A year in my life at TSiBA ... 2013 in retrospect.

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Written by Joyline Maenzanise, BBA3 student at TSiBA Cape Town

Photo left to right: Joy with fellow student Janice Olyn.

My name is Joyline Maenzanise, better known by most as Joy. 2012 marked my third year at TSIBA and second year as a degree student. Best believe, resilience sees one through all these years at TSiBA. And this year was no different!

I love working with numbers because they challenge me to think and I just always had the best marks in my numbers- related courses. When the year started and I looked at my courses for the year, I just thought…first challenge! I was going to be doing a lot of reading for sure and I knew that I had (and still struggle with) concentration problems. I can never get myself to read through a page without my mind straying. Ok, maybe I shouldn’t say ‘never’ but you get my point!

I remember even telling one of the people who’ve been supporting me that I was worried about the year ahead of me. He told me that, back in his day, he would read out loud to himself and this helped him to keep focused on what he would be reading. I did that and it worked! One thing I also had to do was to really be interested in what I was reading because then I would want to know it and understand it. I made sure to write notes though at times there was so much work to do that keeping one’s notes up-to-date became really taxing.

One thing that also helped me this year was study with a friend when we had upcoming tests or exams. It helped having to explain things to someone else because that meant I had to make sure that understood the material I read. The strategy helped us both as we all passed.

The year, like all the past years, had its own challenges: the workload, teamwork, the list is endless. Don’t get me wrong, I do not hate working in teams. It’s just that at times you so happen to be in a team which does function quite like one. It’s actually sad when this happens because if one member under-functions, then you know someone else is going to have to over-function. But hey, what doesn’t kill you will make you grow. And that’s what challenges are basically just there for. That’s how we learn and grow.

There were also some light moments amidst the busy-ness of the year. Like when the students from North-Eastern University (Boston, USA) came around during our June vacation. Believe me, so many of us were not chuffed at the idea of our ‘rejuvenation’ period being taken away from us. Hello, we needed to recuperate after a hectic semester at college.  But, the time turned out to be another time of learning and having fun and it really was just worth it. We worked in teams (the magic word!) with selected budding businesses that we had to assist in whatever way we could. This business consulting programme (as it was called) was for two weeks only so we had to ensure that we did not promise to do things that we would fail to deliver. We had to be realistic. My team worked with two gentlemen who offer tutoring services to students needing to re-write their Matric examinations. I really enjoyed working with them and being able to share my own experiences as a tutor. Their business seemed to be in shape and they only needed help with marketing it. We had to revamp their website, amongst their other few marketing-related needs.

As part of the TSiBA/NEU programme, we went around Cape Town visiting places like the townships, Seal Island and Robben Island. Despite getting sea- sick on our way to the Islands, I really enjoyed the experience. I was deeply moved by all the stories about the inmates at Robben Island and the way they were treated according to the colour of their skin. It all makes you realise just how grateful we all ought to be because some people gave up so much just so we could be where we are now. It also makes you realise that we all have some part to play (big or small) in adding some form of value not only to our lives but to others as well. And that’s what I aspire to do now.

When the second semester started I found out that one of our lecturers had selected me, along with a few other students, to tutor Business Management to the foundation year students. I must admit, at first I wasn’t amused. What, with all the work I needed to do for myself! And I just mentioned that theory courses were not really top on my favourites list. Now I had to tutor a group of students! I was chickening out, to cut the story short.

But after much thought, I decided that I wouldn’t really know if this would do me more harm than good if I did not go for it. And I was also studying General Management so I would be assisting the students with some of the material I may have just gone over in class. It really wouldn’t be such a train smash. So I went for it! I enjoyed it to the bone. Even though I would like to believe I may have gotten the rowdiest group of students to tutor. Still, I just enjoyed tutoring them. I got to see them as my own little siblings that I had to look out for even though I had to be careful to set boundaries just in case their tails got too big for my liking. I would say, I learnt to be patient and humble. I did not go to the students with an ‘I know it all’ mentality. Hell no! I wanted us to learn from each other so I had to listen to them and they had to do the same. Even though this seemed to be such a huge mission for some of them (no need to mention names). Looking back now, I don’t regret tutoring. I just hope my students don’t regret having me as a tutor! Hmm!

It’s the festive holiday now and I’m just thinking of the year that is four days from coming to a close. I just can’t help but appreciate all the people who saw me through it all. I’m really thankful for all the support because I don’t think I’d be where I am now were it not for all those people who’ve just been with me (some since my first year at TSiBA: 2011) giving me hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I think of them as my angels. I know they are all in my life for a reason, some for a season and some, a lifetime (who knows!)…

I had asked the company that is sponsoring my studies in Investments Management Administration and Client Servicing (IMACS) if I could get vacation work for this period. They said it would not be possible for various reasons. And they advised us to really take the period to relax because when we start our formal internship next year, we would be working really hard. Isn’t it nice to know in advance how your internship is going to be like!

Anyway, a job opportunity opened up at college for call centre agents. I must say, when I applied for it I thought we would probably just be making calls to parents or entertaining queries about applications to study at TSiBA. I was wrong! Turns out we were going to be doing what I see as one of the best ways to give back to the college. To just say thank you to Leigh, Adri, Gia and many others who have just made it possible for me and many like me to create the life we want to live.

I am working as a call centre agent with nine other amazing students. We are reaching out to all those people who have had some form of involvement with the college and have added value to it in one way or the other. We are just saying thank you. Thank you for the support, it is because of you that we are seeing our 10th birthday in 2014 and we just hope you will continue to support us so TSiBA will see its 100th birthday or even beyond. It goes without doubt that TSiBA would not be where it is now without the support it has been receiving (financial and non- financial)…

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