The candid and profound story of Start2Grow Graduate Thabiso Padi

May 31, 2018 4 mins read

The candid and profound story of Start2Grow Graduate Thabiso Padi

Our Start2Grow Graduate Program aims to develop the HP leaders of tomorrow by providing focused sales curriculum while committing to support graduates in creating meaningful, long-term careers where they can continuously tackle new challenges and relish various business experiences.

Fresh thinking, diversity of backgrounds and beliefs are key to help us pioneer Printing and Computing worldwide and innovate continuously.

Thabiso Padi is a Big Data Analyst for the Africa Enterprise Solutions team in Johannesburg, who joined HP as a Start2Grow Graduate in 2017.

He shared with us a few insights on the program, life at HP and the lessons learned so far:

What’s it like to be part of the HP family?


I still consider myself beyond privileged to have been selected amongst thousands of other applicants.

You will consistently experience this in HP: they not only believe in people, but they also know how to make you feel valued.

Armed with barely more than my googly-eyes, enthusiastic smile, and a mission to make a difference in my little world back home, my journey at HP has been marked by many rises and falls, but most importantly, it has not been short of lessons.



Tell us about your experience as Start2Grow Graduate so far…

There have been tremendously awesome moments, nights you wished would never end, and days you wished would be over as soon as they began.

Sometimes everything feels harder than pulling teeth, and there are, of course, one or two times when it felt like the fight scene with the bear from the Revenant. For a Graduate Business Analyst, the bear’s name is “Quota Deployment”! 😉

On the bright side, being able to bring your whole self to work is what makes HP a great place to work.

For instance, where else would you be challenged to a twerking contest by the CEMA* Leadership Team during your onboarding?

An invaluable element of Start2Grow is the entire community of graduates just like you. You learn to grow together, to lean on each other for support, and even cover for each other sometimes.

In every step of the way, there is a hand waiting for you to reach out and hold onto when you need help and it all feels too much.

What are the key lessons you’ve learned in the program?

Eventually, you appreciate and enjoy all the ups and downs.

You soon realize your challenges, failures, fears, and mistakes are the breadcrumbs that lead you to your mission which you find along the way.

Such experiences help you better understand your WHY and get a clearer picture of the next steps you should take in your journey to becoming your own “big hero”.

You uncover the importance of learning, and the importance of learning the right way. You understand that you can do anything you set yourself to achieve.

And most importantly, you learn not to measure your growth to someone else’s. “Comparison is and will always be the thief of joy”, said Benjamin Franklin.

What is the most prominent insight about HP that you have gained?

Personally, there have been times that took me way back home, to those nights where we gathered with my siblings and mother, hungry and cold, in the dilapidated single bedroom we called our house, being careful not to gather underneath the several roof leaks when it rained.

This became my reason to reach beyond myself, my WHY. What I mean by this is that I come from a place where “it takes a village to raise a child”, and “what one learns is for the benefit of all”. These are deeply held virtues in my community so I was astonished to find parallel values when I joined HP.

I was amazed when I saw the principles of harmonious co-existence and collaboration, of Ubuntu – i.e I A

m Because You Are – begin to emerge in the values HP espouses.

I didn’t read all this in a brochure or the About Us webpage – I experienced it! And when I did, I knew this is this is tribe I belong to.

Your two cents to the next cohort of Start2Grow Graduates…

I can’t say if your experience will be awesome or not, but I promise it can be any experience you fashion for yourself. The best advice I can offer is Bring Yourself.

My mother likes saying, “Why play it safe when you can play powerful?”

So, have the confidence to stand for something, and raise your voice! Even if it’s just a whisper – own your whisper until it gets stronger!

If Thabiso’s story amazed you, apply to Start2Grow now and build your story with us today!


*CEMA – Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa represents a large business territory, covering over 100 countries, with a population of 2 billion people. CEMA represents 10% of HP’s global sales volume, with an annual revenue of $5bn. To give an order of magnitude, HP sells over 17,000 PC’s & 15,000 printers per day across the CEMA region. (April 2018)

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