Mamelodi Campus helps its students to achieve success.
I am Nkateko Mogase. I started my journey at the University of Pretoria on the Mamelodi campus in 2010. Today I am a Medical Delegate for a global company, namely Nestle SA. When I matriculated in 2009, I was anxious to go to university. My friends also did not choose the University of Pretoria, so I feared being lonely. I did not know what to expect and I also did not expect to start at Mamelodi campus. Initially I felt weary, since it was said to be dangerous. Rather quickly I grew fond of the place. I like the idea of the Mamelodi campus because it felt like a middle ground. It was a smoother way into university. There was support similar to high school, but there was also a level of freedom and introduction to university responsibilities that prepared me for the years to follow. There was a phrase I learnt there during one of our LST classes: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” It seems so trivial, but it still calms me down until today when I feel overwhelmed. Without a doubt I can say today that starting at the Extended programmes was a great opportunity for me to grow into the person that I am today: A successful career woman and still growing.
I always wanted to study at UP and in Grade 111 got the opportunity to attend a JuniorTukkie outing for top 10 students that my school was invited to. That’s when I knew for sure that Tuks (University of Pretoria) was definitely the university for me. I was at the Mamelodi campus in 2010 studying BSc Physics. I had wanted to study mechanical engineering in Grade 12, but since they didn’t have space I decided to do the Foundation program instead of taking a gap year. I wasn’t really happy about this as I had the marks that qualified me to go directly into engineering and this would mean I’d have an additional year added to my studies. In retrospect it was a great adjustment into university and helped with my career guidance. I ended up doing Computer Engineering after a number of psychometric tests with Ida Meyer at student support. With my Mamelodi campus results I managed to have 3 bursary offers, was on the dean’s list, Golden Key international honor society and got some money from the university for a good average to pay for my tuition fees. I also managed to get jobs throughout my university recesses to build on my experience. I was a tutor in my 3rd and 4th year for 1st year Programming subjects but still managed to juggle this and school work at the same time with time management skills I learned at Mamelodi Campus. I completed my engineering degree with the assistance of all the time management and study methodologies I learnt in the Foundation Programmes. I’m now working as an embedded software engineer at Denel Land Systems in Centurion and I’m still applying the methodologies I learnt at the Mamelodi Campus to complete my day to day tasks at work.
My name is Nthabiseng Nooe and I am a Hydrogeologist currently holding a BSc(Hons) Environmental and Engineering Geology, with specialisation in Hydrogeology from the University of Pretoria after having started on Mamelodi Campus on what was called the BSc Four-Year Programme in 2010. As a learner, I had gathered that science is simple and doable, so learning it came fairly easy to me. All the “bright” learners in schools are advised to be engineers and doctors, so I had fallen for the advice and applied to the University of Pretoria with chemical engineering as a first option and geology as a second. A week before our orientation week, it dawned on me that I did not want to be an engineer. I knocked on doors to get a transfer to my second option. Consequently I had to do the four year programme since the three year programme was full. I took it in my stride and never looked back. The best thing about being on Mamelodi Campus was what I felt was sufficient easing into higher education that not all degree students are afforded. Apart from the technical academic work you need to get through, we worked through study methods, time management, language and career navigation skills. I went on to complete both my BSc and BSc (Hons) in the minimum time, while living a vibrant student life which included being on the SRC in 2014, due to all these additional skills which were nurtured in my time at Mamelodi Campus. I will be starting a Master’s programme at the University of Southern Denmark in September 2019 because former students of Mamelodi Campus go wherever they want to. My advice would be to absorb all lessons and to understand that time is not wasted where there is a lot to learn.
