Going the extra mile for our students

They started at different times – one in 1986, another in 1993, and the other only started about a year ago, and despite their diverse backgrounds, one thing all three of them share is a relentless love for people.

Sylvia Matroos, Cynthia Lategan-Kriel and Michelle Masango, programme coordinators at USB, hold a special role at the business school as they are responsible for the coordination and implementation of their respective study programmes facilitating the best possible experience for our students.

Here they share what they love about their job and women they admire:

Sylvia Matroos

Sylvia, who started working at the business school in January 1986 as a domestic worker, says she loves her job because she enjoys meeting new people from different backgrounds. “Students need a helping hand and someone that can listen to them and that understands them and I am happy to be able to help them with that. And I love a challenge,” she says.

Sylvia appreciates sincerity and kindness and always tries to stay true to herself. She defines responsible leadership as someone that needs to lead by example.

“A responsible leader should be able to influence other people so that they can develop self-confidence to lead themselves and to achieve great things in life.”

She says there are especially three women that have made a huge impact in her life whom she looks up to. “My mom is a strong woman who values the finer things in life and takes nothing for granted. Henriette Swart, Deputy Director: Branch Libraries at Stellenbosch University, is very committed, hardworking and a good listener. The late Mrs Leurs, who started at the business school in 1982 as a secretary, helped me to reach higher goals and to strive to do my best,” she says.

And three things we didn’t know about her? “I love watching rugby and doing flower arrangements and décor for functions.”

Michelle Masango

Michelle has been working at Stellenbosch University for two years and she has been at USB for just over a year. She says the most rewarding thing about her work (and worth all the stress!) is to be able to assist people from all over the world in their journey to empower and enrich themselves.

“I have a love for people in general, and draw energy from interacting with different personalities. It’s the reason I come to work every day,” she says. “I try my best to do basic things in an extraordinary manner, because I believe you will be rewarded with big things then.”

She is currently studying Public Accountability at the School of Public Leadership (SPL). “My career interest is compliance. I get hyped when I hear the word policy! That’s why I am studying Public Accountability to make that career choice a reality,” she says.

Is there any specific woman she admires?

“There are way too many! I learn from so many women in my life. There is no woman as loving, strong and vibrant at the same time as my mom. The prayer warriors in my life, who prays without ceasing and never gets tired (they have super powers).

“The perseverance and hardworking nature of women that are entrepreneurs, who gets up before dawn to put up their businesses, take it back down and go home when everybody else is already at home. The women who empower themselves, regardless of their disadvantages, and then shares the fruit of their success with their parents, children, family and the society they live in.”

Michelle says she is also inspired by women who is courageous enough to ask for help when they need it and confident women who are happy with the way they look, regardless of their flaws.

“We are all so special, whether you are a world leader, a stay-at-home mom, or a career woman.”

She also loves music (“it’s the language of my soul”) and wants to be remembered for “loving, laughing too much and [for] my dreams being too big”.

Cynthia Lategan-Kriel

Cynthia loves working with students “because they are so diverse – new people, new faces, new personalities. I grow every day while learning to deal with their challenges”.

It is for this reason that she also enrolled for a Coaching programme – she wants to understand and be able to coach students.

She has been working at the business school since 1993 and says the joy of realising that she has the resources and skills to assist people in achieving their goals is what makes her enjoy her job the most.

She has shown leadership skills from a young age as she was elected as the first (and up until now the only) Grade 10 pupil to be a prefect at her school (usually only Grade 11 and 12 pupils are selected).

For her, responsible leadership means to underpin and influence every action and to live and act by example.
“Use the knowledge of an experienced employee as an asset to the company and also help develop employees in their field of interest to the benefit of both the company and the employee,” she says.

The unsung heroes who sacrifice their own lives for the survival and education of their kids are who she looks up to. And her motto in life? “Kill them with kindness and do unto others as you want others to do unto you.”

Women's Month 2018

USB celebrated our SHEroes in August 2018.
Read all the wonderful stories about the ladies of USB.