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Yemurai Mapurisa
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Yemurai Mapurisa

Graduation year: 2019

Hometown: Harare, Zimbabwe

Major: Accounting

Activities: InterVarsity, Reading/Writing Center tutor

Post-grad plans: I will be working for PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) accounting firm in Chicago.

Why Augustana?

I chose Augustana because of a video I watched on Facebook when I was still in Zimbabwe. The beauty of the campus attracted me to this school. My recruiter Liz Nino was so helpful during the application process. I just knew that Augie was the place for me, and it truly has been.

Are you where you thought you’d be when you first came to campus?

No, not at all. When I started college, I was undecided on my major, and I was confused about which major would be the right “fit” for me. After taking many classes in my freshman year and still being undecided about my major, I went to Virginia Johnson, who at the time had been my first-year professor and a faculty tutor in the Reading/Writing Center, to ask for her help. We spoke about my interests, and she pointed out my strengths and where she saw me in the future and it all led to accounting. I had never taken an accounting class until I got to college—and I enjoy it!

I am also amazed at the meaningful relationships I developed at Augie with my peers and my professors, who both always saw the best in me and pushed me to be the best in everything I did.

I have met some of my best friends here and never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined what a blessing my college experience would be to my growth academically and personally.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

I have been so blessed to have received help from my professors on campus. Throughout my college career, I worked in the Reading/Writing Center with professors who became a strong support system for me and molded me into who I am today. The Reading/Writing Center has been my safe haven. I was encouraged to reach for my goals, while being reminded that I had a team cheering for me to do so. Regardless of whether I faced challenges in my academics or my personal life, I was fortunate enough to be part of the RWC family, and I will truly miss them!

Peak experience?

I think it was when I realized that Augie was my home. There’s a different perspective of looking at things when you regard a place as your home. You find family all around you when you are in this frame of mind. In my sophomore year, when I went through financial difficulties that jeopardized the future of my education, many people at Augie stood by me and cheered me on. These included my professors, the Reading/Writing Center and many others who knew me. I felt loved and appreciated. Fast forward to graduation, I reflect on how wonderful and fulfilling my time at Augustana has been.

What surprised you?

I have learned that my opinion matters and I should speak up, which is something I never really did before college, but the liberal arts have pushed me to voice my thoughts.

I also learned that I can be anything I want to be in the world with the help and support of others. Augie has taught me to treasure people. I’ve learned that I can’t achieve success all by myself, but I can do it with the help of others. This was the case at Augustana with all the professors and my peers who helped me be the person I am today.

How did you use Augie Choice?

I used Augie Choice to intern at Grant Thornton in Zimbabwe. In doing so, I got more opportunities in the accounting field, and this experience helped me land my first job out of college.

What will you miss the most?

The people I met here and the beauty around campus. There is so much serenity in walking around campus that makes it feel like home away from home.

Advice for the Class of 2023?

Don’t rush the process. Take your time. You’ll grow so much here and before you know it, you’ll be saying goodbye to your home of four years! Find a good community that will propel you to do your best. I have no doubt you’ll find yours here! Enjoy every experience and take each day as it comes. :)

“Yemu brings joy and authenticity to her every interaction. In the Reading/Writing Center the past three years, she's been a true leader, enthusiastically pioneering many initiatives to support her peers both academically and socially. But just as often, she’s led by example simply by being her unique, delightful self. Yemu’s openness to others and her desire to understand each person as an individual have helped make the RWC a true family.”

– Lucas Street, director of the Reading/Writing Center, and instructor, First-Year Inquiry and English