Nurturing Lifelong Connections: A Journey Beyond Graduation


Friendships forged during school life burn bright long after the caps are tossed and the diplomas/degrees received. They’re like guiding lights, illuminating our path as we navigate the vast expanse of life beyond university. But how do we keep those connections alive once we’ve scattered to the winds of the world?

Let me introduce you to Cheptum Toroitich, an alumna of Strathmore University, who graduated from law school in the year 2019. Her story is not just about academic journey but also about the enduring bonds formed through the alumni association office.

Reflecting on her days at Strathmore, Cheptum fondly recalls the adventures shared during the school’s 2018 Europe trip. It wasn’t just a journey across borders; it was a catalyst for lifelong friendships. And then there were the moments of giving back, like the legendary Christmas bucket challenge. Cheptum reminisces, “My most memorable moments were the trip in Europe and the giving back culture that we had in our class. I remember we used to engage in the Christmas bucket challenge, and our class used to win every time. This is something I recall and miss up to date. I remember we won like 4 out  5 times.”

Curious about their winning strategy, I asked Cheptum, “How did you keep winning those challenges?” She chuckled, “The first time was sheer luck. We were given 100,000 Ksh. During one of the SLS events, we had an option of dividing the money amongst us, but because Strathmore had instilled in us the value of giving back, we just donated the money. We just liked giving and winning.”

“We also spread joy across our class and the lecturers as well.” Cheptum shared, “During Valentine’s Day, our class representative  delivered a rose to one of our lecturers, and she was so happy.”

Currently, Cheptum and a team of 8, are working on a project called North Star Mentorship Program, an initiative by the Alumni Office. “Currently, I have an ongoing project with Strathmore University alumni office, and it’s called Northstar,” she explained. When asked about its future, she envisions it as a shining beacon of inspiration. “One, it’s going to shed light on the alumni office as it will bring together the alumni family to connect, lead, and thrive together as a team. It’s going to achieve mentorship for different industries to learn from each other and explore different lessons.”

Amidst all this, Cheptum finds guidance in the wisdom of her role models, Prof. Luis Franceschi and Dr. Antoinette Kankindi. “Prof. Franceschi taught me to be a good human being and a good student,” she reflected. “He also taught me to do the right thing even in your worst moments.”

So, to all the students working on their own journeys, Cheptum offers some advice: “Cherish the friendships forged in the crucible of academia, explore diverse interests, and above all, persevere in the pursuit of excellence. For in the shade of life, it is these bonds of friendship and shared experiences that light the path ahead, one step at a time.”

With the North Star Mentorship Program, Strathmore University’s alumni office is paving the way for alumni like Cheptum, who graduated in 2019, to stay connected and give back. This initiative aims to create a community where seasoned professionals and aspiring talents converge to elevate each other. Through SU Connect, the digital connection of the Strathmore community, mentorship transcends boundaries, offering guidance, support, and networking opportunities to alumni across generations. If you’re a recent graduate or a seasoned professional, the North Star Mentorship Program is there to guide you on your journey, just like Cheptum’s journey of growth and giving back.

Article written by Rachael Wangui

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