This week, we journey into Nana Ajoah’s experiences to glimpse into her life after graduating from AIMS South Africa in 2015.
Q: Tell us about your academic life before AIMS.
Nana Adjoah: I enrolled at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, in 2008 for a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, which I completed in 2012. I remember what one of my lecturers used to say to me. I quote, “Your work appears to be very good, but you are not serious”. That was me before I joined AIMS South Africa. I was not ready to learn anything outside the modules I took during my undergraduate days. Once I was done with my tests and quizzes, I didn’t see the essence of even revising my notes. My attitude towards studies was nothing to write home about. One of my professors introduced me to AIMS, and lo and behold, I got admitted to AIMS South Africa in 2014.
Q: Tell us about your time at AIMS and how the AIMS model has impacted you.
Nana Adjoah: I am not sure why I decided to join AIMS, but it turned out to be one of the greatest decisions I have ever made in my life, although my first few months at AIMS were tough. I still had that carefree mindset and attitude from my undergraduate school days.
With the motivation I had from the tutors, especially Dr. Martha Kamkuemah and my classmates, I sailed through successfully. My ten months stay at AIMS made me a better version of myself. I learned to be an excellent researcher and how to live and relate with various people from different backgrounds and cultures. This, I consider as something one cannot easily get from the typical university setting.
AIMS equipped me with the necessary skills like presentation, programming, and a resilient attitude towards research. These have improved my performance in my area of study.
Q: What would you describe as your post-AIMS success story?
Nana Adjoah: I would say obtaining my first MSc in Mathematical Sciences through AIMS is a success on its own. Also, with the partial bursary support I received from AIMS, I got another MSc from the University of the Western Cape in 2017. Later in June 2018, I registered at the North-West University for a PhD in Applied Mathematics. Guess what! I had my PhD graduation last Friday, 28th of May 2021. I owe it all to AIMS!
Q: Which of the SDGs is most important/relevant to you? How do you plan on addressing it in your work?
Nana Adjoah: Quality education it is. Having had a feel of that from AIMS, I try not to be just a maths lecturer to my students but also a mentor. My course comes with a blend of simple skills, theoretical and practical work to equip the younger ones I am training with the necessary tools to help them make it out there.
Q: What is your message to current AIMS students and young people across the continent?
Nana Adjoah: AIMS has given you the opportunity of a lifetime, so don’t blow it. Make excellent use of that opportunity because having passed through AIMS, there is nothing you cannot do under this sun with determination. Just believe that you are capable.