Real Story: Misava Mongwe

Misava Mongwe

Current Student, Business Administration (Business Analysis Concentration)A selfie of CSM student Misava Mongwe

Accolades, Accomplishments, and Highlights: Dean’s List, Spring 2023

I started attending the College of Southern Maryland in January 2023. I'm originally from South Africa. This isn't the first time I've come to the States to study—I was here in 2019 and 2020 for about nine months or a year at a university in Boston, Hult International Business School, and I had to be repatriated because of COVID and all that. It took about two years for everything to get sorted, and I took basically a two-year gap. I just kept myself busy by working part time, trying to not be idle.

The College of Southern Maryland kind of came about in a roundabout way. Originally, I was going to study in Russia; I had already been accepted, some of the paperwork was done, and my cousin heard about this. He extended a helping hand and said, “Listen, I’ll look around my area and try and find a school,” so that I wouldn’t have to go to Russia to study. He found CSM and forwarded me the information. I did my own research and I felt like it would be a great place to continue my education.

I do feel like it's been the right choice. The staff are very helpful; the people that I've interacted with at the school genuinely want to help me. There's a certain openness at the school that I really appreciate, especially pertaining to the staff and faculty. Two people that have really helped me out are Shelby Potts and Timothy Fenner.

Shelby is my international admissions advisor, and she's really been a great help for me. Any time that I have a question, or I need to seek advice, she points me in the right direction, to someone that can help me, or she'll help me herself. I feel like she's done more than would be expected of her role and I really appreciate that.

Timothy Fenner is the head of the Men of Excellence. I only recently joined, but since joining and interacting with Mr. Fenner, I truly appreciate the guidance that he has brought into my life. I feel like just joining the Men of Excellence group has allowed me to really grow as a person, as a man; the discussions we have in that group, the sense of community and belonging—it’s all been really beneficial. It’s just a great space to be a part of.

There are two things I always treasure about myself, my body and my mind, and I have to take supreme care of both. I feel like it's a duty of mine, because of what my parents have gone through and the sacrifices they've made, to achieve the best that I can in every respect, whether it's in sports, social interactions, or education. It's very important for me to be the best version of myself in all facets of life, and education is a big part of that. I've been trying to complete my degree since 2018, despite transferring from South Africa to America, then repatriating to South Africa and coming back here.

Where CSM really has opened my eyes is how they've set up the degree—how I'm able to transfer and complete my major and concentration without having to take on extra classes. I'm a business major with the business analysis concentration. I've always wanted to do business analysis; that’s always been the plan, even at my previous institution, and now I can actually complete that at CSM. That was the big reason why I wanted to come here, because when I was doing my own research on the school, I found that they offer a business analysis certificate as well. Being able to get a certificate, as well as my associate degree, at the same time, just seemed like the perfect answer.

One thing I wish I had known when I started at CSM is that I really wish that I hadn’t been so “within myself” and withdrawn and afraid to ask certain questions. As I've spent more time at CSM, I've realized that you really have to go out there to seek and find your opportunities, and CSM has a plethora of them. There's a lot of really good things at CSM, whether that's the work study, the clubs, the organizations, the transfer services—all the transfer agreements that they have or the Transfer Thursday visits you can attend. If I had known, I would have gone to them a lot more, just to get a feel for it.

Also, to engage with my professors more. It’s not out of reach to visit them during their office hours or set up a Zoom call to chat about your course or anything that’s on your mind. If there’s one thing I would say, I implore anyone who's looking to attend CSM or is a student now, don't be afraid to interact with the faculty. Go out there, speak to them.

Always be in contact with your advisors, always. It lowers the anxiety a lot. Whether you’re at CSM to complete your associate degree or you're trying to transfer, being in constant contact with your academic advisors is the best thing that you can do for yourself.

If you're able to do that, you have the tools to succeed. I was able to get onto the Dean's List because I wasn't afraid to ask questions. Anything that I was a little bit confused about, I'd ask. If it didn't make sense to me, I'd ask. Whenever I was submitting something, if I needed to be sure that it was a hundred percent correct in terms of format and what the professor wanted, I’d ask. Nine times out of ten, your professor will help you or give you some guidance. In general, any assignment that I was confused about, the professor would sit down with me and make sure that I was going in the right direction.

This journey toward my education has been very fulfilling and I'm very motivated to complete it. After attending CSM and obtaining my associate degree, my plan is to pursue my bachelor's, and if all goes well, get a job or continue with my education. My end goal is to obtain an MBA and then move forward from there.

View All Stories

Last updated: 8-23-23

CMS Page Edit