Stellenbosch University
Welcome to Stellenbosch University
A day in the life: Nienke Osborne
Author: Corporate Communication & Marketing / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie & Bemarking [Anél Lewis]
Published: 04/05/2023

​Nienke Osborne is happiest when she is telling stories and engaging with people, either on the airwaves as a news reader for campus radio, MFM or in her role as a private accommodation officer. She lives, works, and studies in Stellenbosch.

 As we kicked off May commemorating Workers' Day, we dedicate this series of articles to our staff and their important contribution to the University. In the interview below, Nienke tells us more about her work.

What does your role at SU entail?

I am the private accommodation officer at the Student Accommodation Office; therefore, my role entails the continuous monitoring of the accreditation process. I assist with the placement process at senior residences and Private Student Organisation (PSO) houses and handle inquiries and complaints from students, parents, and landlords. I strive to build positive relationships with internal and external role players.

What does a typical day at work look like?

I guess it depends on the day. But there is always a lot of coffee involved. My work is client based, so most of my day involves helping students as well as landlords with their queries. I am also involved with the accreditation process of private accommodation, and a lot of my time goes into communication with landlords, students, and our Undergraduate Bursary Office, site visits, meetings, and administrative tasks related to the processing of accredited accommodations.  

I do try to get out of the office in my lunch hour – be it to meet a friend for coffee or to take a walk in Victoria Street, or in the mall. On Thursdays, you will find me reading the news on MFM 92.6, from 5 pm to 6 pm.

How did your education or past experiences prepare you for this role?

I grew up in Stellenbosch and completed my undergraduate and honours degree in history at SU. I have always been fascinated with people's stories and this is why I love history. I enjoy scratching in the archives. My love for radio started in Grade 12 when I took part in one of MFM 92.6's first Summer Schools. I knew that this was something I wanted to do. I read the news and sports bulletins on MFM throughout my undergraduate studies. I am enjoying being back at MFM to read the news.

My education helped me realise that hard work is more important than being clever. Patience and open communication are essential. Don't be afraid to ask for help and be curious as you try to expand your knowledge of the world around you. My previous experience as a cabin crew member taught me how to remain calm in stressful situations.

What do you enjoy most about your role and working at SU?

I have to say, I'm privileged to be part of a great team and to work in a healthy and productive environment where I have the opportunity to grow and learn. And then, radio has always been a companion and a friend for me, and I'm enjoying being back on air again.

Tell us something exciting or interesting about yourself that few people would expect?

I spent six months working as a cabin crew member for Qatar Airlines. It gave me an opportunity to explore the world beyond SU and allowed me to meet people from different countries and cultures. Shortly before Covid-19, I decided to return home and apply for my master's degree in history. I will hopefully be graduating at the end of this year. 

Photographer: Stefan Els