Nontsikelelo Mavundla is grateful to the Durban University of Technology (DUT) for giving her a second chance to obtaining a tertiary qualification after she had to drop out at another university due to financial problems.
Mavundla (24), who is from Pietermaritzburg had grabbed her second chance with both hands as she will be now graduating with Cum Laude and a Dean’s Merit Award for her National Diploma in Management Sciences in Business Administration, at DUT’s Virtual Graduation 2021 on Friday, 28 May 2021.
“I started my journey at DUT in 2018 and it is one journey I am truly grateful for because DUT gave me a second chance in studying. Before 2018, I was studying in another institution but due to financial reasons I could not complete my studies. I had to start from scratch in a different environment and that for me was one of the most difficult things. I decided that I was going to give it my all and grab every opportunity that came my way. I then made a promise that nothing will come in between myself and my studies this time around,” said Mavundla.
Part of her motivation also came from studying part-time at the DUT library where she saw students studying on a daily basis, which she says reminded her to continue pushing and that the sky is the limit.
She said in 2020, DUT offered her a scholarship to go study at DHBW in Germany for a few months, but due to COVID-19, she was unable to travel, therefore her scholarship has been extended to an opportunity to complete her Advanced Diploma there. From January 2021, she began studying online with Germany’s DHBW and is set to complete it in July 2021.
Speaking about obtaining Cum Laude and a Dean’s Merit, Mavundla said she had always admired students who received such accolades but never thought she would be able to do the same.
“It caught me by surprise but I am truly grateful to God for always continuing to give me the strength. When I told my family they were extremely happy and excited for me. More especially my mother, she is so proud and believes in me so much. Funny enough my diploma was not my first choice of study. I initially wanted to continue studying Accounting, just like how I was doing in my previous institution but due to the fact that I got space at DUT very late. They no longer had space for me in the Accounting Department. Rather than sitting at home and not doing anything I decided to take what was available, which was Business Administration. As time went by I started to fall in love with what I was studying so I continued with it,” said Mavundla.
She said it’s unfortunate that the class of 2020 won’t be able to have a physical graduation because it everyone’s dream to finally walk on that stage wearing that graduation gown. However, she understands that due to the pandemic things are different now and she is grateful that at least they will be having a virtual graduation.
One of the challenges that she had faced as a student was feeling overwhelmed by a lot of workload. She said there were times where she would have assignments and tests in the same week. She highlighted that feeling sometimes was overwhelming and made her doubt herself, and if she was capable but she learnt to overcome those feelings by preparing herself academically beforehand and sacrificing her time for the books. Mavundla is grateful to her family and friends for the support as she said it made her journey a worthy one.
“With the knowledge I have gained in my diploma and during my Accounting studies. I would love to be in the financial management sector or logistics. This diploma has equipped me with organisational knowledge, skills and abilities in a wide variety of fields,” she said.
Her advice to students is to not take the opportunity of studying lightly and use their time constructively by trying to grab every opportunity around them. She advised that they must also make every day count because time passes by very quickly.
Pictured: Nontsikelelo Mavundla