Jerobiam Julies’s knack for making the most of his opportunities and to adapt to whatever life throws at him has led to him securing a dream job with an international biotechnology firm.
Jerobiam, who obtained his MSc in Agricultural Sciences at Stellenbosch University in 2018, joined German company R-Biopharm in 2020. He occupies the dual role of international sales manager and representative and business development manager for the Middle East and North Africa.
“The position was advertised in my final year of my MSc. Initially, I was unsure whether I should apply for it, as I have no background in sales. Fortunately, when I looked at the criteria, I saw that my characteristics corresponded to what the company was looking for and I took the leap of faith,” he said.
The tenacious Jerobiam, who have always gone after everything he wants in life no matter how challenging, added: “One should be open to different jobs and not just settle for that particular job one intended to do. As life has taught me in a beautiful way – one might not end up where you initially thought you would be, but it does not mean you are incapable of embracing that newfound space. Sometimes a newfound space embraces you due to strengths that you have overlooked or never thought you had.”
He says he gets an immense amount of satisfaction working for R-Biopharm, which provides a range of analytical services and solutions focused on clinical diagnostics, food and feed and nutritional care.
“I enjoy the science behind the solutions we provide and working with people from various backgrounds which allows me to broaden my perspective. Overall, it brings an immense amount of gratitude and joy to know that I can contribute to food safety. My position challenges me to be adaptable and think strategically. Although these can become challenging at times, I do enjoy it as my life journey is a testament of resilience.”
Jerobiam credits his current success to his small beginnings in the world of work.
“Shortly after my MSc, I enrolled as an intern at a wine producing facility in Stellenbosch, where I assisted in the chemical and quality control of wine. The production of wine, especially in the harvest season, usually results in very long hours of work. This taught me patience and to stay committed and dedicated to an end goal. I also have performed some administrative work in the university space for Matie Community Service (Social Impact). This prepared me to work with people in various hierarchies and backgrounds – a critical aspect of my current position which mostly revolves around building and maintaining relationships.”
He said studying at Stellenbosch University shaped his passion for people and relationships and fuelled his bold and authentic approach to life.
“I lived out my talents by being a member of the Stellenbosch University Choir, which also allowed me to see various parts of the world. I met lifelong friends who contribute significantly to my wellbeing. Most importantly, the university allowed me to find out who I am and what I can contribute to the world.”
Jerobiam, who grew up in the West Coast town of Darling and matriculated from Schoonspruit Secondary School in Malmesbury, has come a long way. But he’s the first to admit that he could not have done it on his own.
“I was fortunate to grow up in a household that was very supportive of any ambition one might have. Although Darling is a small town and faces many societal ills, it was my parents who instilled in me the importance of working hard, staying focused and to always follow what is unique to me. I am forever thankful for their love and support,” he said.
- Jerobiam is also featured in an upcoming digital publication titled 35 Under 35, which celebrates the launch of YAP – the Young Alumni Programme at Stellenbosch University. This special publication shines the spotlight on a diverse group of alumni under the age of 35.