The year 2021 was an exciting year for us at the Alumni Relations Office as we went all out to bring our alumni’s wonderful testimonies and success stories across the globe. We are privileged to announce a continuation of this exercise as our alumni continue to impact Africa and the world at large.
We wish you a “Happy New Year” as we kick start the year with the story of a graduate of our Cooperative (Coop) program in AIMS Cameroon. The Coop program at AIMS is tailored towards training students for 12-month in industrial mathematics and offers them a 6-month industrial internship at companies in need of their services.
In this edition of the #AlumoftheWeek, we speak with the Mastercard Foundation Scholar Rose Yvette Essomba Bandolo.
Please share with us your academic journey before coming to AIMS
Rose: Before joining AIMS Cameroon, I had completed Université Des Montagnes, and I was doing a master’s degree in mathematical modeling in economics and finance. It was pretty interesting. We got out of the usual abstract world through practical exercises to get familiar with the real world. It was an enriching journey, and it allowed me to set up some basis in mathematical modeling.
How will you compare that with your time at AIMS?
Rose: The application of mathematics in solving everyday problems has always fascinated me. At my former institution, I was already hearing many of my classmates praising the merits of an institute having the capacity to train young mathematicians to solve everyday problems, exactly like the one I envision. The desire to experience such an institution compelled me to apply to AIMS Cameroon. At AIMS, I realised it offered far more than my imagination. It was a total shock. I was amazed by all aspects; the way of teaching, the collaboration between student and teacher, the environment, the values of Pan-Africanism, the beautiful atmosphere. This barrier that we have long felt between the teacher and the student was broken, which allowed me to discover many abilities that I had buried in myself. AIMS truly brought me out of a shell I had built for myself.
With the experience mentioned above, what will you say is AIMS’s impact on you?
Rose: When I arrived at AIMS, I was rather shy. The training was purely in English, and coming from a French-speaking background, I was afraid and even ashamed to speak in public. But the system is made such that a student can’t remain without expressing himself. The assignments, presentations, competitions, and the English-Speaking and French-Speaking pairing of students in the same room are some of the strategies that have improved my level of English incredibly. At AIMS, I learned to express myself without fear, to share my opinion even if it doesn’t go in the same direction as others. AIMS allowed me to develop my critical thinking skills, which I have not failed to apply in the professional world and even in my everyday life.
Though it’s not been long you left AIMS, what would you describe as your post-AIMS success story?
Rose: After AIMS, I turned to a professional path. Although my profile seemed very interesting to pursue a PhD, I wanted to deepen my experience in the working world. So I started to apply to job offers both inside and outside my country. I was astonished to see how much my profile was coveted. After several interviews, I finally settled for the Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Entrepreneurship Fellowship run by the Master of Science for Climate Resilience program in Senegal. It has been a great experience, and I owe it to AIMS, which equipped us enough to go out into the world and show our potential.
What is your message to current AIMS students and young people across the continent?
Rose: Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. As long as you stay there, you are being deprived of exploiting your knowledge to its fullest, thus shadowing something big the world could gain through you.