June is a special month for Engen. It is Youth Month, and it provides Engen opportunity to reflect upon its commitment to helping young gifted South Africans to explore new horizons. Trinisha Lutchmiah is one of many whose horizons have opened widely thanks to Engen.
Trinisha grew up in Merebank, Durban and later moved to Malvern when she was eight years old. She attended Nizam Road Primary and Malvern Primary before going on to Queensburgh Girls’ High, from which she matriculated with a Bachelors pass.
Trinisha’s parents were always generous, supportive and open minded, and they taught her to view the world with a deep sense of tolerance and respect. These qualities came in handy considering that she grew up in a very busy house. Along with her father, Devan, her mother, her younger sister and grandmother, a number of cousins lived with the family, making sure that she was never short of company.
She believes that it was her loving family and her father’s unusual parenting techniques that kept the entire chaotic company on the straight and narrow, and which led to her becoming the first person in her family to graduate from a tertiary institution. Thanks to her father’s five House Rules, she learned that studies come first, to be honest and respectful, to be her own person, to be good to others, and to be organised and prepared.
“Education was always a priority in our household,” says Trinisha “and I think that is why I have not stopped pursuing my studies. I found out about Engen Maths and Science Schools when my father was working at Engen, and since I previously lived in Merebank, I had family and friends who told me about the EMSS.
Trinisha attended the EMSS in Wentworth, at the Fairvale High School, opposite the Engen Refinery. “EMSS gave me a greater understanding in Maths and Physics and exposure to their practical applications. I also enjoyed the English classes as we had a particularly charismatic teacher who gave the books we were studying so much more life.”
For decades Engen has believed in growing its own timber, and prioritises the development of talent through the coordination of three programmes, namely, the Engen Maths and Science School (EMSS), Engen National Bursary Programme and the Engen Graduate Development Programme.
Trinisha was offered an Engen bursary in 2014, which afforded her the opportunity to study further. She completed her degree in Property Development at the University of KwaZulu Natal, Howard College at the end of 2016 and then went on to complete her Honours in Construction Management under the sponsorship of an Engen bursary. She is now studying towards her Master’s Degree in Construction Management.
In 2018, she was excited to become a part of the Engen Graduate Development Program and joined Engen, working in Retail Property Development at the company’s regional office in Johannesburg.
“It has offered me a unique platform to learn and gain experience,” she enthuses. “In fact, the greatest challenge I faced was relocating to Johannesburg from Durban.” For a Durban girl with a large loving family, it was a major change but she says she loves the city. ”I was very warmly welcomed into my department as a graduate trainee, and I’ve been enjoying working, learning and meeting new people every day.”
Like most people, Trinisha wants to be successful, to travel, get married and someday start a family, but she also wants to make a difference by helping others less fortunate than herself “I was once told that a life lived for others is a life well lived and I whole heartedly agree,” she says. ”I motivate myself by always trying to remember the bigger picture and what I want to achieve. It may sound like a cliché but there is nothing more powerful than setting realistic goals and being passionate enough to achieve it.” Trinisha quotes a famous ‘Durbanite’, Mahatma Ghandi, who said, “You need to be the change you wish to see in the world.”
By continuing to attract and grow minds and talents like Trinisha Lutchmiah, and to shape the careers of gifted graduates, Engen continues to change our world. Helping young gifted South Africans to explore new horizons proves once again that as a company, Engen is committed to building future leaders.