And our #AlumoftheWeek is Prince Romeo Mensah! An AIMS Ghana’ 2013 alumnus, Romeo is currently a Research Associate and Postdoc Fellow at Imperial College, London.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
Romeo: Before AIMS, I spent six years at the University of Ghana. I majored in mathematics for four years, graduating as the best mathematics student of my year. I then did my one-year national service as a teaching assistant at the Mathematics Department and was retained for another year before joining AIMS Ghana in 2012.
Q: How would you describe your experience at AIMS?
Romeo: Being part of the first cohort of AIMS Ghana students meant that I spent the first half of my time at AIMS in Accra/Tema and the second half in Biriwa, some 140kms away. I especially enjoyed the Friday evening strolls in Accra and the odd beer to unwind after a hectic week of AIMS work. In Biriwa, we also had a fine beach by the sea, which, unfortunately, I never swam in. However, my main highlight at AIMS was experiencing Africa through the eyes of the many nationals who made up the cohort. Embarrassingly, I still haven’t visited any other African country but the one of my birth, Ghana. Having met these many different yet similar personalities while at AIMS makes this embarrassment slightly bearable!
Q: Tell us about the impact AIMS has had on you.
Romeo: The Latex and programming skills I developed at AIMS have particularly been beneficial in my career journey post AIMS. For example, the theses of the research degree I did right after AIMS had a numerical component that I would have been unable to complete without the skills developed at AIMS. Also, although accurate report and article writing skills are a crucial part of the life of a researcher, I have not quite come across the opportunity to learn these skills explicitly, except for AIMS. It has therefore been of immense help to have already gained these skills at AIMS.
Q: Which of the SDGs is most important/relevant to you? How do you plan on addressing it in your work?
Romeo: SDG 4 (Quality education) is most important to me. I am fortunate enough to be a product of quality education and some exceptional academic mentoring. However, quality evolves, and we can continuously improve and expand access to quality education. Therefore, my main goal is to help accelerate the achievement of quality education that is relevant to the African continent. In this regard, I have found it essential to build my capacity and learn the best practices towards achieving and disseminating quality education.
Q: What would you describe as your post-AIMS success story?
Romeo: I have had the opportunity to study and work in different countries since AIMS. As a result, I have gained varied experiences in academic cultures across these countries. Since I see myself staying in academia and aim to help offer quality education to more African youths, I consider these experiences my main success story because they will make me a better academic going forward.
Q: What is your message to current AIMS students and young people across the continent?
Romeo: Be proactive and stay informed on issues relating to your interests and ambitions. Make good use of the internet and take advantage of the many opportunities that come your way at AIMS and elsewhere. Good opportunities rarely repeat themselves so once you feel strongly about pursuing an opportunity, go for it! Finally, see the value in yourself and manifest it in whatever you do rather than seeking to please and receive validations from individuals.