MKUMSA’S HISTORY: The Path of Our Legacy Part 4 by Dr. Dennis Wanjau

  • Kindly tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Dennis Wanjau, a finalist at Mount Kenya University medical school.

The values I regard highly are; diligence and discipline; my mantra, “Nil satis nisi optimum.” 

My favourite historical figure indisputably would be Jesus Christ; the reasons are many, but in a nutshell, He embodies hope where there is none. I have been a leader for almost all my life; I was a class prefect in primary school. In High school, I was a  House captain. In Campus, I was the secretary general of the Medical students association for two years and the association president for one year. 

  • What drove you to be a leader? MKUMSA’s president?

There were a couple of reasons. I have always been passionate about the association since I was the Secretary-General, and I felt there was still much that could have been achieved under my tenure, so my first reason was to raise the standards of our events. Secondly, I wanted to encourage students to participate in extracurricular activities away from all the school work. My other reason for getting into leadership was to mentor other upcoming leaders; the list of reasons is endless.

  • How was your experience? Was it what you expected?

What my team and I did beat my wildest imaginations; it’s so surreal what we did. The experience had highs and lows, thankfully more highs than lows. It was an experience of a lifetime. We were able to accomplish most, if not all, of the objectives we aimed to achieve.

  • What some of the things you did in your time?

It’s tough to choose, but in no order of preference; Our medical school was recognized in the world directory of medical schools during our tenure. We also organized the inaugural medical school gala, which included the white coat ceremony, the finalist dinner and a beauty pageant. Then there were the exchange students who had an exchange program in our medical school for the first time and had our first batch of students go abroad for the exchange program. We also organized events for our students locally, from a talent night to a game night, to a lover’s night, and how did I forget the fun day?

  • How did you organize, plan, prioritize tasks and manage time?

Events were organized based on the preference of the students. So we took random ideas of what students wanted, and my team and I worked around a way to harmonize all the students’ views. Priority was given to the events which would engage students fully and help them network.  Time management was also crucial in seeing the success of our events, so we planned our calendar of events quite early in the year, so we had enough time to mobilize resources.

  • What is key in developing a good team? What qualities do you look for?

A good team is born from having a common goal from the word go. Having that harmony is essential in any group; it cultivates the spirit of teamwork. Most leaders would look for people who are diligent in their work, innovative and creative with their ideas and people who are problem solvers, and our leadership was similar.

  • What are some of the challenges you experienced? How did you handle them?

The biggest challenge is always the scarcity of resources. We tried working with what we had and maximizing our resources, and it turned out well.

  • What’s your advise for those aiming to participate demanding activities and take up responsibilities while in Campus?

With good planning, most things are possible, of course, being careful not to neglect school work; medical school is an uphill task in itself.

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Article by: Jared Kipkoech Ronoh