August 13, 2021

#AlumoftheWeek — Sahadatu Larabu, AIMS SA’20

From the AIMS South Africa’20 cohort, we catch up with Sahadatu Larabu, also an AIMS-ESMT IIP’20 Fellow and a Mastercard Foundation scholar, as she takes us on a journey into her experiences at AIMS and life thereafter. She is currently a Data Scientist and a Finance Intern at the Mastercard Foundation.

Q: Tell us about yourself before your journey at AIMS.

Sahada: Before coming to AIMS, I had my undergraduate studies at the University of Ghana, where I graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics and Economics.

Q: How would you describe your time at AIMS?

Sahada: I decided to study at AIMS after a friend, an alumna, told me about it. I would say that has been one of the best decisions and most memorable times of my life. AIMS was a wonderful experience both academically and socially. AIMS gave me a second lovely family with which I spent a little over a year, from meeting like-minded and talented mathematicians across Africa, studying together, taking walks by the Muizenberg beach, going for hikes, and building long-lasting connections and friendships.

AIMS taught me to be a critical thinker, an innovative, and an independent problem solver.

However, AIMS is not for the faint-hearted. It was super intensive and kept me on my toes. I remember I stayed up a whole night without realizing to understand and work on an algebra assignment, only to come out of the lab when it was morning and bright outside. In summary, AIMS has been the best for me!

Q: Tell us about the impact AIMS has had on you.

Sahada: AIMS has had a tremendous impact on me and my career. Getting introduced to Python, Data Science, and Machine Learning at AIMS has been one of the major highlights of my career. The problem-solving skills have equally been instrumental in my career and my daily life.

Q: What would you describe as your post-AIMS success story?

Sahada: AIMS has been a significant contributor to my success journey after completion. As an alumna of the AIMS-ESMT Industry Immersion Program, I gleaned a placement at TheloDB Pty as a Data Science Intern. This opportunity has given me real-world hands-on and industrial experience with Data Science. I believe this has prepared me for the milestones ahead as a Data Scientist.

Also, with my current internship with the Mastercard Foundation, I got to know about the graduate internship program from AIMS. In the next few years, I see myself contributing immensely to problem-solving in areas of Health, Economics, and Finance, using data science and Machine Learning.

The future looks so bright; I am optimistic about that. I am ready for the future!

Q: Which of the SDGs is most important/relevant to you? How do you plan on addressing it in your work?

Sahada: I believe in the power of Data. I am therefore passionate about using Data Science, and Machine Learning applied in areas of economics, finance, and health to solve real-world problems and make an impact. With this passion, I will be able to address SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being and SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth.

Also, currently working as a Finance Intern at the Mastercard Foundation, I indirectly contribute to the Foundation’s work of seeking a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper. Hence, I am helping to address SDG 4: Quality Education.

Q: What is your message to current AIMS students and young people across the continent?

Sahada: Make the best out of your time at AIMS, get to know your colleagues, and build long-lasting relationships with them. Be there for each other. Be ready to share your knowledge and learn from each other. Be optimistic and take up online courses to learn more skills. Take up opportunities AIMS and life has to offer, and remember, the world is your oyster!

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