Strathmore Personalities: Beatrice Mutai – My 20 year journey at SU



After completing high school, one of Beatrice’s friends invited her for a talk tailored for girls who had completed high school. The guest speaker at the event had travelled from Nairobi to her village and found approximately 70 girls in attendance. The purpose of the talk was to impart information on the application process for colleges in Nairobi. Despite attending the talk, she wasn’t keen or convinced enough to enroll in the college, which is now known as Kibondeni.

Nevertheless, she wrote a letter to apply for the course and it was posted (yes, it was the era when letters and stamps thrived). A week later, her father received an invitation for her to attend an interview at Kibondeni. Despite her reluctance as it meant foregoing her dream to become a nurse, she had no choice but to prepare for the interview. Her main challenge was finding someone to accompany her to Nairobi, as she had no relatives in the city. Fortunately, a catechist from her parish, who happened to be travelling to Nairobi as well,  introduced her to one of his sisters. This sister stayed with her for a few weeks, helping her navigate her way to Kibondeni and assisting her in shopping for suitable attire at one of the Nairobi markets.

At Kibondeni, she successfully completed her interview and was subsequently admitted as a boarding student. She returned home to inform her family of the news, and she could clearly see the excitement on her parents’ faces. Three years later, she graduated and returned home.

After a brief period of staying at home, she received a letter inviting her for an interview at Strathmore College, where she had been referred to by the then deputy principal of Kianda College. She passed the interview and was hosted by a former classmate from Kibondeni as she settled into her new surroundings.

Over the years, she has seen growth in both her career and academics. She initially joined Kibondeni to undertake a certificate course in Catering and Housekeeping. After working as a storekeeper in the Catering and Housing Department at Strathmore College she requested a transfer to a different role within the same department. Her proposal was accepted, and she moved to the service area. She served there for several years before an opportunity arose for her to pursue a Diploma in Leadership Management (DLM).

Speaking about her experience, Beatrice remarked that Strathmore has undergone significant changes. When she first arrived, the institution had around 150 to 200 members, inclusive of staff, in comparison to the current staff count that exceeds 1500 members. She noted the addition of modern buildings, and the extension of the Christmas break. She emphasized how the University has become more like a family.

Since 2002, Strathmore University has consistently celebrated Founder’s Day, which honours the founders of the institution. This tradition has been marked in various ways over the years. Additionally, the Christmas Party has always been a cherished event, albeit with changes over time, such as an uptick in gift-giving. Initially, this annual event brought together all 150 staff members for lunch, sharing stories, and networking.

Throughout all these years, Beatrice says she has met so many friends. Friends who became family, most of them holding her hands in her career path. She recalls how a former deputy principal of Kianda School held her hand as a mother; because of this, Beatrice is now able to give back to the society by mentoring some students in SU. Beatrice has interacted with so many students in the University mentoring programme who have changed her view of life.  She is also proud of the countless mentees who have graduated from SU and currently doing well in life. On the professional front, she is proud of having grown from working with the cafeteria department as a procurement officer to being the supervisor of the housekeeping department. 

When asked about what makes Strathmore University special to work and study at and how it has maintained its reputation, she stated that SU offers a wealth of learning opportunities for its staff and students. She encouraged individuals to seize these opportunities. She also emphasized the importance of patience and embracing the University’s culture.

Looking ahead, Beatrice envisions SU as an even better place with improved academic quality, more facilities, and a wider range of courses.

Finally, when asked for advice for new staff members starting their journey at Strathmore University, she assured them that they would not regret their decision. She stressed the importance of cooperation with stakeholders, embracing the SU culture, and exercising patience, as perfection is not achieved overnight.


This article was written by Teresa Nekesa. 

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