Home away from Home: International student Martin Karungi
Ugandan origin Derrick Martin Karungi, is delighted to have gone through four years of his university life at Strathmore University. The Bachelor of Business Information Technology (BBIT) student and enthusiast, Martin has no regrets for attending a university away from home. He is richly built in knowledge, experience but above all excellence. As his tenure at the university comes to an end, Derrick a Ugandan nationality plans to stay in Kenya for a bit longer as he builds his career.
How did you end up studying at Strathmore?
My mum influenced my decision to study in Kenya, an initiative that built my interest in looking for a University that would serve my academic interests. Strathmores reputation easily enticed my motives in making it my university of choice, with students testimonials affirming my decision. I dug deep in researching about the University, with the results giving a good portrayal of a serene environment for studies. It made me realize that Strathmore was the place to be.
In the early stages of arriving in Nairobi I found it to be a bit quick-paced. It was also a bit scary because it was all new, but I got to adjust. I quickly picked up the Swahili language and even sheng, as it was the easiest way I could communicate especially to the surrounding community of the university e.g. the conductors in a matatu.
Studying in Kenya has made me appreciate the Kenyan community more, fall in love with the country and appreciate its diversity. Strathmore community in its place has contributed immensely in shaping my worldviews especially in teaching me that excellence is the minimum target and the only way to go is up.
Do you feel like your study at Strathmore has made an impact to your country back home?
Yes. Over the last two and a half years I have acquired great experience. I have been an avid follower of Code for America who aim to do projects that assist common people in developing countries.
We practice farming back at home where we are farmers with about 1,000 herds of cattle. Because of this, I came up with a system that will assist the farmer to stop paper records and go digital. The system is called Life Stock Management System which helps a farmer to keep records of their cattle, the suppliers, the customers, amount of rainfall, amount of milk produce etc. The system works at assisting with decision-making e.g. which cow produces what amount of milk and after how long. For unproductive cows, it is easier to get rid of them.
Club/Sports activities while at Strathmore?
I played sports while at Strathmore. Im the former captain of the Karate team, where I was a member since joining Strathmore. I also worked with Strathmores Human Resource club SHREK as a public relations officer. For community service I worked with Community Service Centre (CSC) closely to offer charity services around campus.
How did you balance studying with sports and recreation activities?
I had a timetable and good mentors who guided me on how to go about managing my time. I had a set time for reading and attending class, a time to play sports and do club activities if any, and a time for weekend activities and relaxation. My day would involve waking up early due to the fact that I did not live near campus, attend class throughout the day, then go for my sports activities from 5-7pm. After the schools activities I would head home and work on my school assignments from around 9-11pm.
What are your achievements in life so far?
My greatest achievement would be in the fact that am about to get my black belt for karate. I am in the process of attaining one and am really looking forward to this.
I also cherish the connections I have made with Kenyans who are incredible and hardworking.
One of my earlier challenges was in coming to school with public means. I had to learn especially sheng, in order for me to communicate effectively. It was a weird language to grasp.
As I said earlier Kenya is also fast-paced, and coming from a country like Uganda which is not as fast meant that I had to quickly adopt. The cold weather between May and September was particularly the most challenging. Uganda is hot throughout the year.
Your 5-10year plan
I am looking forward to doing active administrative IT. I hope to get into management in the long run.
Do you have any Mentors?
My IT mentor is Steve Job because of his creative mind and capability.
I also admire Linus Torvalds who started a revolution through Linux foundation. I have been using Linux ever since I discovered it.
What do you do during your spare time?
On Saturdays I teach standard 1 to 5 children Karate, at Hodari boys in Lavington.
On Sunday I either play football or jog to keep fit.
What would you advice international students thinking of joining Strathmore?
Have a mind of excellence and aspire to do things from the top with an attitude of being the best at all times.
Watch video below on Martin Karungi…