Last week, Nigerian student Mary Jane Omatsone (46 years old and mother of two) graduated from Wittenborg University with a Bachelor in International Business Administration. She is proud to call herself Wittenborg Alumni.
It took Mary Jane a year and a half to complete her second Bachelor degree, studied as a top-up degree in Apeldoorn. During her studies she lived in Apeldoorn in a student house, together with other students from China, Nepal, Ghana and Nigeria, surrounded of course by Dutch neighbours. “Living with people from other cultures was not always easy” she says. “Mutual respect and the ability to adapt have played a key role in overcoming problems caused by differences in culture and background.” Although citizens from Apeldoorn have not always been as open and polite as in her home country, she still enjoys living in Apeldoorn. “Apeldoorn is a quiet, safe place and if I am able to find a job here I will definitely have my kids come to settle down and grow up here.”
As a mature student, Mary Jane experienced difficult times, missing her family left behind in Nigeria. The idea that the Wittenborg community feels like a family stems from the support that Mary Jane received when she was suffering from confusion and frustration. During this periods her lecturers and mentor helped her to keep her head up. “I have learned a lot just by observing my lecturers and mentor” said Mary Jane. She is convinced that she will stay in touch with her lecturers as well as with students and she hopes that Wittenborg will eventually create a special platform for alumni to discuss business and experiences.
“Burn the candle oil (study all night if necessary), stay focused and do not listen to side talk” is her advice to new students. Mary Jane describes her experience at Wittenborg as “A sometimes difficult, but extremely fruitful venture of wisdom and knowledge acquisition.”
© Wittenborg University Press