GRADUATE STUDIES STUDENTS’ TEAM BUILDING SESSION
Being a graduate student is no child’s play – always swamped with research work, thesis, and timelines to meet! But amid it all, we all humans and we all deserve a breather occasionally!!
On 13th of May 2022, the Graduate studies students held a team building session at Tlokweng Rose Garden organised by the students in collaboration with the office of Research and Graduate Studies. The purpose of session was for the students to interact amongst themselves to discuss and share successes, challenges, shortfalls in their studies. The highlights of the day were the motivational talks from three students – John Kenneth Mthetho, Maduo Kolanyane and Garmonyou Aloysius Sam.
John, as a part time self-sponsored scholar pursuing PhD in Animal Science, took the graduates through his journey as a student – starting from the time he was studying in South Africa when he was doing his master’s and had to halt his studies due to work commitments. He did not see this as a step back as it was a chance to be home and used the chance to pursue family commitments. However, he excelled well in his studies and was now doing his PhD though taking longer than anticipated. He encouraged all to never give up and to continue thriving until the finish line!!
For her part, Maduo who is pursuing Masters of Crop Science – Horticulture stream emphasised over and over the importance of reading when doing research. “Read, read, and read guys”, she reiterated. She emphasized that you can never know enough, so the only way to come close to knowing enough is by constantly reading. She also encouraged them to save money for project equipment and other necessities since their scholarship has no research fund. As a sponsored student, she narrated how her allowance got depleted before completing, hence the importance of saving. However, she persevered and managed to submit her thesis.
Sam who is pursuing PhD Crop Science majoring in Crop Protection Stream shared his experience when he was a sponsored student in a foreign country in Ghana. His funds were delayed and credited late and has had to improvise. Where he was based, they loved tomatoes so much, to a point that he ventured in the business of selling tomatoes, he even ended up changing his project to tomato related insect and disease pests - Evaluation of Insecticides and Fungicides for the Management of Insect pests and Diseases of Tomato in Kumasi, Ghana. He made profit from selling the tomato and by the time the funds came, it was a bonus. He encouraged all to always be determined to succeed.
Dr Motlalepula Tait from office of Research and Graduate studies also shared word of encouragement stressing how important it was to befriend a supervisor on a professional level but avoid being too casual. The Dean of Research and Graduate Studies, Prof Samodimo Ngwako informed the graduates that the Institutional Planning and Campus Services had just handed some facilities to be used by the graduates. These were late night study and computer rooms.
The graduates got into groups to discuss they projects challenges and ways of overcoming them. They then used the same groups to play and compete in different games throughout the day which encouraged teamwork. They started with aerobics, then went on to play balloon game, egg game, water game, swimming, volleyball and pool. It was a fun filled day.