Short chat with outstanding SIT graduate Claudia Marie | 20 August 2020
‘Never give up on your dream,’ graduate tells students
A successful graduate of the City & Guilds diploma in construction rewarded with a shield for being the learner with the highest number of distinctions in her year, Claudia Marie, a 20-year-old Praslinois, has completed the City & Guilds International Vocational Qualification diploma in construction with three distinctions, two merits and a pass.
At the end of last month she was among 85 students from the Seychelles Institute of Technology (SIT) who received awards and certificate during an afternoon ceremony.
Claudia took home the President’s Award among other prizes after being rewarded for her three years of hard work. In a short chat with the happy 20-year-old, she revealed a little more about herself.
Seychelles NATION: What kind of student were you and how determined were you to be successful all the way?
Claudia: Yes, I obtained the above grades and I am really very happy with myself.
I was a hardworking student with a vision.I was highly motivated since the beginning of the course and my aim was to achieve very good grades in the Diploma in construction to qualify for a scholarship to pursue my studies and to prove myself given that I was on conditional offer.
Seychelles NATION: The fact that you say you started your course at SIT on a conditional offer means you did not get the course of your choice to start with – is that right? Can you please explain?
Claudia: I have always been interested in construction. However I originally did not put it down as a choice for my post-secondary education as I was advised not to do so as I did not sit for Physics IGCSE, which was a requirement for the particular course. In order not to hinder my chances in getting into another institution, I was left with no other choice but to choose Diploma in IT at UniSey as my first option, which I eventually got accepted in for.
Since it was not really my field of interest, I decided to appeal and try my luck for the Diploma in Construction but I was rejected. Nonetheless, I still persevered as my IGCSE results were good even though I lacked the Physics requirement but through advice from the ministry of education a meeting was scheduled with the head of SIT and of the course. From there, considering my results, my genuine interest in the field as well as the fact that there were still available spots for the course, I was offered a position on the condition that I pass my first semester.
Seychelles NATION: As a young pupil still in secondary school had you already thought of the subjects you would study and accordingly the career of your dream?
Claudia: Since S3 I knew I wanted to further my studies in the construction industry, therefore I chose the optional subjects in S4/S5 that will help me achieve my goal.
For instance, I chose construction as a technical subject.
Seychelles NATION: Did you succeed to achieve that through the conditional offer you got at SIT?
Claudia: Yes, I passed the first semester with excellent results, even coming out among the top scorers in my class.
Seychelles NATION: How would you describe your three-year journey at SIT?
Claudia: It was an interesting yet challenging experience. I acquired considerable knowledge of the construction industry from my lecturers and class mates. Nonetheless, it was difficult adapting to a new environment as well as learning completely new subjects.
My classmates were very friendly, supportive and we worked well as a team.
Seychelles NATION: How did you manage to prove yourself both in your studies and other school activities which earn you the President’s Cup?
Claudia: From day one I have stayed on top of my studies, not leaving projects to the last minute and asking for clarifications from lecturers the moment that I encountered any difficulties.
I have always been keen to participate in school activities especially team sports as it provided a chance to interact with other students of the institution. Furthermore, sports is not new to me as I was very active in such activities since secondary school, hence balancing extra-curricular activities with schoolwork has never been a problem for me.
Seychelles NATION: Like any other young people your age you have your hobbies and your friends, how did you manage those?
Claudia: I believe I was able to strike a balance as it is important to have time for yourself as well as to engage in activities that can enable you to relax with friends. However, I always prioritised my studies over fun especially during exam times.
Seychelles NATION: Coming from Praslin and far from your family did this have an impact on your studies? If so how did you manage? Did you live at the hostel or with relatives on Mahé?
Claudia: Yes I lived at the youth hostel which was not easy as I had to be more independent.
Being far away from my family did not really affect me because I was lucky enough to have my twin sister living with me at the youth hostel for almost two years.
Seychelles NATION: What are you doing now and what are you planning to do in the future in terms of career and further studies?
Claudia: For now I’m currently working as a project officer with Land Transport, and I hope to further my studies in architectural design.
Seychelles NATION: What is your message for other students still in their early years of study?
Claudia: Never give up on your dream!
Compiled by Marie-Anne Lepathy