24 February 2021 | Story NONSINDISO QWABE | Photo Supplied
Business Management Lecturer, Lebohang Masoabi, who received her MA in Business Management at the February virtual graduation ceremony.

Student-turned-lecturer at the University of Free State (UFS), Lebohang Masoabi, has experienced the best of both worlds. Masoabi, a Business Management Lecturer on the Qwaqwa Campus, received her MA degree with specialisation in Business Management during the ceremony for master’s and doctoral degrees on 24 February 2021. 
She obtained both her BA Corporate Marketing and Communication and BAHons in Business Management degrees from the UFS.

I found my passion and remembered why I started

Masoabi knows a little about delays not being denials, because what was initially supposed to be a two-year qualification took her five years to complete. “It’s been a long journey, and I really have been through a lot to get to this point. Along the way, I lost hope and was ready to give up, but I remembered why I started. Being an academic has always been a dream of mine, and I want to be the best at that, so I remembered that this was my dream, something that I love.”
“Passing on the knowledge that I have learned from this very university is incredible. I think we are one of the most awesome institutions, and I say this with confidence – having been a student myself, and now as an employee of this institution. At one point I was on the receiving end and knowledge was transferred to me, and now I am on the other side transferring that very same knowledge. Now that I am here, I want more. I see myself becoming Professor Lebohang Masoabi one day,” she said.

Entrepreneurship education necessary for students 
Masoabi’s study focused on the role of entrepreneurship education on the attitudes and intentions of university students. She said when she came up with the topic of the study, one of her concerns was that many students studying entrepreneurship did not know what to do with their degrees beyond university, while students in other streams who went on to start businesses after getting their qualifications, lacked the skill and know-how. Her study found that entrepreneurship education had a positive influence on the intentions of students who had entrepreneurship background.

“Entrepreneurship teaches you to cultivate unique skills and to think out of the box. It creates opportunities, which is necessary in a country like ours. If students are given the skills and background of entrepreneurship – with the right opportunities and confidence they get from us as lecturers – they are able to influence their surroundings,” she said.

Master’s degree a message of hope

Masoabi is currently pursuing her PhD in social entrepreneurship, and said her focus was on becoming an expert in the field. “Part of why I started this journey was because of the hope that was given to me as a student at the UFS, the hope that I can be whatever I want to be. This master’s degree is my message of hope to someone looking at my life.”

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