Precious Mshengu - BA (Hons) Business Enterprise Development
Two years ago, I had my second child and was working a part-time job to help support my family. I’d always had dreams of going into business, but until then had focused on being a mum. That was until I realised that if I – as a single parent – didn't set an example for my children, who would?
It had been a long time since I was in education and the idea of going to university made me a little nervous. Was it possible to raise a family and study? I decided that if I didn’t try then I’d regret it and so I threw myself into the deep end, enrolled at Portsmouth, and told myself that I’d figure it out along the way.
At Portsmouth I’ve learned that sometimes you just need to go for it and work through the challenges as they come.
From there I took each day as it came. Between 9.00am and 6.00pm I was a student and tried to finish all my projects early so that, come 6.00pm, I could be a mum again. Balancing revision with doing housework wasn't easy, but if you’re determined then you'll find a way.
It wasn’t all plain sailing. I had to change courses after a year because the business degree that I started out on required a year abroad, and that wasn’t going to be possible with a toddler. That could have been a really stressful situation, but Portsmouth made it very easy. They were very supportive and human about my situation.
I decided that if I didn’t try then I’d regret it and so I threw myself into the deep end.
That doesn’t mean I didn't sometimes put my studies first though. Last summer I left my children with family for 3 weeks, the longest I‘ve ever been away from them, so that I could represent Portsmouth at the European Innovation Academy in Portugal. Being away was tough, but every day I learnt something that I knew would help me achieve my goal. While there I actually got a small group together to develop an idea I have for an app that will help students collaborate with one another on projects. For instance if a design student needs the help of a business student and a photography student, they just hop on the app and connect.
Now I’ve one year left of my degree and am feeling confident enough to stay on for a Master's course too. I’m so happy that I didn't talk myself out of this experience. Sometimes we think and analyse things too much: is this possible? Is that a step too far? At Portsmouth I’ve learned that sometimes you just need to go for it and work through the challenges as they come.