Reflections on my first day on Strathmore’s online campus
“Fantastic” is perhaps one of the ways to describe my first day at Strathmore. It was amazing, even though this time it was completely different: everything was online! You might wonder why this was the case for me. My candid answer is that the experience exceeded my expectations because it was done in a welcoming and very friendly manner, and made a fine substitute for orientation done in a physical campus setting.
When the COVID-19 pandemic measures were implemented in our country and the government announced suspension of all on-site learning activities in learning institutions, my long-desired dream of joining campus this year was cut short, leaving a lot of uncertainty in terms of how I would complete my studies in good time. I nearly thought that the world was against my long-term education plans. Try to visualize how excited I was knowing that I was only ten days from joining the number one Business School (SBS) in the region to pursue my dream career. As if that is not enough, I had enrolled to pursue a course that was fresh and very promising, that is, the Bachelor of Financial Services programme! The excitement was beyond me. The pandemic brought the excitement to a halt. Was this it?
Exactly nine days later, I received a message from the University alerting me that due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, we would have to commence our classes “virtually” beginning April 20. “How interesting!” I thought to myself. At no point in my life did I ever think that I would ever learn virtually. However, we have been told time and again, nothing is impossible! This is exactly what Strathmore was doing!
On April 17, we got an invitation from the School to join an online orientation via the Zoom. We were all required to be dressed in accordance with the University’s dress code. The orientation session kicked off on time as programmed, led by Ms. Stella Mwangi, the Manager of undergraduate programmes at SBS. There was excitement written all over my face when I got to be introduced to the coordinators of the Bachelor of Financial Services programme and the programme itself.
On the first day of the orientation, most of the speakers tried their level best to provide us with just enough information, taking care not to overload us with too much detail, but ensuring that the most pertinent information was conveyed. I well knew that my desire to know more about Strathmore would rekindle the need to be provided with more information as time moved on. However, for the time being, that was just sufficient to get us started with our online campus life. I was so glad that the way the orientation forum was coordinated completely revealed that the Strathmore team were professional and proficient in their way of doing things.
It is in this same orientation forum that I quietly got to confirm some of the aspects of the “Strathmore culture” that were frequently discussed in the streets, not forgetting the famous “dress code” talk! During the orientation, I learnt about the mode of delivery in classes, the importance of University policies relevant for us and the structure of the administrative staff in the Business School. This was really useful in terms of knowing the appropriate channel to voice my issues should any arise.
Day two of the orientation was equally full of inspiration, if you ask me. The day started with the Director of Undergraduate programmes, Dr. David Mathuva, taking us through the three undergraduate programmes at SBS: the Bachelor of Science in Supply Chain and Operations Management, the Bachelor of Financial Services and the Bachelor of Commerce. The session was opportune as it guided me to the direction I was headed and gave me a sense of belonging. From his session, I learnt a couple of lessons and some advice that I will do my level best to stick to since they are in line with my path of success and career.
In conclusion, I would like to appreciate the SBS team, the Dean of Students and the ICT department for helping me feel welcome to the Strathmore University community. Asanteni sana! I am just a couple of weeks old here but I cannot complain because I quite like the experience so far. Though it is hard to accept the fact that we are yet to experience the physical campus and the amazing facilities we saw in the photos shared with us during the wonderful orientation, I am optimistic that this pandemic will soon be over, and we will go back to our physical campus. I look forward to physically visiting the amazing Student Centre and perhaps grab a snack from the Cafeteria and visit the various buildings around the campus, including the beautiful Strathmore University Business School complex!
This article was written by Michael Ochola, a first year Bachelor of Financial Services student.
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