I got to know Sylvia through a mutual connection on LinkedIn. Here is our interview about her STEM journey:
Hi Sylvia, thank you for sparing some time to speak with me
Hi Winnie, you are welcome.
What is your full name please?
My name is Sylvia Ama Sampong Ekremet.
What do you do currently?
I am the Business Development Manager of Daystar Power Group Limited in Ghana; a renewable energy company with focus on reducing energy cost for Industrial and Commercial (C&I) clients through the provision of clean, affordable and reliable solar power solutions. We operate and maintain 250+ sites across Ghana, Nigeria, Togo and Senegal. In my role, I ensure solar photovoltaic system designs offer cost-effective solutions for C & I clients and perform other related obligations.
Please tell us a little bit about your STEM journey
I spent my childhood and adolescence in the Western region of Ghana. I am the second of three children: two female and one male. Growing up, my dad who is a former Bursar of a senior secondary school, took keen interest in my education. I remember him giving me a new word every day after work. He would explain what it meant and also teach me how to spell it. A great mentor during my childhood; he always encouraged me and told me it was normal to have healthy intellectual competition with the boys in school. As a result of this, it was never strange anytime I found myself as a minority in school or career.
I chose to attend mixed senior high school (Fijai Secondary School) and pursued General Science. I was the girls’ prefect during my stay. At the university (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology) where I studied Electrical and Electronic Engineering, I was among 10 ladies out of about 88 students. During my master’s study at the University of Central Lancashire, United Kingdom, I was the only African and female student in my class. I studied Renewable Energy Engineering on Commonwealth Shared Scholarship 2018/2019.
In my career journey, I have garnered experience from the power, telecommunications, fintech and renewable energy industries since 2013.
I am fortunate to have a supportive family helping when needed.
What have you found inspiring and challenging along this journey?
Taking up new opportunities or tasks is mostly challenging simply because it takes me out of my comfort zone. However, I am mostly inspired by how I can make progress when I take charge of new opportunities and make impact. It is challenging to combine work in a fast-paced industry with domestic duties. For me, I believe if I put my mind to do something, it is doable. I try to do my best balancing the two though.
What do you enjoy doing outside work?
I love to spend time with my family and try out new recipes. I also love baking for my husband and children. Occasionally, I spend time alone at the beach or lakeside to write short articles.
Any achievements & awards?
- Panellist for International Women’s Day organised by the Canadian High Commission in Ghana, March 2020.
- Keynote speaker at Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School’s Summer Career and Aspirations day, 2019, United Kingdom.
- Facilitator at the Mini-MBA event in Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School and Sixth Form College in Blackburn, United Kingdom, 2019.
- Awarded Commonwealth Shared Scholarship at University of Central Lancashire, 2018/2019 to study Master of Science in Renewable Energy Engineering.
- Panel member for shortlisting nominees and winners for Golden Roses awards for university staff 2018/2019 at the University of Central Lancashire, United Kingdom.
What is your favourite quote?
This quote is from one of my favourite authors on leadership. “Growth doesn’t just happen.” ~ The Law of Intentionality (by Dr. John C. Maxwell – 15 Invaluable laws of growth). I strongly believe that having a growth mindset and being deliberate about it is a great springboard for scaling higher heights.
How would you encourage a young girl in STEM?
Never be afraid or shy to ask for help. People are mostly willing to help so do not struggle figuring out stuff all alone.
Matthew 7:7-8 reads: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Thank you very much Sylvia for giving me the opportunity to share your story. We need more women like you in this world, especially in Africa. Thank you once again!