Meet Our OC Staff… Sort of… #25

Meet Jacques Wilcock (OC 2014)

 At the MCOBA, we are all about keeping Maritzburg College old boys connected to both the school and one another. However, some old collegians want to have an even stronger connection with the school, choosing to report to College each weekday morning as they did when they still adorned the mighty basher. These men are our old collegian staff members. Over the next few months, we will be getting to know these individuals. We will be finding out what they do for our school, catching up with what they have been up to since their school days, and asking a few fun questions. If you have any questions you would like to direct to any of our OC staff members, email the name of the staff member and your question to: oldboys@collegeoldboys.com and it may just be featured in their interview.

Meet Jacques Wilcock (OC 2014)

Jacques matriculated from College in 2014 and while he is not yet a full-time employee at Maritzburg College, he certainly fits the description of an Old Boy so dedicated to his alma mater that he returns to the school almost every morning for work. In fact, when asked what he did between finishing high school at College and returning to work here as a coach, Jacques jokingly responded “well, it was December holidays.”

As you would’ve gathered, Jacques actually started working for College immediately after matriculating.  Jacques was not only assistant coach of the basketball first team which he had been a part of months before, but also coached soccer and hockey. In between all that, Jacques obtained a finance and marketing degree from UKZN but later decided not to pursue a career in his chosen field of studying in the traditional sense. Instead, he enjoyed being back at College and working with the boys he coached so much, that he decided to study further and is currently finishing up his PGCE which will allow him to teach Accounting and Economics. It’s no surprise then, that Jacque chose to do the prac for his post-graduate qualification at Maritzburg College and has thus been on campus and taking a few classes since April. Moreover, Jacque enjoyed his time at College so much that he stayed even after his pracs to help out with marking and filling in for absent/isolating teachers where necessary.

When he’s not working, Jacques says his favourite thing to do is play sport “I enjoy anything that requires me to be active, sports is a lot of fun and I enjoy all aspects of it. He’s also a big fan of technical drawing and says he spends a lot of time drawing houses and buildings “I love technical drawing. If it had been entirely up to me, my first choice for a varsity degree would’ve definitely been architecture.”  Even with that being the case, however, he says he’s incredibly excited about starting his teaching career and continuing to coach. “honestly, there’s nothing I enjoy more than coaching, watching kids grow from strength to strength, getting to know a team and how the players relate to each other, reinventing your coaching style to suit the group of kids you’re working with and of course watching them gain confidence and eventually realise their goals. Teaching is very similar and that’s why I enjoy both. I think the only difference is that with coaching the kids are there by choice and so you know you’re going to get maximum effort from them.”

We asked Jacques three fun questions:

You’re the only Old Boy we’ve interviewed for this article series who isn’t actually a full time staff member so of course we have to ask: What would be your ideal role/job at College and why?

I would love to be involved with technical drawing and of course, stay as involved as possible with basketball and soccer but my PGCE is in Accounting and Economics so those are the more obvious choices. I really do enjoy both subjects though. The practical, real-world nature of economics means it can be applied in everyday life and it’s always interesting to see how the things you learn fit into and impact the life you live. What I enjoy most about accounting (for lack of a better word) is the accountability. Everything in accounting can be traced, everything needs to be documented and recorded and must add up at the end of the day. When the world is filled with uncertainty and confusion, there’s a kind of security in that.

What do you think made your year (OC year of 2014) stand out from the rest?

Well, we were of course the first year to experience the new house system comprising of ten houses and house leaders etc. I think that will definitely go down as a year to remember in College history because that was a really big change. I think the house system had a lot of great benefits like creating a closer bond between boys of different forms and increasing participation in house events and splitting responsibility amongst more people. It might even benefit from an additional ‘level of leadership’ where each form has a go-to person just because I think the boys might feel a lot more comfortable sharing with someone their own age.

If you could introduce something entirely new to College, what would it be?

Easily more practical subjects. Even if they’re not formally part of the curriculum, societies perhaps. But things like electrical work, plumbing and mechanics. Imagine the value of learning how to check the oil/water in a car, replace a car battery, fix a geyser, or install a stove all while you’re still in high school. I think every girl’s school should have a course on how to change a tire or kick/jump start a car. These are practical skills which we can all use to make our lives much easier, not to mention that these skills are also commodities and could therefore act as an employment safety net if ever the need arises. I think sometimes when people get caught up in stereotypes, and stigmas they miss out on some really important opportunities. College is already anything but stereotypical, I can’t think of a better institution to act as a pioneer for important development in this country.