Dr. Lehlohonolo Amos Masitenyane, Marketing and Retail management Lecturer in the Department of Marketing, Retail and Sports Management: Faculty of Management Sciences, recently graduated with a doctoral degree (D.Tech) in Marketing Management, under the title: ‘DIMENSIONS AND OUTCOMES OF BUYER-SELLER RELATIONSHIP INTENTIONS FOR CONCRETE PRODUCTS IN THE CONSTRUCTION ENVIRONMENT.’
In a quest for VUT to reposition itself in the higher education landscape, he believes that VUT is benefiting from newly developed skills that will have a positive impact on the institution. His newly embraced skills set include critical thinking, complex problem-solving and decision making. “These are scarce skills that can be used to identify problems and finding the right answers to solve them. I am a highly-skilled marketer and researcher who can answer some of the world’s toughest unknown questions,” he said.
“When I think back, the physical and emotional stress that I had to go through, especially the final months leading to the completion of my thesis. PhD stress is not something that should be ignored,” he expressed. He says that perseverance and dealing with stress is one key factor that he had to overcome to successfully graduate. His journey was a very lonely one and long walk which in the end, he found both enjoyable and stimulating. “I didn’t have anyone to rely on to know what to do. I had to figure a lot of things out for myself and verify them with my supervisors. Having to talk to a lot of different people to figure this out was crucial as communication was vital. Sitting down to write the first time was a daunting task. I looked at other people’s theses and thought how am I ever going to get to 250 pages? I started by looking at my outline and went from there. Thebiggest problem was getting stressed whenever I wasn’t productive,” he said.
He shared that he had to let that go and realize that some days are going to be more productive than others. He had days where he did a little bit and some days better where he goofed off in the evening even missing dinner. He forced himself to stick to some arbitrary. The 7-5 lecturing work schedule he does was also stressful because he felt he wasn’t productive, ‘my relax time, wasn’t relaxing.’ “I had to sort of let the writing dictate the schedule. There were deadlines to meet, so sometimes I couldn’t afford that luxury, but when possible, it was a great stress reducer. Of course, during months of writing, life happens too. I had my kids to take care of and other family matters to attend to as well as some other extracurricular activities. I found that these activities reduced the stress level quite a bit but needed a well-thought plan, so I didn’t have the writing monster always looming behind me. I also kept the important “life things” scheduled but made sure not to accept any extra responsibilities that would just add stress. Most importantly, if I didn’t keep some time for friends and socializing, I wouldn’t have been able to keep the stress levels down,” he said.
He obtained his doctoral degree at the age of 44, while working full-time under testing conditions and as a single parent to his two sons. Receiving this degree was a significant accomplishment for him. He said, “I took my academics very seriously and worked very hard to tackle this beast and I am proud of this achievement. I am grateful for all the help I received from professors, family and friends. I take pride in the discipline and persistence it took for me to stick with the program. I feel honoured and satisfied – knowing I had accomplished a goal I set in life.”
One of his lifetime goals since middle school was to teach, being raised by both parents who were teachers by profession. His career took him into the Marketing corporate world for more than 18 years where he was applying his expertise in the global corporate industry before he eventually received an opportunity to teach at a university level.
“I always had the desire to share my experiences, lead, and give direction to up-coming marketers, retailers and sportsmen and women out there. However, the time has come for me to elevate and share my wisdom within an institution of higher learning. Leading a team of competent and hardworking individuals for the betterment of our institution. Attitude and mindset are crucial. The words you use when you talk to yourself are important as they shape your attitude. When you take responsibility for your learning, you’ll become more proactive. Instead of doing the bare minimum to achieve your goals, do more than what others are willing to do. Habits and level of commitment will determine your results. Do yourself a favour and surround yourself with the right people to support you,” he said.
He lives by the following motto: Diligence and dedication pay off. Put an extra effort. You won’t be disappointed. VUT Research Directorate department funded his studies of which he says, he will forever be grateful for.
Article by: Qhawekazi Memani