Graduand Spotlight:Mercy Akoth-Most Outstanding Female Student SFAE 2015 Class
Mercy Akoth is a firm believer of the fact that with Gods grace and hard work there is no such thing as impossible. This is a belief that has seen her graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science with first class honors from the School of Finance and Applied Economics (SFAE).She was also voted the Most Outstanding Female Student in the 2015 SFAE graduating class. Throughout her tenure at Strathmore she maintained to keep her name in the deans list while remaining as an active member in various extracurricular activities in the school.
She is currently an Actuarial Assistant at the Britam Actuarial Department,
What is your family background?
My family and I reside in Nandi County. I am the first born in a family of six and both my parents are teachers. Having such parents and being a first born has positively influenced my academic performance, and some of my key attributes such as excellence and responsibility, always endeavoring to set the best pace to the rest of my siblings and anyone who looks up to me.
I am a proud alumni of Moi Girls High School Eldoret where I managed to score a strong grade A in my 2009 KCSE national examination. After high school, I volunteered as a teacher in one of the local schools where I still mentor a few ladies to date.
Your Strathmore Tenure
I first heard about Strathmore in my final year of high school during a Career Fair Session, but I did not know that they offered Actuarial Science which is the course I was most interested in. Due to the fact that I wanted to save my parents from paying a high tuition fee, I chose to study hard in order for me to join the University of Nairobi (UoN) for that degree. I scored well across the 8 subjects I did, except for an A- in Geography thus missing a chance to pursue my actuarial degree at UoN.
Fortunately, my mother came across the Actuarial Science Strathmore offers through an advert on the daily nation and she encouraged me to try my luck. When I did my admissions interview, I also applied for a scholarship and one week before reporting date Strathmore awarded me a 40% scholarship. I knew my parents paying the remaining 60% balance was not going to be easy so I worked hard in getting a scholarship upgrade; it was either I get that scholarship upgrade before the end of my first semester or opt out of Strathmore and pursue my Actuarial Degree at Maseno University where I had qualified for the subsidized government scholarship. By Gods grace at the end of that semester, the school awarded me a 90% scholarship.
I am eternally grateful to Strathmore for giving me that chance to pursue my dream course, and the help and guidance I received from various faculty members which has proven to be quite beneficial. The all-round curriculum has greatly impacted several spheres of my life. It was a great honor to pursue my degree at Strathmore.
Were you involved in any extra-curricular activities?
I was a member of the Community Service Programme (CSC) and the activities we participated in derived some of my best moments. Based on the reactions we received from the activities we carried in various communities, I realized that our contribution to the society whether big or small plays a significant role in improving someones life.
I was also an active member of SASS (Strathmore Actuarial Students Society) where I served as its Academic Representative for one term.
I love sports and as a result, I was able to bag 3 gold medals and 2 silver medals during the Strathmores Annual Sports Day. I also participated in the 7 aside soccer competition where my team emerged top.
How did you balance activities and Study?
Striving to strike a balance between all the extra curriculum activities and my studies demanded a lot of discipline but I gave in the hours that my studies required and this ensured I did not slack behind in any of the units I undertook.
What are your greatest achievements this far?
Pursuing my Actuarial Degree at Strathmore, at first it seemed like an unattainable dream but I did it and I passed. By Gods grace, I maintained top position right from first year and my graduating as top student in the 2015 SFAE Graduating class with a First Class Honors is honorable.
I was also voted the Most Outstanding Female Student in the 2015 SFAE graduating class, an achievement thats very dear to me.
Who are your role models?
My mother is my role model. Her generosity and hard work has been of a positive impact to my younger siblings and I, as well as the many students she has interacted with during her teaching career. Her philosophy; Investing in ones education is an action that really stands out.
What drives you to achieve excellence?
My belief in God. Trusting in God is great and through this I have learnt that my best is yet to come, giving me a reason to always work towards excellence since He deserves the best in return.
What are your 5-10 years plan?
Am working on pursuing a masters and possibly enroll for my doctoral studies.
My long term goal is to get into academia and carry out relevant research in my field of study. Besides my professional life, I believe that marriage is my vocation and it will come at Gods best time.
We wish Mercy the very best in her future endeavors.