Striving for excellence

An employee at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) for 25 years, Juanita Frans is happy to be part of an institution which remains on the forefront of technology and innovation.

10 January 2020 | People

Ester Kamati

“My dreams have always been to acquire knowledge through whatever platform”. These are the words of Juanita Frans, born and bred in the small town of Rehoboth.

Despite hailing from a family focused on trade, Frans always had a passion to invent new things, bring change to the world and share insights, which is how she ended up as the manager of business systems and processes at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST).

“Not all of us can do great things, but all of us can do small things with great love, and that can shape the future unknowingly,” says the mother of three and dedicated wife.

Before starting her career, she worked as a domestic worker and nanny while job-hunting for her first corporate gig. She eventually found a job in the examination department of the education ministry, where she worked until she moved to NUST.

Frans was part of the founding members of the institution, then known as the Polytechnic of Namibia, and later became a brand ambassador when it was renamed to NUST.

Her journey continued as she climbed the ranks from starting as a data typist in the examinations department in January 1994. She has held six positions at the institution thus far and believes “the best is yet to come”.

After 25 years at the institution, Frans is tasked with managing the campus’ operational software systems used for all business process engineering. She is also responsible for IT support and management, which she is highly passionate about.

Frans enjoys that she is constantly challenged to add value to the institution and to the range of innovative ideas and concepts NUST takes on. “I have big career aspirations and great loyalty towards the institution which has provided numerous opportunities for growth.” Frans is glad to have made “great networks of lasting relationships”, which she describes as “more like family”.

Growing up in a small town did not stop the determined woman from dreaming big, with an aim to acquire knowledge from each challenge she encountered.

Despite never being a full-time student, she acquired her qualifications by dividing her time between work and studying. She obtained her first diploma through the then Technikon South Africa and continued to add value to her academics as opportunities arrived.

“Getting registered into the MBA stream through Regent Business School was one of my biggest dreams come true.” She completed the programme in 2015. Frans is grateful for the path she has taken, sharing that if not for her academic journey, she would not have grown so much as a leader and as a person.

She believes that one should never walk in anyone else’s shadow. “Reinvent yourself on a daily basis, only then you bring change.”

Frans advises students and other youth to dream, believe, act and achieve. “If your purpose is to stand out, don’t try to fit in, but also be warned that help is a very expensive gift.” She elaborated that help should not be expected from everyone because only few people are “rich by heart”.

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