SI Graduate Spotlight – Thrill to your bones exciting
‘Thrill to your bones exciting’.
Are these not the words of a person doing exactly what they were meant to do? Paula Waithera uses them to describe the feeling she gets when she finishes coding a project and she can sit back and watch it come to life. Paula has always been drawn to the world of IT. She speaks of the process of creation with such passion and animation, you can tell that she has found her calling in life. As a student of Diploma in Business Information Technology (DBIT), she has had the opportunity to learn both the theory and practice of IT in a classroom setting. And as a future student of Informatics and Computer Science, her skill and passion will only double.
“If I had to describe my time undertaking this diploma, I would say it has been overwhelming and tiring, but most importantly fun”. Paula describes her learning experience as one that has laid down the foundation for her future business. And sure enough, she is putting her learning to use. After finishing her coursework and project, she started working with her sister to help the latter run her business. She has worked to streamline processes and organize finances, and has had the opportunity to direct the team while her sister is away.
Leadership, however, is not a skill Paula is new to. She has held the role of class representative, where she had classmates calling her at all times of day and night to find out about classes and assignments. That experience taught her a lot about leadership, and helped her discover one of her favourite things about herself – that she enjoys and is very good at being in charge. Even then, she says that leadership demands a lot from a person because the choices you make as a leader reflect greatly on other people. This lesson turned out to be one of the drivers of her hard work; she believes that she could not lead an entire class while having re-sits for her units. So she worked consistently to stay on top of her school work.
It has not been all work and no play for Paula. While juggling school work, group projects and class rep responsibilities, she also found time to volunteer for the 2022 Vice Chancellors run, the Annual Career Fair, campaign for the current student council president and take part in a Debate Tournament that turned into her becoming a member of the debate club. Her experiences in and out of the classroom gave her the opportunity to socialize with people (something she is exceptionally good at) and explore new things. In fact, she says that discovering new things in life is something she enjoys immensely.
During our interview, Paula said something really striking. She was speaking about the perseverance and grit she discovered within herself in the course of the diploma. She said, “On the first day, adjust and on the second day, just do”. A motto she lived by and will likely carry forward as she joins an internship program come January and eventually the Bachelor of Science in Informatics and Computer Science class in April 2023. For now though, her plan after graduation is to relax and enjoy seminars, hikes and helping around the house.
Warm, creative, vivacious and friendly. If you used a thesaurus to find synonyms for Paula Waithera, this is what you’d likely get. Oh, and brilliant – I mean, you’d have to be to successfully graduate with a Diploma in Business Information Technology.
This article was written by Celia Kinuthia.
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