A University of Pretoria (UP) honours student recently reaped the reward of her perseverance.
Emma Mashilo, who was first placed in an abridged programme when she enrolled at the university five years ago, received the Chancellor’s Award for best performing Economic and Management Sciences student at the recently held Autumn graduation ceremony.
Mashilo first applied to the university for BCom communication management but was turned down.
She refused to give up her dream so she was placed in the BCom Extended Programme for students not academically ready for the mainstream degree.
“You are placed on the programme if your marks do not equate to those of students accepted into a three-year BCom programme,” she said adding that during the year on the programme, she took statistics, accounting, and business management.
“I earned credits to the degree.
So the main benefit of being on the programme was that it was at a slower pace meaning a semester module was spread out over a year.
“The first quarter was challenging and it was tough to accept that I had to do a three-year degree in four years. At the time it felt like a setback but I persevered,” said Mashilo.
“In the second quarter things did start getting better.”
And she hasn’t looked back since and credits her success to the assistance from her lecturers and tutors.
“At the end of the programme, I applied for admission into supply chain management stream. Looking back, I am incredibly grateful for the experience on the programme. I strongly believe that I would not be in the position I am in right now if it was not for the programme.”
Mashilo obtained her degree with distinctions in business management, supply chain management, and international business management.
Mashilo said hard work and consistency had been the recipe for her success.
“I have always made an effort to stay on top of my work…I never took anything for granted. This allowed me to perform well throughout my degree and to obtain my degree with distinction.”
She said like most students, she faced challenges but persevered.
“It has been about learning from my mistakes and getting back up. I cannot speak about my success without crediting my family and friends for their support,” she said.
Asked what the award meant to her, she said it all hadn’t sunk in.
“It was a surprise. I did not know such an award existed but I’m very grateful. There are a lot other bright students that could have gotten this award. It makes all the hard work worth it,” Mashilo said.
Faculty dean and professor Elsabe Loots said the faculty was extremely proud it could contribute to Mashilo’s achievement.
“It also demonstrates the success of the pathway created by the extended programme. We will follow Emma’s progress with great interest and wish her all the best,” she said.
Mashilo matriculated from Willowridge High School in 2013.
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