Graduand Spotlight: Linda Shilwatso- 4th Best 2013 CPA student in Kenya
Linda Makongo Shilwatsos determination and hard work put her on the Kenyan map when she emerged as the 4th best student in Kenya, in the CPA section 6 – June 2013 examination. It is these same tenacity that she owes for her forthcoming graduation with a Bachelor of Commerce (BCOM) double major in Finance and Accounting, graduating with 1st class honors. Linda appeared in the Deans list all through her four years of study.
She is an active member of the Community Service Center (CSC), a club she believes taught her the true meaning of the mantra To give is better than to receive.
She is currently undertaking a training programme with the firm of JM Mantle & Company Limited based in Nairobi
I come from the Western Province. I am the first born in a family of 5 girls and 1 boy. My parents are my motivators.
I attended Sacred Heart Mukumu Girls High school and attained a mean grade of B+ in the KCSE national examination.
Being at Strathmore
I learnt about Strathmore from two Strathmore lecturers who came to my school to recruit students for the CPA Programme. Luckily, I was among the top 20 students who sat for the Math and English exam, I passed and received a letter of admission in November 2009 but I could not join immediately because of finance issues. I joined later on in June 2010 as a CPA Section One student and in Section Two, I received a scholarship to do my undergraduate degree in BCom.
Life in Strathmore has been very enriching, I have learnt a lot from the lecturers, including my mentors Miss Maria Otero and Miss Irene Ngunjiri, and project supervisor Dr. Hellen Otieno. The person I am today I owe it to Strathmore.
I am also a hockey player and was also the Hockey captain in my high school where I played until the national levels. I played hockey in Strathmore for only one semester. The hockey schedule coincided with my CPA classes (week days in the evenings), so I had to stop playing it. I then decided to join CSC because the clubs activities were on Saturdays and during holidays. CSC restored my enthusiasm for mentoring and helping the disadvantaged. I plan to continue engaging in these activities even after graduating.
I was also a lector at the Strathmore University Chapel since my first year. I used to take up readings during the 12.30 mass and sometimes the 5.00 Oclock mass.
What Drives Linda to attain Excellence?
My motivation to achieve academic excellence is drawn from the fact that I am a first born in a family of 6 and all my siblings look up to me to set a good pace.
I have always been on the deans list in all my years at Strathmore University. The dean, Paul Ochieng encouraged us to work hard so as to remain at the top. I used to attend the life master classes that were organized by the career development services and most of the invited guest speakers always gave me a reason to work hard.
Lindas achievements include
One of my greatest achievements is playing hockey until the national levels in the secondary school sports championship and emerging position 3, thus receiving a bronze medal.
My other achievement is attaining the 4th position in the CPA section 6 KASNEB exams in Kenya.
The only challenge I faced while at Strathmore University was undertaking the two courses concurrently and ensuring good performance in both courses; but through working on balancing the two I learnt how to plan my time efficiently.
My parents are my inspiration. They are determined in whatever project they undertake and I admire every step they take in life in order to ensure that they balance both work and family.
Plans for the next 5-10years
I am currently carrying out my training programme with the firm of JM Mantle & Company Limited based in Nairobi. I want to have a career in finance and hopefully start a business and be my own manager.
We wish Linda the best in her future endeavors.