Life often throws curveballs at you, the trick is learning how to catch them. Justin Getkate tells us about his journey finding his niche in Financial Management through Unisa.
You win some and you lose some. Sometimes when things don’t work out the way that you had originally imagined, your path ends up better than expected. Better than you could have imagined. Or you’re happier than you would’ve been if things had gone according to plan.
Justin was in the situation many scholars find themselves in – unable to apply for the degree he wanted because of marks not being up to standard. Some give up and move on to the next best thing. Others, like Justin, find a way to achieve their goals.
Walking towards the light
I attended Ashton International College Balito and found myself sitting in a slight predicament at the end of my matric year in 2012. I had taken Maths, History, Biology, English, Afrikaans and Accounting. An aptitude test helped me choose my subjects. I had always dreamed of becoming a marine biologist, but a trip to UShaka quickly doused those dreams since job availability and salary potential wasn’t quite what I had expected.
I found myself rejected from Varsity College for a BCompt Accounting Science because my maths marks didn’t meet the minimum requirements. Determined to not let this get the best of me, I quickly made other plans. I discovered a Numeracy Skills course (a bridging course) at Unisa which allowed students who passed the bridging course to study BCompt Accounting Science. Unfortunately they no longer do this for Accounting Science, but it’s available for other BCom degrees.
During this time, I decided to do a comprehensive test through an educational psychologist to make double sure that this is what I wanted to do and was suited to me. In the end, it was determined that a BCom Financial Management was best for me. I may have been delayed by 6 months from the Numeracy course, but I was finally moving forward in the direction that I really wanted to go in.
The Final Decision
As with most major decisions in life, I took every detail into consideration. The potential income, job availability and my own skills and interests. I also asked for advice from my family, friends and the educational psychologist. In the end, I made my own decision that was best for me. Three years later, and I’m still happy with it.
About the degree
I’m doing the degree over 4 years and I’m expected to graduate in July 2017. The workload in first year wasn’t too bad. I attend classes at the Graduate Academy which helps. Second year the workload doubles and third year, my current year, can get a bit hectic in terms of workload too.
The assignments were brief and the exams, except for Accounting, were straight forward.
- Business Management
Double the workload, difficult assignments and exams.
Same as first year plus:
- Risk Management
- Investment Management
- Financial Management
More or less the same subjects as first year, as well as:
- International Finance
- Strategic planning
The challenges I face are basically the same as if I were to attend another university since I attend regular lectures. My lectures have played an imperative part of my success so far, without them I would never be able to get around all of those ratios and formulas – trust me when I say that there are MANY OF THEM!! Time management and self-motivation is the most important advice I could give any new student since there is a hectic work load.
Earning some Moola
The great thing about Unisa is that it allows you slightly more freedom than any other university. I have been fortunate enough to be able to work at Wakaberry part-time. I’m able to put in shifts according to my academic schedule. When exam time comes around, I don’t work for the two weeks before exams and during exams. I need as much time and focus as possible to achieve the best that I can.
This year I may have an opportunity to work at an Accounting firm every now and then. I can’t wait for this since I think it’ll really help with the transition from studying to the working world.
In the end, it all works out
I may not be doing what I had originally planned but I’m so happy with the way that things worked out. I have some great opportunities coming up and I can’t wait to start my career.
Thankfully there are so many other routes to take besides the general straight-to-university route. For those who are confused or who didn’t achieve the best marks, there are so many great options to choose from! If we look at Justin and the way things turned out for him, we can only be happy and hope that there’s a silver lining for each of you out there in the same situation.
- An NSC with a degree endorsement
- 50% in your language of teaching (Home Language)
- 60% Mathematics