School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Ms Roxanne Munsamy graduates with her Masters in Environmental Sciences.

Conservation and Family Drives Student’s Ambition

Ms Roxanne Munsamy graduated with a Masters in Environmental Sciences. ‘Graduating depicts my merits and signifies the end of a significant chapter in my life and the start of new beginnings,’ said Munsamy. A keen interest in the environment led Munsamy down her chosen career path. ‘It was the pursuit of knowledge, my love and appreciation of nature that made me realise my passion for the environmental sector. This led me to pursue a career within the environmental sciences, and the result was three degrees, a Bachelor of Science (BSc), BSc Hons and now masters.

Her father, Mr Rajan Munsamy, said as a child, Roxanne had a generous heart and compassion for the environment. ‘She was always focused and worked hard to attain her goals. We are very proud of her achievement and know that she will flourish in the environmental sector,’ he said.

Munsamy attributed her success to her parents. ‘My parents taught me how to be an independent woman and stay true to myself. I believe that I am the person that I am today because of their upbringing and encouragement,’ she said.

Munsamy said pursuing her masters was not easy and sometimes felt unobtainable. ‘Sometimes I felt overwhelmed with the complex statistical analysis and machine learning algorithms used to process my data. I would accomplish one goal, but then have several setbacks. During these tough times, I always remembered that setbacks were not failures, but just speed bumps that help you learn more and makes you appreciate the work that you are doing once you have accomplished a goal,’ she said.

Her definition of inspiring greatness, was empowering oneself to be the best individual that you can be.

Munsamy advised fellow students to not lose focus. ‘Venturing into the unknown is always scary, especially as an undergraduate.  Have a plan of action and follow it through. Always aim for greatness and push yourself to achieve a little more success each time,’ she said.

Munsamy was selected to participate in the WWF-SA Environmental Leaders Graduate Programme and considers it to be one of her greatest achievements thus far.

She plans to enter the environmental sector and be part of efforts to conserve and efficiently utilise the natural resources. ‘I am currently focused on completing my internship at Wildlands Conservation Trust through the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) Graduate Development Progamme, where I am working as an ecologist on conservation projects. The road and possibilities to my career journey are endless,’ she said.

Words: Sashlin Girraj