I started my journey at the Mamelodi Campus in 2013 with the BCom program that targeted numeric programmes on main campus like Accounting, Investments and Econometrics. My year spent at the campus best prepared me to thrive when I eventually transitioned to the investment management program. I had a great understanding of how the university functions and what are the best sets of tools I need to make sure I graduate in record time. I was selected to be part of the top 50 students on the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation in 2013 and awarded the Johannesburg Stock Exchange Bursary for academic merit in 2014 which afforded me the opportunity to get support and mentorship that enhanced my academics. It ensured that I stayed on track while on my academic pursuits. While I was on campus I immersed myself in student culture to grow my skills beyond academics as that becomes a differentiator when you apply for jobs later on. To this end I was involved in the Tuks Debating Union, Enactus, UP Consulting Society, Dell Young Leaders and part of the leadership at Tuks Village. All these experiences shaped me for the career I eventually ventured into post-graduation in 2016. I started my career as a management consultant having worked at Accenture for two years where I had the opportunity to travel across Europe learning about the business. Today I am a strategy consultant at Monitor Deloitte which allows me to solve complex business problems with the future in mind. This has seen me have a pan-African career where I am based on projects all over the continent advising industry leaders on strategy, operations and innovations mainly in the telecommunications, finance and energy sectors. In my spare time I run a green furniture business that uses reclaimed wood to make custom pieces for private clients and I sit on the business advisory board of the Enactus University of Pretoria team, the Gauteng alumni board and the national alumni network of Enactus South Africa. All this was possible because of the skills nurtured in me right from the start at the Mamelodi campus.
My academic journey at Mamelodi Campus began in 2010 (Soccer World Cup Year in South Africa). The beginning of my journey was not a smooth linear path. It was filled with a lot of confusion and worry about the transition to my new life in Pretoria. I was also very terrified that I will be studying in Mamelodi which is known as the area that is filled with crime (so I would hear from people). The first day we arrived at the Mamelodi Campus, my perspective and fear of the campus suddenly changed. The campus had beautiful, clean and green grounds. The neighbourhood near to the campus was also safe and closer to the main street where one can quickly catch a taxi incase the campus bus leaves late from campus. The campus also had amazing intelligent lecturers. The lecturers were patient with us during classes and ensured that we cope with the workload. We would get daily to weekly assignments to help us grasp subject contents very well. I still remember some of the lecturers such as Dr. Moji, Mr. Hlatswayo and Ms. Smith. My sessions with Ms. Ida Meyer (Student support) were also the best. She would teach me some important academic and life skills such as time management, effective study habits and smart goal-setting skills. I still use these skills until this day in my work as a Rock Engineering Officer at the KwaZulu Natal and Witbank coal mines. I also liked the computer labs, because they were hardly clustered like the the CIL Labs at the Hatfield Campus. In summary, I feel that the time spent during that one year at Mamelodi campus filled my life with amazing benefits. It made me to be able to transition to the self-independence stage in my life much better than I think I would have if I had started varsity life at the Hatfield Campus. The academic/ life skills I learnt on the Mamelodi Campus are still relevant in my life even to this day. They have contributed to my success at work and in my adult life.
Valerian Onalenna Diphoko
I am Valerian Onalenna Diphoko, a Quantity Surveyor by profession. I am a village girl with a dream to do better and to be better. I am an orphan from a small village where most of the youth do not normally go to university. My challenge was English, but I sat watching TV with a dictionary next to me, because I had a dream of going to university. Getting to Mamelodi campus I had a culture shock. For the first time I was in class with all races and languages. I felt inferior. However, within three months with the support of staff of the campus and making friends, I experienced belonging and a sense of family for the first time in my life. Mamelodi campus taught me to give back to my community without expecting back. I learned this by the example I experienced on the campus. Today I have a career and I also followed my dream to start an organization called “Take a Girl Child to Varsity” to get girls from my kind of background to follow their dreams and to trust in their abilities. The organization started in 2014 and is already 53 graduates strong. Mamelodi Campus taught me the hunger to learn and to give back. It taught me to be a leader and to go higher than you thought you could. Mamelodi campus was my golden highway to success.