#PutInTheWork: An Interview with Social Work graduate – Thando Mota

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Thando Portia Mota

It is exam time and what could be better motivation for you to #PutInTheWork than looking up to people who have done it. When you enroll in varsity, the ultimate goal is different for everyone but the short term goal is to graduate. Campus TV interviewed a recent graduate, Thando Portia Mota. Thando is a 23 years old Social Work (Honours) graduate.

Where are you from?

Eish, I sometimes do not know how to answer this question because it sounds complicated. Let me say this, my dad is from Lesotho and has a house there which is my home. At an early age I went to stay there and completed primary school.I then came to South Africa to further my studies up until tertiary level. During my high school days I stayed at Poortjie at my grandparents’ house. Given this information, I would say I come from both these places. I often go to Lesotho to visit.

Interesting, so where do you currently live?

I am currently In Jo’burg. I find myself in here very often pushing stuff as I spent my varsity life here and established relationships and networks. And I somehow feel that my life is in Johannesburg.

Johannesburg is the place to be. How can you describe the feeling of finally obtaining your degree?

I feel ecstatic, after years of hard work. Nothing brings joy to me than seeing my parents proud. It was not an easy journey but I made it through dedication and commitment. Time management and discipline also played a vital role as I was involved in various activities during my academic years. One of them was hosting events (MCing).

How did you manage that? Working and studying. It sounds like a lot of work.

It was never easy because at some point I somehow neglected my studies by not exerting more energy on them like I used to. In the process I learned that I need to manage my time effectively and set my priorities straight which was not easy but I had to learn that.  For instance, I would have an event to host on Saturday and a test on Monday. Despite the fatigue, I would come back to study for my test because at the end of the day, I wanted to pass and obtain my qualification; which is what brought me to University of Johannesburg in the first place.

Obviously obtaining a degree is not easy and you did it. So, what’s the plan now? What are you currently doing? Are you furthering your studies?

I recently started working for City Waldorf student accommodation. This the same place I stayed at when I came to study at UJ. This place felt like home from the beginning. In addition,, I am working on other things, for example, my brand – KEEP PUSHING. People must look out for it and yeah… There are other things.

Wow! You seem like a woman on a mission. Speaking of missions, what advice would you give to first year students? University is exciting when you first get there and that can make you lose focus.

Firstly, they must always remember why they came to university in the first place because there are a lot of activities involved. University lifestyle is just different. One needs to be able to bring in balance between their academics and their social life which could be challenging but can be done. It is about priorities. Discipline, time management and commitment to ones studies are some of the most important factors that one needs in order to succeed at the university. If they could master these three things, then they will make it. Establish good relations that will bring positive energy towards your academic life.Another thing, they must never hesitate to seek for help when they need it.

Final word. What phrase, or motto, or credo, that gets you going?

I always say to myself ”Thando, keep pushing”.

 Yup. Keep pushing indeed. Keep on keeping on as most people would say. I say keep on putting in the work. If you are currently pursing your degree, Campus TV says #PutInTheWork. Good luck with your exams and if you want something catchy to remind you that you have to #KeepPushing, watch the video above.


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"It's not who you are underneath, it's what you do that defines you." Rachel #BatmanBegins

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