A few years ago, African Warrior Magazine interviewed a Kenyan rising star in the blogging-cum-political world-Pauline Njoroge. Back then she was a communications specialist with NEPAD.
Pauline painted an inpisiring picture of journey from poverty to significance. Her family did not have much, which forced her to spend many hours operating a posho mill to eke out a living. Through hard work, perseverance, prayer, and a bit of luck, she found a way to Mount Kenya University to pursue a Bachelors degree. It was clear Pauline had that inextinguishable resolve to be meaningful in society, and in her journey, she wanted to carry on her back an education that she knew deep in her bone, was a key component.
Today, Pauline has graduated with a Masters degree in International Relations.
On her Facebook Timeline, Pauline marked her latest milestone with this post:
Today I have graduated with Master of Arts degree in International Studies.
This academic journey has been a long one as I have done two degrees back to back, from January 2015 to December 2020. For 6 good years I have been like the most boring person around.
Rarely available for evening teas because I had evening classes and rarely available for Friday night hangouts because I had Saturday classes to attend. It’s been hectic juggling between work, travel, social life and school. But the sacrifice has been worth it
Today I wish Prof. Calestous Juma was alive. When I got a chance to go back to school after a good friend gave me Ksh 100k to pay for my first semester, I sought Calestous counsel on which course I should pursue, as I was torn between IR/Diplomacy and communication.
The good professor asked me what my career aspirations were. I told him that I eventually wanted to be an ambassador but before that I wished to work in an International Governmental Organization, either AU or UN as a PR/communication personnel, to prepare me for bigger things. Being in a position to engage and articulate the policy direction and decisions of these bodies to the public was something I desired to do.
After listening to me, Prof. Calestous advised that I enroll for a bachelors degree in communication, then pursue a masters degree in diplomacy or a related field. He said with that combination, I would be set for the career path I wanted to take.
And so I registered for BA in Mass Media and Communication and as soon as I graduated, I signed up for a masters degree at UoN’s Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies. Today I am excited about finalizing this phase of my academic journey and while at it, very happy that I have taken the career path I dreamed of… working in an IGO.
I am grateful to my family and friends who have stood by me, supported me and encouraged me through the journey. Above all I am grateful to God for His favor and grace. He has been faithful in fulfilling the desires of my heart and in moments of weakness, He has been my strength.
To every girl out there, as always I will urge you, if you have a chance to go back to school, just do it. It will not be easy for sure. You will hate to spend your evenings and some weekend hours in school, you will hate exam days, the term papers will be stressful, you may have to sacrifice a shoe here, a dress there, a handbag here etc, in order to save for school fees. But at the end of the day, the sacrifice will be worth it and the outcome will be so sweet. Go girl! Apply for that certificate, sign up for that diploma, enroll for that degree! Those papers, that is something no one will be able to take away from you.
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