Do it. Having role models is great but remember to bring your own flair. Trust yourself. Do not rob the universe of the unique contribution, experience and work that only you can bring.
Your persistence is invaluable, know your worth [and talents and skills] and be stubborn with asserting it. Work on improving yourself always. Self-care is everything, you won’t be able to make the change you want to see in the world if you are broken.
Very basic but really do not give up and embrace your uniqueness. I want aspiring Africans in STEM to realize that their voice matter and their perspectives is important and needed in STEM.
Young Africans aspiring to study STEM should be focused, resolute and passionate in their fields of STEM.
You have all you need to be Scientist, Technologist, Engineers and Mathematicians. Go prove it to yourself and make Africa the continent of tomorrow.
To begin with the end in mind and always have a career plan. Before jumping into an internship, graduate program or fellowship you should ask yourself how each move ultimately contributes to your career goals. When you have come with your plan, find people to mentor you, support you and guide you on the best way to achieve this plan. Never struggle in a corner by yourself. If you have questions and concerns, never hesitate to reach out to someone for help because there is always someone out there that has been through what you have been through and will be willing to help you.
Information is the most valuable asset you can acquire. Always look for opportunities to learn and evolve because this might be the most difficult step in your career.
To believe in themselves, work hard and smart and always be willing to learn new things, respect and be humble and mostly to be self-motivated.
My advice to young, aspiring Africans in STEM is: you can do anything! There will be challenges along the way but never let those who do not believe in you get in your way. You belong in STEM and your voice is needed.
Don’t be afraid to reach out for help, had I not done that I wouldn’t be where I am. Search and you will find those that you are looking for, they may not necessarily be in the limelight or the people most spoken about, but they do exist. There is nothing wrong with wanting to have a community of fellow Africans in your field.
Let them get be engaged in finding problems in their environments and develop innovation to address them. Inculcate their thinking into a culture of system thinking, patriotism and elimination of inequities in our societies.
STEM is important for the development of any nation. Therefore, I urge young, aspiring Africans to opt for STEM courses. African continent has many resources to be exploited and STEM will play a major role!
The scientific community and the world need more of you out there! There is space for you and we want to see you. Science is a universal language which has a multitude of unique dialects; the world wants to learn your dialect. Be passionate, communicate your passion, surround yourself by uplifting and supportive people, and I am confident that you will be successful.
Science and engineering is very key solution to climate change and sustainable development that we should address today. An estimated 2.5 million new engineers and technicians are required in sub-Saharan Africa alone to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and African Union agenda of 2050 of improved access to clean water and sanitation. To achieve such this, every young minded need to be attracted in engineering courses, also women numbers in STEM need to be increased in order to avail their ability in STEM.
If you want to work in your country of origin, start to get a feel of which areas of STEM are most developed so you get full support especially if they align with your interests. Use online resources where you can to connect to people doing things you want to do as the earlier you connect with what you want to do, the better.
Work hard, read widely, join Twitter, equip yourself with unique skills, find your niche – this can be done anywhere in the world, also in Africa. Define your own version of success and pull others up along with you.
Surround yourself with like-minded, ambitious people. Build yourself a network of people with an interest in STEM and jump on every opportunity you get. And most importantly, never give up no matter how difficult the journey seems at the start. To quote a phrase from my good friend that stuck with me throughout my youth: “We always go again”.
Believe in yourself! Do not wait for someone else to tell you that it’s possible, make it possible because you can. Never give up on what you want!!!
So, to all young aspiring African’s in STEM: dream big, do not be limited and do not let yourself be defined by stereotypes and most importantly, never give up no matter how hard the situation may seem. And if you ever feel like giving up, think of why you started the journey in the first instance.
Never sell yourself short. You are just as worthy or intelligent or focused as any other person from a first world country, and as such, you can stand on the world stage with any other person.You will have to work 10 times harder than them and face significantly more challenges to get a seat at the table, but you are an African at heart, you are strong and tenacious and know of a world full of challenges. Although this may seem a disadvantage, it will come to be your greatest weapon in the end,embrace who you are and when you reach the place you wish to be never forget where it is you come from.
Extra works are needed to measure up to what the Western world is doing. Therefore, you need to seriously work hard. Let your works be known. Make it visible.
The advice I would like to give them is that they are enough and so important in the world we live in today. We need young, aspiring Africans in STEM to contribute to sustainable solutions for the various challenges we face in our continent and in the world. It is also important to be diverse and to seek knowledge beyond what you have. Instead of just being a scientist, it is important to ask questions and engage how science can impact policy making or influence business decisions. Lastly, work hard and stay up to date with current affairs. Global issues enrich your perspective.
