And our #AlumOfTheWeek is Rehema Kwamboka Ouko, AIMS Cameroon alumna, who is currently pursuing further studies in Biostatistics at Hasselt University, Belgium. We caught up with her for the gist of her scientific journey.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself before coming to AIMS.
Rehema: My passion for understanding how data and numbers, in general, can be used for insightful decision making propelled my application to study applied statistics with computing at the Maasai Mara University, Narok, Kenya, where I graduated in 2016. After graduating, I had the opportunity to work temporarily with some organisations in Kenya. These included the Busara Centre, Innovations for Poverty Action, Dalberg Research, and Geopoll. I gained some productive working experience in these industries and developed a great urge to enhance my leadership skills. Thereafter, I secured a postgraduate scholarship to study for a Master’s in Public Administration at Peking University China, from which I graduated in July 2019.
Q: How would you describe your experience at AIMS?
Rehema: At Dalberg Research, I had a supervisor by the name of Mr Steve Bicko Cygu. He was an AIMS South Africa Alumnus. His way of working was unique, and he always stood out. His work style made me yearn for the AIMS model, and that was how I found myself at AIMS Cameroon in September 2019. I found the AIMS learning environment unique as compared to the standard university setup. The collaboration between students, tutors and lecturers made life smooth for me. It was nice to experience a 24-hour learning environment. I recall my fellow students creating a joke on the AIMS initial as African Institute for Minimum Sleep as there was a lot to learn.
Q: Tell us about the impact AIMS has had on you.
Rehema: My journey at AIMS Cameroon exposed me to intense knowledge on core areas applicable to many real-life challenges. I realised that many of such issues could be tackled by applying mathematical and statistical modelling, programming, and many others. AIMS equipped me with academic knowledge and essential skills such as CV and motivation letter writing, presentation and communication skills, networking, and the essence of giving back to society.
Q: Which of the SDGs is most important/relevant to you? How do you plan on addressing it in your work?
Rehema: “Good Health and Well-Being” is the most important for me because health is wealth. I aspire to apply my expertise in biostatistics, data science and mathematics to strategically solve problems in the medical industry using the available data.
Q: What would you describe as your post-AIMS success story?
Rehema: Immediately after AIMS, I was offered an opportunity with the VLIRUOS scholarship to pursue an MSc in Statistics and Data Science with a specialisation in Biostatistics at Hasselt. The Latex and R programming knowledge learnt at AIMS makes my life easier to deal with my project assignment. It also gives me the confidence to share my knowledge with other colleagues.
Q: What is your message to current AIMS students and young people across the continent?
Rehema: Collaborating and making the most out of AIMS is the best thing. AIMS believed in you by selecting you and so believe in yourself that you are capable. Work smart and know that there are a lot of opportunities after AIMS waiting for you!