Blog post from Innocent Rwamba Nyaga who is following the MS in market research at the University of Nairobi, Kenya. Innocent is the recipient of the ESOMAR Foundation / MSRA Scholarship sponsored by WIRe and Unilever.
I have been thinking about how fortunate I am to have been awarded this scholarship by WiRE as I am a silent feminist (my apologies, I digress). But I am overly blessed as there have been so many doors opened for me whether directly or indirectly through the ESOMAR Foundation. I mentioned before that the Green Marketing class of 2018 has constituted a 47million trees project (for the 47 counties). This is a ginormous undertaking so we have to pace ourselves thus we have partnered with other individuals who did this unit a while back, PhD students, meaning there is a wealth of information in one seating. Besides that, we have taken it upon ourselves to categorize green companies in Kenya through measures like where they source raw materials. Are the materials sourced locally or imported? And many other such like measures. We have been meeting and so far so good.
This semester has brought with it a favorite lecturer Dr. Owino. My classmates and I went to him last semester to request him to ensure that he teaches us Research Seminar unit. He is so passionate and he has truly honed his teaching skills I figure very few miss his classes. I’m a staunch believer in giving credit where it’s due and I want to appreciate everyone that has held my hand on this journey.
My main reason for penning this article is to share a fear most have but do not know how to overcome it, or does one really? This fear is the one that comes with meeting new people. I should know as I am very categorical in my thinking and voice it too! So how does one balance between staying true to one’s thoughts/opinions (and sharing them) and managing other people’s egos? I bring this up because for anyone who has entered a new environment, be it work related, social gatherings, school/university et al has experienced this. Like I said, I happen to be a silent feminist (not the chronic one, again I digress) and being born a female in a third world country, one has to know what they are about and learn to fight for what one believes in. So having joined the University through the scholarship, I have learned that I’m definitely not the only one that has opinions and most times these opinions differ. I have had some arguments here and there while in class so I tend to think that after a big disagreement, the person I differed with might want nothing to do with me. Most times this is true but not always. Having said that, I recently rowed with a certain gentleman during a Research Seminar class and I was so sure we would never see eye to eye again but I was pleasantly surprised (we now are working together on the green marketing project). This hasn’t been the case as there are those we cannot work together outside of sharing a class. We all bring unique ideas and opinions in the fold but we still respect one another which I think for any social setting, is crucial.
Also, when I started this program I made quite a number of friends, we shared the same classes so we saw each other quite often and kept up with each other. But as most of us are done with the core units and currently finalizing with the specialization units, most of these friendships have wilted and withered. What makes it even more awkward is when we meet unexpectedly and apologize for all the unfulfilled meetups (on both parties of course). But such is life!
My take away is nothing is set in stone and not everything I engage in will stand the test of time. Or that some of these things (or people) aren’t meant to have a permanent place in my life so I should enjoy the moments (and people too) as they come and go. That is such a cliché statement but nonetheless so true!