My Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Journey

Sylvia Sampong

‘My Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Journey at UCLan’

Overall, I had a uniquely amazing journey. Not only did I achieve my main goal of receiving an award of a Master of Science (with distinction) in Renewable Energy Engineering, I also got involved other extra curriculum activities that offered me a fantastic experience in the United Kingdom. 

I was invited on two occasions to share my career journey and inspire girls at the Tauheedul Islamic girls’ school at Blackburn during their mini MBA programme and career fair. I also got the opportunity to partake in a 3 months internship with the university’s centre for waste management programme dubbed Eco-Innovation.

This allowed me to provide research for a craft brewery in Cumbria. Also, I was elected as the course representative for my class and had the avenue of attending student-staff liaison meetings to share students’ feedback. I volunteered in some student union activities as well. I attended trainings as a course representative and sat on a panel for the golden rose awards (an award by students for university staff).

I am officially a STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) Ambassador which means I inspire young people to pursue STEM related careers. All these were made possible during my stay in the UK.


My advice to new scholars

Being a scholar of this prestigious award is an indicative that you are poised to receive the necessary training, knowledge, skills and exposure to enable you make impact in your home country and the world at large. There are so many opportunities in UCLan and United Kingdom. Don’t just study for the grades; explore opportunities for self-development and utilise them. UCLan has a lot to offer students, you as an individual must be hungry enough to find these opportunities. Studies in the UK may be different from your home country, but it takes hard work and determination to sail through.  I joggled remotely playing a mother role and studying and it paid off eventually even though not easy. Make the most of your stay!

What I loved about my stay in UCLan

Since my course required more personal study time, the first thing I will comment on is the library resources. It’s fantastic! Both online and the physical library are filled with the necessary resources I needed. The free late-night bus from library to my accommodation made me feel secured to study at any time. There are free language and professional training taster sessions too. I registered for French and German! I also attended free professional trainings at the School of Business which were very insightful. The very supportive lecturers are enviable. They went above and beyond in their line of work to ensure all my questions were answered. My MSc. Engineering project supervisor (Dr. Justin Whitty) was exceptional! It is not surprising that he was nominated for best lecturer during the golden roses awards and received an award for equality and diversity. I can say it has been the best one year of my life so far.

Congratulations to all new scholars! The world is your oyster!

Best wishes, Mrs. Sylvia Sampong Ekremet 
(2018/2019 Commonwealth Shared Scholar)