The world is your oyster says our International Commonwealth Commission scholar

The Commonwealth Commission in the UK offers scholarship for MSc candidates to spend time at a UK university as part of their doctoral studies in their home country. Here Sylvia Sampong, from Ghana, our International Commonwealth Commission scholar (2018/19), tells us what she got up to.

Sylvia Sampong studied Renewable Energy Engineering, MSc.
Sylvia Sampong studied Renewable Energy Engineering, MSc.

“My experience of studying by candle and lantern is why I want to help my country explore its vast array of renewable energy sources to generate a reliable power supply for its citizens and the African continent as a whole. It’s the reason I was driven to study Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

"As a STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) Ambassador I’m also passionate about inspiring young people to pursue STEM related careers. As part of my time at the University I was privileged 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 talked about my STEM journey as a woman, the challenges I faced and how I overcame them. I shared snippets of community projects I’ve been involved with and the principles I use to build capacity for influence as a female in the workplace.

"Amongst other opportunities I seized whilst at the University, was a three-month waste management programme internship, Eco-Innovation, which led to research for a craft brewery in Cumbria."

"I also became a course representative for my class, volunteered for the Students’ Union and sat on a panel for the Golden Rose Awards (an award by students for university staff).

"Being a scholar of this prestigious award is about being enabled to make an impact in your home country and the world at large. I would urge students to make the most of University life; don’t just study for the grades, explore opportunities for self-development and use them. You need to be hungry to find these opportunities and be determined and work hard. I had to juggle a mothering role, remotely, with studying. It wasn’t easy but it paid off and I’ve achieved my goal of an award of a Master of Science (with distinction) in Renewable Energy Engineering.

"My time here at the University, supported by amazing lecturers, has been the best one year of my life so far.

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