I want to advise young and aspiring Africans in STEM to look upon the challenges present on our continent as an opportunity, not a barrier. Consider the fact that fin-tech innovations such as mobile money are being developed on the African continent before the Western world. Yet, the value of such an innovation is just as valuable to the Western world as it is to our continent. So, I encourage aspiring Africans in STEM to take on the bold leap of finding solutions to the challenges of the world. With focus, determination, and grit, you too can make a much-needed contribution.
To follow their dreams. Be persistent with your dreams and work hard.
It can only get better from where you currently are, you just have to put in a little more effort and dedication.
My favourite words – “It is not always easy but it is not impossible” Take time out if you have to, step back if you want to, but never stop looking for an answer. It is not impossible.
Keep your eyes open for opportunities, do not be afraid to reach out to people who are in fields that interest you, and be mindful of how you market yourself.
Just do it! Believe in yourself and what you have to offer. Our continent needs the brightest, most creative young minds to secure our future – we have an incredible resource in our people. Work incredibly hard, read everything, grab your opportunities but keep the love you have for your work safe. Pace yourself, it’s a marathon not a sprint and you need to look after yourself and your ability to do excellent work.
Persevere. Where there is a will, there is always a way. Pursue your scientific aspirations with focus, vigor, and passion and don’t allow anyone to tell you, you cannot successfully pursue a career in STEM.
Go for it! This is an exciting sector and it is the future.
My advice to young Africans aspiring for a career in STEM is to believe in themselves. If you can think it, you can be it. Don’t let anyone/anything tell you otherwise.
Do it, you are definitely worthy of occupying such spaces.
Seek out mentors and resources, there are plenty! Also, keep in mind that with certain challenges specific to Africans in STEM, timelines may not match those with other geographical backgrounds, do not be bogged down by comparisons of success – Everyone’s timeline of success is different, but have a clear end-goal.
You are the answer. Close your mind to the challenges, focus on all the growing possibilities and most importantly “grab” the opportunities and make the very best of it.
Just keeping taking those little steps, no matter how small they may seem. I was in the art class in High School as there was no more space anywhere else – but I made it work, I learnt everything I could about art history and design and made sure I stayed in the top 10 of my grade. I was accepted into University to do one science degree… Then I received government funding and that turned it into three more degrees. BUT live your life between studies – we are trying to solve real world problems so never get too far from it.
You are more than enough; begin taking steps towards your rightful place, you will be sprinting sooner than you think. When you get to your destination, make sure to bring someone with you! Finally, do not be afraid to create you own lane or opportunity, especially when they are not always made available to you.
I would say that this is bigger than you. For every one African that thrives in the STEM field, there is at least 10 other Africans who would dare to dream just because of that one success story. When things feel challenging, remember, it is time your voice is heard and you belong!
Know yourself and don’t let anyone make you feel stupid for being young. Every great scientist you know was once young.
Do not limit yourself. There is no box. You can be everything; in stilettos and in steel toes.
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
Don’t let fear hold you back. Invest in yourself. Seek alternative options to accomplish your goals. Take advantage of small and big opportunities. Find inspirational role models.
You can be successful with the right amount of passion. We are here to live and leave an unforgettable mark to the world: we are here to make our life worth living and useful. So don’t let negativity and lack of resources deter you from your dream. Whoever thought one day, a device called ‘plane’ would connect us to the other side of the world? It all starts by a dream. In science, we are limited by our creativity. So let’s always dream big, and wild.
You can! Be tough. Don’t give up. Don’t look back. Remember, there is always someone to hold your hand along the journey.
Dream big, believe in yourself, and don’t be afraid to take your place in STEM. Even if you’re afraid, do it afraid! As importantly, never strive for mediocrity. Do the best with what you have wherever you are, and don’t forget to lift as you climb.
Absolutely anything is possible. All of the inventions in modern technology were created by someone and YOU could be the next someone.
Your dreams are valid and achievable. Where there is a will, there is a way…
Going into STEM in the West is hard but highly rewarding. Seek good colleagues, be wise and be astutely practical about it.
My advice to young aspiring African’s in STEM would be to explore your interests broadly. One of the best pieces of advice I was given was to never feel behind. Accumulating lasting knowledge and experience takes time and sometimes that means performing poorly on tests of immediate progress. Don’t be afraid of failure, rather figure out how to fail fast and learn from the mistakes. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to those around you. Often one or two conversations can lead to learning or doing something great!
Science, as a strong contributor to innovation and prosperity; cannot afford to lose any talented individual. Emphasizing STEM across Africa is imperative in today’s world. I will kindly advise young aspiring Africans in STEM to embrace STEM opportunities, scholarship, network and reach out to women and men they admire in STEM related fields. You never know where this opportunities lead to.
