Minds We Meet—Interviewing Ernest Banda

Interviewing Students Like You!

The Voice Magazine recently had a chance to chat with Ernest Banda, a Bachelor of Arts Psychology major currently residing in Calgary, Alberta, although he is “an African native born and raised in the beautiful nation of Zimbabwe.”  Ernest considers himself “a passionate and enthusiastic individual who intends to further pursue a master’s degree in the same field once I complete my undergraduate studies.”

Ernest had some great study tips to share with fellow AU learners.  “My commitment to academic success has allowed me to create a study routine that includes regular visits to the library, where I immerse myself in my coursework.  I read through my coursework and create my own notes, this consolidates my understanding.  Additionally, I also turn to educational YouTube videos to expand my knowledge and understanding.”

He also had some great advice for new and/or prospective students.  “Drawing from my personal experiences, I advise new and prospective students to pursue their goals with unwavering determination.  Education is the greatest tool to navigate one’s life through the ever-evolving world we live in.  I always wish I had embarked on my educational journey earlier, and I encourage others not to hesitate when it comes to their academic dreams.  I also want to remind students that working hard and dedication are the key ingredients to success, which should be embraced wholeheartedly.”

Ernest considers his family as the greatest motivation on his desire to learn, stating “I find motivation through my loving family, my wife, and kids stand as a constant source of inspiration, helping me navigate difficulties and challenges that arise along the academic way.”

This busy student enjoys reading, mentioning an author who has greatly influenced him.  “John Robert Landrum is my esteemed writer; one that has left an indelible impact on my life.  Landrum’s book, Treason Betrayal, has a profound influence on my perspective on contemporary political situations of today, giving me a deeper understanding of the complexities within the world of politics.”

He also enjoys travelling, sharing his most memorable vacation with readers.  “Durban, South Africa, is the most memorable getaway so far, it was an adventure-filled trip that allowed me to swim with dolphins, creating lifelong memories.  I realize that am an outdoor person enjoying nature, and that when am not immersed in my studies and work, I indulge in activities like hunting, hiking, and fishing; these activities bring joy and allow me to recharge and connect with nature.”


As for his experience with online learning so far?  “Online learning has revolutionized my educational experience,” he stated, “granting me the flexibility to study from anywhere and work simultaneously to support my family.  However, I want to admit that I do not particularly enjoy studying alone, as I normally thrive on social interaction and collaborative learning.”

He shared his most memorable course so far, namely PSYC 289: Psychology as a Natural Science.  “Among the various courses I am taking at Athabasca, Psychology 289 holds a special place in my heart.  Its thought-provoking content and engaging discussions have made it a memorable and enriching experience.  I want to praise the efficient and effective communication with course tutors, the experience is honestly a seamless process that enhances one’s learning journey,” he explained.

The Voice Magazine also asked Ernest what his first project would be if he were the new president of AU.  “If I were to assume the role of AU’s president, this is a thought-provoking question, to answer that I would say amongst many things I have in mind, my primary focus would be on devising motivational strategies to empower new online learners, I feel like the availability of more video lectures on the AU platform will foster a supportive environment that promotes students’ academic growth,” he stated.

We also asked which famous person, past or present, he would choose to have lunch with, and he chose Queen Elizabeth since it “would have been an insightful and captivating experience, delving into her remarkable journey and the lessons she has learned along the way, how she had managed a humble and scandal-free life while holding such a powerful position as a powerful figure.”

Ernest also shared his most valuable lesson with us.  “My most valuable life lessons came with my move to Canada, where I realized that diversity in culture, race, gender, sexual orientation, and religious affiliation poses no barriers to a thriving and united community.”

As a final note, Ernest mentioned that “education has limitless possibilities it offers to those willing to embrace it wholeheartedly.  Dedication, perseverance is the key to success.”  Best of luck Ernest!

At times, in an online learning environment, it can feel like you are all alone, but across the nation and around the globe, students just like you are also pursuing their Athabasca University (AU) studies!  Each week, The Voice Magazine will be bringing you some of these stories.  If you would like to be featured next, do not hesitate to get in touch!