Ass. Prof. Jjuuko reflects on her latest academic feat

Associate professor Margaret Jjuuko explains her last academic feat and tips students.

Associate Professor Margaret Jjuuko is the only female lecturer at the University of Rwanda’s School of Journalism and Communication. She has been working with the University of Rwanda for over 10 years and was recently promoted to Associate Professor after she completed her Ph.D. in 2011. 

She spoke to The Kaminuza Star about the fruits of hard work and living a purposeful life, especially when one is still a student. 

What is the secret behind your success?
”It is hard work. The one thing in academia you cannot afford is to be stagnant, you cannot afford to be in one position all the time. You have to work hard to upgrade your standing. To do that you must publish, teach and supervise the post-graduate students (masters and Ph.D. level) and be part of academic and research networks, as well as attending international conferences.”

How tough is it for a woman to make it to the level you have reached?
”Women and men have more or less similar challenges in life. In the workplace they are all expected to perform and deliver on targets, I don’t think being a man or woman matters a lot in view of the responsibilities at hand.”

What is your approach to teaching?
”I do not teach students but rather I help them to develop academically. Every student has their own abilities and knowledge. What young people need is just a little push. Students here tend to be resilient and willing to work.

My methodology has been successful: what I appreciate about young people is the fact that you just give them a portion of knowledge and you learn from them as well.”

What is it like to be a professor?
”I am not a full professor yet but if I work hard I can get there. I worked hard to be an associate professor and I have published book chapters and supervised postgraduate students. I feel like my hard work is paying off.”

”I need to thank University of Rwanda for giving a conducive environment to work in. I thank Fojo Media Institute of Sweden who have supported staff in a great way, the Vice-Chancellor and DVs, they encouraged me, they gave me the opportunity, and they continue to be supportive.”

Your advice to UR students?
”The first thing is to know what you want in life, what you want to pack in your suitcase. Students need to have goals in life, smart goals. It’s not just about getting a degree, you need to appreciate the nature and importance of the degree and what you want to achieve with it. Set your goals right from day one, know what you want, start pursuing it, be where you are supposed to be at the right place, work hard and don’t waste your time.”