School of Finance and Applied Economics graduand and the former Blades (Strathmore Men’s Basketball team) Captain George Okoth, is set to graduate with a second class upper owing to a tonne of hardwork and setting his priorities right.
The last born in a family of six children, has always aspired to work hard, testifying that his older siblings set the bar high and he would not want to be the one to frustrate the outstanding trend.
George was a beneficiary of the sports scholarship and an enthusiastic student of Actuarial Science.
How did you get a sports scholarship?
While in highschool, Maseno School, I played for the school basketball team. During a National games competitions that took place at Kakamega School in 2011, the Strathmore basketball coach; Mr. Tony Ochieng’ approached me to advise me on scholarship options I can tap into at Strathmore. He gave me a brief overview about Strathmore and how their scholarships are structured.
This gave me motivation to work harder in school, affording me a mean grade A- of 80 points in my KCSE national examination. This paved way to study Actuarial Science as well as join the Strathmore basketball team.
What was your application process like?
It involved a myriad of activities.
My first step was to check the cut off points to join Strathmore University which encouraged me to put extra effort in class since I was in form four when I learnt about the scholarship.
Before our K.C.S.E results were out, I applied to study CPAs (Certified Public Accountant) at Strathmore University which I ended up not studying. But once my results were out I reapplied for undergraduate course and once I was accepted I applied for the sports scholarship.
This scholarship calls for students to strike a great balance between the class and the field.
How did you strike the balance between both class and sports?
I live by the mantra, If you are early you are on time, if you are on time you are late. This motto made me manage my time well while at Strathmore. I always gave my all in class, same applied to the court.
Sometimes I would sacrifice my sleep to catch up with my classwork.
Why Actuarial Science?
I developed a keen interest on this course while in class four. Then, my brother was an Actuarial Science student at a public university and I always wanted to be like him.
My love for Mathematics, Business Studies and taking risks also drove me towards this course.
Which field in actuarial science are you keen on getting into?
I would love to venture into pensions and risk management. I enjoyed these units which formed basis for my research project.
What motivated you to work hard?
The people who look up to me and those I look up to gave me the pressure to perform.
Also, the scholarship; I couldn’t take it for granted I had to make it worthwhile. I did not want to blow up the chance that had saved my parents a great deal. So I had to work hard and feel at peace with myself.
How did you get the captainship in basketball and how was it?
It was an interesting three year journey. In my first year of joining the team I made it to the senior team which gave me an edge. Later in my second year, we 2nd year were the bulk students, hence our coach chose me to be a captain. In 3rd year we were still the majority hence I remained captain and continued till the end.
In primary school when I was in class six, I used to accompany my big brother to the court where he used to practise the game. I slowly became a part of his training team and through that I learnt the game. I picked up the sport from then into highschool and consequently university.
Do you look up to anyone?
My big brother is one person I admire and he always keeps me on track. He has been my pillar and is the reason for my success because of the many encouragements he gave me when going through tough times.
What is your 5-10 year plan?
I am planning to firm up my professional goals and work towards becoming a great actuary.
I am also passionate about basketball. Therefore, in future I don’t mind starting a foundation that can help talented but needy students get the opportunity I did.
What other fascination do you have apart from basketball?
I love reading books based on history and thriller and reading magazines; especially the comics sections. I also enjoy playing chess.