Emma Mashilo received the Chancellor’s Award for the student with the best performance in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences at the University of Pretoria’s recent Autumn Graduation Ceremony.
While in matric at Willowridge High School in 2013, Ms Mashilo applied for admission into a BCom Communications Management degree at the University of Pretoria (UP) but was not accepted.
‘I was placed in the BCom Extended Programme presented at the Mamelodi Campus structured for students who are not academically prepared for a mainstream degree or students with marks that do not equate to those of students accepted into a three-year BCom programme,’ she.
The Extended Programme runs over a year and the courses she took included Statistics, Accounting and Business Management, for which she was credited and accepted into the mainstream BCom degree.
She explained that the Extended Programme runs at a slower pace than the mainstream degree “so we did a semester in a year”.
She said the first quarter was challenging as she had to accept that she was admitted for the programme and that she was going to be adding one more year to her degree.
“At the time it felt like a setback and I had academic challenges particularly during the first quarter, but I persevered and in the second quarter it got better.”
For Ms Mashilo, the biggest advantage of being in the Extended Programme was the assistance she received from lecturers and tutors.
“We were a smaller group so you got the opportunity to have more one-on-one assistance. At the end of the programme I applied for admission into Supply Chain Management which I went on to study for three years on the UP main campus.
“Looking back, I am incredibly grateful for the experience at the Mamelodi Campus and thankful to all my lecturers and tutors. I strongly believe that I would not be in the position that I am in right now if it was not for the programme.’
She achieved her degree with distinctions in Business Management, Supply Chain Management and International Business Management. She said hard work and consistency has been the recipe for her success at University.
Referring to the award, she said, “it was a surprise as I did not know such an award existed but I’m very grateful. There’s a lot other bright students that could have gotten this award. It makes all the hard work worth it’
Prof Elsabe Loots, Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences says ‘the Faculty is extremely proud that it could contribute to the achievement of a student of Emma’s caliber.
“It also demonstrates the success of the pathway created by the extended programme, we will follow Emma’s progress with great interest and wish her all the best.’
Mashilo is now studying for her Honours in Business Management at UP and plans to enter the world of work next year.