In the last few months, Rufaro Mazarura has graduated from the University of Surrey, launched the Class of 2020 podcast and landed a national radio feature. As a graduate guru, we had some burning questions…
What graduation advice would you give to your former self?
I think that the biggest piece of advice that I would give to my former self, and to be honest, my current self, would be to try and worry less about the future.
It’s great to have a plan of what you want your life to be like and to be ambitiously striving towards that plan.
However, it’s really easy to get so caught up in planning for and worrying about the future that you don’t appreciate the beauty, chaos and wonder of right now.
I would tell my former self to really be intentional about finding balance between working towards the future and enjoying each day and week in my life.
Do you have a fave quote or someone who inspires you?:
I watched A LOT of online commencement speeches this summer filled with wisdom and great quotes to live by, but one of my favourite speeches was that which Steve Jobs did in X about how often, it is random unexpected events in your life – the dots – that shape the person you grow up to become.
A part of the speech that has stayed with me the longest and feels particularly relevant to 2020 Grads is when he talked about the unexpected series of events, both positive and negative that led to him creating the first Mac and said that:
“It was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later.“
Ever since first listening to that speech, I’ve begun to look back on my life and trace the small unexpected moments that have led me to become the person I am today.
It’s also helped me to look at the small recent events that have happened in my life and imagine all of the exciting and unexpected ways they could come to shape my future self which, in a year as unexpected as 2020, has really helped me shift my perspective on life in a positive way.
“My quarantine side hustle has opened up a really exciting range of job opportunities.”
How has covid affected your career plans?:
I had originally planned to get into TV production and spend the Easter doing work experience and building up my CV, but when we went into lockdown pretty much everything ground to a halt.
My coping method for feeling like I have control over my life when things feel uncertain is to go into hyper planning mode and plan some sort of creative project.
So I decided to channel my restlessness into audio storytelling.
I created a 9 part podcast series about studying, graduating and coming of age called Class of 2020 and the podcast led to so many exciting opportunities including being featured on BBC Radio 4 and securing a bunch of freelance opportunities to the point where podcasting, my quarantine side hustle, has opened up a really exciting range of job opportunities.
So while it’s put my original career plans on pause, it’s created a whole new career path to explore and taught me that sometimes the most exciting opportunities come from some of the most unexpected things.