that I have managed to hold my head high and boldly get what I need to get done. The fact that I have penetrated the industry gives me countless advantages,” she says proudly.

On a daily basis she inspects the vehicles for defects and take corrective actions, monitors fuel usage to detect mismanagement and takes the necessary action, makes use of a fleet management system to monitor driver behaviour, liaises with service providers for repair and maintainer jobs that need to be done and manages service provider relations.

Kornelius is inspired by perseverance. "Besides all the million reasons that someone has to quit and yet they still find one to keep going, that is the real inspiration for me. I long to be that person and continuously be persistent,” she says.

The advice she would give to aspiring young people is to “just do it”, whatever it is that you need. At some point, fear will take over, but that may not go away, so you will have to do things despite being petrified.

“I am currently reading a book titled: ‘Screw it, Let’s Do It’ by Richard Branson; you might want to get yourself a copy. Believe everything can be done and just do it!” she says.

The focused lady wants to pursue a master’s degree in a field that will allow her to grow within the retail industry. When asked about the best phase of her life, Kornelius said that she is currently living the best phase of her life; but she hadn’t realised this until this moment.

“Apart from the global pandemic and natural disasters that we are relentlessly fighting, it is an interesting era to be alive. I strive to live in the present and only reminisce about past events,” she says.