On this week’s #AlumoftheWeek, we catch up with AIMS South Africa ’19 and AMMI Ghana ’20 alumna Berthine Nyunga Mpinda from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Mastercard Foundation Scholar and AIMS-ESMT Industry Immersion Program alumna is currently a Tutor at AIMS Cameroon.
Q: Tell us about your journey before AIMS.
Berthine: Before coming to AIMS, I completed a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics at the University of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). After my graduation, I worked for a year as a teaching assistant in the same institution.
Q: How would you describe your time at AIMS?
Berthine: I have spent my last three years at AIMS, and I must say that it has been life-changing! AIMS has been a wonderful experience both academically and socially. It offered me a 24/7 hour learning environment with support from tutors, mentors, and lecturers from all over the world. AIMS helped me understand that language should not be a barrier to achieving your goals. Coming from a Francophone country, I could not even speak English! But AIMS provided me with a training environment that improved my English language skills. Also, AIMS has helped me understand that my career journey could motivate the younger generation to pursue STEM, especially women.
Q: Tell us about the impact AIMS has had on you.
Berthine: AIMS opened doors to many opportunities. Thanks to AIMS, I am an AIMS-ESMT Industry Immersion Program and an AMMI Alumna. I cannot forget to mention the network that AIMS has provided me. I have been to three AIMS Centres within the last three years as a student and tutor, and this experience has been an excellent opportunity for me to learn and adapt to other cultures. AIMS has helped me become a problem-solver, improved my programming skills, and introduced me to Data Science and Machine Learning.
Q: What would you describe as your post-AIMS success story?
Berthine: The training and skills acquired at AIMS are enough to start a give-back project. I have devoted my time to serve as the Vice Curator for the AIMS Alumni DRC Chapter. I help relay important information to other alumni from my country and set them up for opportunities in this role. I am currently serving as a Tutor at AIMS Cameroon, with particular attention to Data Science. This role enables me to share my experience in Machine Learning with students through mentorship and practical training. This role also fuels my desire to constantly research to develop innovative ideas that help solve real-world problems. In addition, I have supported the establishment of the Women in Machine Learning and Data Science Kinshasa chapter, where Machine Learning skills are being passed on to young girls to stimulate their interest in STEM. I regard these as my success story as I await an opportunity to join a PhD program anytime soon.
Q: Which of the SDGs is most important/relevant to you? How do you plan on addressing it in your work?
Berthine: For me, the essential SGDs are Quality education and Gender equality (SGDs 4 and 5). As a teaching assistant, I provide quality education to African students and ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development.
Additionally, as the Women in Machine Learning and Data Science Kinshasa chapter organizer, I contribute to the involvement of more women in STEM, inspiring girls and young women to dream big and chase career opportunities in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence.
Q: What is your message to current AIMS students and young people across the continent?
- Takeadvantage of the beautiful opportunity offered by AIMS.
- Make the best out of your time at AIMS, get to know your colleagues, and learn from them.
- Work with determination; never let go of your dreams!