Burning the midnight oil and being an early riser are two key elements which Hospitality Management student Regina Oduor, from the School of Tourism and Hospitality (CTH), attributes to aiding her in achieving success. Regina, enthusiastically awaits to be awarded with a 2nd class upper, having missed a 1st class honours with only 0.18 marks.
The two thirds gender rule, a thorny issue in the Kenyan public sphere, is what precisely influenced Regina’s choice of fourth years’ final project topic. Regina, has always wondered why women receive unequal opportunities in leadership or managerial positions.
In reference to this, Regina explored ‘The factors that affect women career progression in the Hotel industry’
“Over the years, most importantly since the time I started working in the Hotel industry, I have witnessed a drastic decline of number of women in top managerial positions. A good number of women are in the lower cadre – either in the middle level management or in the junior management positions thus the reason why I committed myself to investigating the subject,” she says.
Regina’s decision to settle on her research topic was characterised by a lot of persuasion from her end. Her research supervisor, Dr. Lucy Gikonyo – CTH Academic Director and Senior Lecturer, needed satisfactory reasons to why she was interested in probing the issue before giving her the green light.
“Coming up with a research topic was a difficult task for me, I kept on drafting suitable topics and sending them for approval to my supervisor, but to no avail; she constantly rejected them telling me that they were too ‘obvious’. After giving it much thought and employing abundant persuasion, I convinced Dr. Gikonyo to approve my final topic, backing my argument with the knowledge that there is only one female top manager in the Hotel industry – Jacaranda Hotel, something which she found to be interesting,” she comments.
Regina, is however, grateful to her supervisor for helping her throughout her research period.
The cheerful Regina’s love for hospitality and the drive for hard-work is traced way back from when she was pursuing her Diploma in Hotel Management, from which she attained a Distinction. However, her success at Strathmore University was depicted with a lot sacrifice and determination, which included studying part-time after work.
Staying up late at night reading, and waking up as early as 3 a.m. in the morning had become the norm for Regina.
“I used to sleep for 3 to 4 hours knowing very well that the hard-work will pay off someday,” she says.
Regina’s determination to soldier on was inspired by the thought of attaining a bright future.
She is appreciative to her family for the support accorded at all times. The sixth born in a family of seven children aspires to be a housekeeping and a front office manager in the coming years.
As Regina brings down the curtain, her advice to young people is;
“always utilise time well, time is money, once you lose it you will never recover it; but above all, invest in education when you are young and when you still can.”
Congratulations to Regina Odour on her great achievement.