Don’t pursue STEM because it is “fashionable” or “prestigious.” Do not pursue STEM expecting you will be lavished by investors rushing to pour billions into your ideas. These are perceptions that change over time. One decade wow, another decade woe. Pursue STEAM because you have a driving passion for using evidence as the continuous basis for discovery and knowledge. There will be plenty of nights in a laboratory wondering why a reaction or experiment is not at all going as planned. There will be days when your sanity and personal integrity are put to the test. There are times when scientific discovery will fly in the face of all social benefits (Galileo paid for his discovery by being condemned and excommunicated). The pursuit of science is a lifelong quest for the truth, even when the truth defies your own personal beliefs and understanding. Pursue STEAM in order to solve the great challenges of our time. http://www.millennium-project.org/challenge-14/
Understand your history and savour the community mentality that a lot of us were taught to have and uphold. It can feel like an overwhelming burden, feeling like you carry a community on your shoulders, but realise that your successes feel so much bigger when you realise that you have an entire continent and diaspora cheering you on.
As a young person myself, I would say never give up on your dreams, so much depends on it. You’re from Africa, the world almost always sees us as not so important people, it’s your duty to change that belief. Get out of your blanket and make the African map glow.
You totally can soar to greater heights as the sky is the limit. Never be afraid to reach out to someone who has taken a similar path, people are always willing to help, all you have to do is ask.
I will like to tell them that, although there may be only a few people like us in your field, you too can contribute to the advancement of global science. You have to keep trying to be better at what you do. Endeavour to get mentorship from people that can help you grow; and lastly, keep striving and persisting, until you succeed.
Our brains were given to us to understand the cosmos. So don’t let negativity and lack of resources deter you from your dream. In science, you are limited by your creativity. So dream big and dream wild!
The value of networking is second to none.Don’t be afraid of failure and trying something new or outside your comfort zone. Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it. Surround yourself with constructive people. Explore available opportunities in this dynamic world,especially by engaging those in the field. Volunteering enriches your understanding of the world. Finally, remember to contribute positively to society – for instance, using your gained skills to solve the problems we face to improve our lives.
Follow your dreams; think in and out of the box! Practice the scientific method in your daily approach towards addressing issues and challenges life throws our way. Enjoy learning for the sake of learning rather than the mere acquisition of certifications/certificates.
They say the sky is the limit, but when you think of it, the sky has no end. Which brings me back to the endless possibilities out there, you just have to search in the right places. Ask those who have taken a similar road.
Have strong mentors who can guide you, both academically and socially. Many times, we associate mentorship only with academia, but we should be able to also set and achieve personal goals in life.
Do what you love and follow your passion. It won’t be easy, however know that you are capable and valuable. Your contribution matters! Use your voice to advance access to STEM and lend your knowledge during social justice movements. STEM doesn’t exist in a vacuum, your voice is needed!
Find a mentor who is in a field you are interested in, and ask them many questions about their journey and experiences. Also, be you! As cliché as this sounds, there are going to be times where you feel like minimizing certain aspects of yourself to make others feel comfortable, but try to remember that your strength lies in the very thing that sets you apart. Also, as much as you can, try to define your “why” early on so that when things get tough (and trust me, they will), you have a tangible reason to keep going. Lastly, don’t forget to take care of yourself! Having a “why” without a healthy “who” would be counterproductive, so be sure to have fun along the journey and take scheduled breaks for yourself as needed.
Never give up, it is not easy but it’s possible. It may be tiresome, worrisome, etc. but eventually you will find it was worth it. You can be what you want.
All dreams are valid, be diligent in your work towards attaining your dreams despite the challenges presented. The path to succeed may not always be straight, but through hard work and perseverance success can be realized.
The present narrative must not deter them from achieving their goals and dreams. When there is a will, there will surely be a way.
Remember that they have as much of a right to be here as everyone else, and probably a unique perspective that very few people in science will share. Also, the thing that you will always have control over is your work. You can’t control how the people you work with will choose to see you, you can control the quality of the science you do. Try and enjoy what you do too, try to remember what made science fun for you and keep hold of that. Finally, build a network of people you can trust. This journey can be very lonely, so your friends will keep you sane.
Your dreams and hopes will pave the way for you to break new ground!
Follow your dream and don’t stop working toward your passion no matter how hard it gets. Once you reach your goals, it’s the most fulfilling feeling ever.
Believe in yourself and seek opportunities; inferiority complex has held back many potential Africans from pursing STEM. Also, seek international exposure. Even if an advert seeks only one candidate from the whole world, believe that you too can compete favourably for it. Find mentors/role models and ask as many questions as comes to your mind.
“We need to go back to the discovery, to posing a question, to having a hypothesis and having kids know that they can discover the answers and can peel away a layer” -Shirley Jackson
Be focused and determined, show the willingness to learn and take up initiatives, never settle for less. Above all, be open-minded.
Filter Your Search...
Search by Country or Field
Do you identify as an African in STEM? If so, please send us some basic information to see if we can profile you on the VSA page.
I think it’s about time you heard my story.