History and Politics Graduate credits Loughborough University for her 'personal transformation'

Nyasha is presented with her Dissertation prize by Dr Catherine Armstrong

Nyasha Mukonoweshuro had a knock to her confidence when she didn’t get the Maths A Level result she wanted, leaving her worried that she would not be accepted to study History at various universities as a result.

However, Loughborough recognised that in her chosen field of study she had great strengths – she had received the highest A-Level history mark in the whole of Zimbabwe. Loughborough offered her a place and since then, Nyasha has gone from strength to strength, taking every opportunity to make the most of her time at Loughborough. 

She describes moving to England for university as a massive culture shock. She admits that it was a bit challenging at first to adapt to a completely new way of life, whilst trying to have a ‘typical’ university experience. However, she also says that the kind and generous people she has met at Loughborough made it feel like home.

Some of Nyasha’s extra-curricular activity has been surrounding equity, diversity and inclusion. Her initial interest in EDI advocacy came from her swimming experience as it is a sport that has very few Black athletes. In her final year, she chaired the Ethnic Minorities Network and alongside the committee hosted a panel that focused on exploring the intersections of race and gender and the experiences of Black women in Higher Education. The event went on to receive the ‘Best Collaboration of the Year Award’ from LSU’s Welfare and Diversity section.

She has greatly benefited from the University’s Talent Match scheme and the Future Black Talent Programme. Through Talent Match she got her first internship, and the extensive professional support, advice and mock assessments helped her to secure subsequent summer internships and placements at Estée Lauder, EDF Energy, and Deloitte.

On her favourite thing about Loughborough Nyasha said: “Loughborough University has a really strong culture of excellence. You can see it quite clearly in both the athletic and academic feats that have been achieved historically.

“Yet I felt it the most in the less obvious sense; the feeling of having your teammates cheer you on when you score a goal, celebrating after exams finish, learning from some of the best academics in your field, or lounging about on the paddock in the summer.

“I’ve always felt people give their everything to what they are doing, whatever that looks like. It’s a wonderful approach to life because you experience the full depth of everything your environment or community has to offer and in the best way. So my favourite thing has simply been being surrounded by such excellent people, in every sense of the word. I’ve been really fortunate to have met some wonderful and remarkable people here.”

Nyasha graduated with a first class honours in History and Politics. She was awarded her department’s dissertation prize and is the first student from Loughborough to be awarded the Henry Fellowship from Yale University, which she will attend next year. The Henry Fellowship is a competitive, fully funded fellowship (covering flights, tuition fees, and maintenance) to study at Yale or Harvard. Only two fellowships are offered each year and successful candidates are selected on the basis of scholarly ability, personality, capacity for leadership and the ability to make a mark in public life. She has also received a Vice-Chancellor’s Gold Award, in recognition of her achievements.

Although Nyasha has had a very successful university career, she says that the past four years have taught her that true success and value go beyond the external validation from educational or professional achievements. Her time at Loughborough has seen her have a lot of personal growth and that is something she is extremely proud of.

She said: “All the ups and downs I experienced have all contributed to the person I am today. Sometimes our biggest successes can be internal and I feel like my personal transformation has been the most rewarding and special experience.”