Life in and out of UCT
My name is Takudzwanashe Edward Mudzuri. I am a 24 year old male. I am a proud UCT alumni, ZIMSOC alumni, St Ignatius College alumni and a Candidate Attorney at Lawman Law Chambers in Harare, Zimbabwe.
- My Academic journey at UCT.
My Uncle used to ask me, ’why do you kids want to go overseas when you can go to the best University in Africa, UCT?’ This got into my head and for all I know that is how I ended up at UCT. But y’all know that the thought of University is not the same as being in University, especially UCT. I was at UCT for a good five years, from 2015 to 2019. I completed a double major graduating in 2018 with a bachelor of Social Sciences in Psychology and Law and again in 2020(online) with an LLB degree (awarded a MasterCard Foundation Scholarship). It is not the studying that was difficult but the 15 minute run to and from Upper Campus and Kramer (Middle Campus).
Personally, the best part of my academic journey at UCT was finding friends who made me feel at home. We built a great support structure both in our studies and fun. We pretty much travelled across the Cape together.
- What does it take to make it in Uni ?
Freedom comes with responsibilities. The thought of having fun on my struggling parent’s account was uncomfortable and so in my second year I started part-time work as a waiter in Rosebank. I believe the place is now closed. In my third year, I worked as a sales person at a call centre in Cape Town. I still have no idea how I made it because this was the time I had a full blow double major and a healthy relationship. I had to learn to walk the wire, the computer labs and Hlanganani 24 Hr library became my go to chill spots. To be honest with God, nothing is impossible. I had a balanced life.
I was very fortunate to be awarded a MasterCard Foundation Scholarship in 2018. The MCF experience molded me and made me more equipped for the world. I networked with people from countries across Africa. I took time to appreciate the multiple cultures, religions and cultures there are without judgment. A few hikes and visits to the beach would always help cool down the academic inferno.
- Preparing for life after Uni
My advice is enjoy university, being at UCT is like riding on an UBER BLACK. It is really worth the while, but without a plan for after reaching your destination… it’s kinda pointless. My ride took me to a lot of places, I networked with a lot of like-minded people. I interned and volunteered though out my studies. I have always wanted to be a helping person and my career choice allows me to do exactly that. Law is both influential and has the power to change people’s lives. I like being an Attorney, I get to research a lot. I like the flexibility at my work place, which means with precision I have time on my hands.
- What did it take to get to where you are now?
It took a lot of prayers, a lot of studying and keeping the eyes on the goal until it was achieved. It took a killer instinct, to do everything it takes like drinking Bio-plus and red-bull to get through test week. It took humility especially when learning new things. It took team work, with the common goal of seeing each other succeed. It took me a lot of rejection and regret letters to get where I am now. All it takes is perseverance and hope.
- What is the job market like and what advice do you have for recent graduates and/or final year students?
The truth is Zimbabwe has been going through a rough time, things are not getting any better. It is not easy getting something to do especially with a lot of graduates from in and out of the country. However, if you can get an opportunity, volunteer or intern there even if you are not paid. At this stage, you have to enter the market and make a name for yourself. If you can intern, then do it wholeheartedly. Success is built from these small achievements, a day at a time.
I have also learnt that online platforms like LinkedIn is a great platform for you to organise and project your own professional career. Apart from being intelligent, one needs to be streetwise. Being streetwise is knowing what you have and using it to get what you want. Make use of UCT Careers and Expos to get professional grooming. The time to prepare is now, the time to enjoy is now, Believe in yourself today, tomorrow and forever.
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