S.E.T. for socio-economic growth
Thendo Shaun Muthambi
I came to realise that I love physical sciences and mathematics early in Grade 10. I believe one of my English teachers, Mrs Ravele, played an integral part in this realisation by spotting my potential and constantly reminding me that I was capable of excelling in all areas of my studies. Shortly thereafter, I became diligent and passionate about physical sciences and mathematics.
I matriculated at Thohoyandou Technical High school, a previously disadvantaged school situated in Limpopo. The school specialises in engineering and science subjects like physical sciences, mathematics, technical drawing and technology. It has approximately 1400 students from Grades 8 to 12.
I love moving objects and mechanisms! One of the main reasons I chose mechanical engineering is because the need for new, efficient, sustainable and cost-effective engineering technologies is continuously increasing, both in SA and the international community, and I would like to oneday become one of the great minds behind the creation of these new engineering technologies. Secondly, I was inspired to study mechanical engineering because it mainly encompasses mathematics and physics, subjects that I am eager to explore and very passionate about. Last but not least, the current state of power generation in our country also influenced me to study mechanical engineering. I have always believed that mechanical engineers can counteract any mechanical problem with their expertise.
Grades 11 and 12 always seem hard and difficult at that particular time, but I have come to realise that these grades are actually easy, all you need is passion, belief in yourself and to be disciplined and hardworking. Whatever results you want to achieve, it is within your reach. You just have to put in the extra effort. I don’t see myself as one of the smartest people, and I was challenged in Grade 12, but I set goals for myself and worked hard to achieve them. To all the grade 11 and grade 12 students – YOU CAN DO THIS!
My school did not have adequate materials and facilities to perform experimental work. There was also not much extra help available, such as after-studies tutoring, maths and sciences extra classes and academic coaching, unless I went to private classes, which was financially demanding. This implied that I had to do all the work myself.
I have always been a results and success-driven person, which means success itself is my number one inspiration. I am inspired by the thought that I will one day excel at what I do and love what I do, which is how I define success. Right now, Sandile Shezi inspires me. He is a 23-year old South African from Durban who founded and owns a multi-million rand Forex trading company. What inspires me about him above all is his passion, and the fact that he managed to make something big out of his life with the little resources he had. I also aspire to being a leader one day and getting paid for doing what I love – this includes everything related to engineering, mathematics and physical sciences, be it in organisations, work and/or forums.
I see myself as a well-rounded mechanical engineer, possibly managing an engineering firm or having established my own engineering consulting company. I also want to establish myself as a renowned motivational speaker!
Find areas in your study subjects that you feel passionately about before making a final decision. This could mean thoroughly assessing your passion, interests, strengths, weaknesses, talents and abilities and then deciding which career best fits your personality altogether. The next step is to apply to as many institutions of higher learning and financial donors/bursaries/scholarships as possible. Once again, your personality should match the type of institutions you are applying to. Lastly, but most importantly, you have to work hard. Invest most of your time studying and doing school-related work, because in the end your results will determine your fate.
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