Women in Economic Geology – Euclesia P. F. Cossa

What is Economic Geology? What kind of background do I need to become an Economic Geologist? All these and more are answered in today’s interview;

Hi Euclesia, thank you for accepting to bring us into your world today. I am grateful to Yara for recommending you
Hi Winnie, thank you for reaching out. This is a great opportunity! I am glad to be considered.

Who is Euclesia?
It is my pleasure to introduce myself to you as Euclesia Paulina Francisco Cossa. Currently, I’m a final year Ph.D. candidate of Economic Geology at Akita University where I study the Geological and geochemical characteristics of the gold prospects of Central Mozambique: Constraints on the ore genesis.

Walk us through your childhood into joining Economic Geology
As a child, I grew up in a simple, humble, and conservative family. I suffered bullying from teachers and classmates because my parents didn’t have money to buy school bags for me. I wore my mother’s clothes to school and tied them with a rope to keep them from falling off. My sandals were custom-made from tires by the shoemaker to last longer. Due to a lack of money, we ate the same food every day for some years but thank God we did not go hungry.

One of my biggest dreams was to appear on TV as a judge or doctor, so all those who laughed at me and said I would never succeed would see me. My family members also did not believe in me because none of them had more than a high school diploma or a professional technician degree.

Having finished 10th grade, I chose science because I liked it. My aunt encouraged me to remain in science and led me to attend scientific lectures by female scientists. So I decided to enroll in the agronomy course at Eduardo Mondlane University in 2009. That’s where I got introduced to geology, which I love. By my graduation, Geology had won over agronomy.

I ended up graduating as the best student in my department in 2015. It was a surprise for me to have my name announced as the top student in the Geology Department during graduation.

Apart from the financial constraints, what other challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
The bullying I suffered from elementary to undergraduate school motivated me to work hard, plus my desire to prove to those who doubted my abilities that I could achieve what I wanted.

A few months after graduating, I had a job interview at Instituto Superior Politécnico de Tete (ISPT). I had the best grade and was selected as a teaching assistant, but I felt incomplete since I wanted to pursue a master’s degree. Six months in, I applied for a scholarship in Portugal, and I was the second-best candidate, but the director of the ISPT recommended I apply for one in Japan.

I cried a lot because there was an opportunity for me but I couldn’t speak English. I wondered how I would go on to get a graduate degree in English without knowing the language! After thorough thought, I accepted the challenge and got the scholarship. I came to Japan to specialize in economic geology.

Getting my master’s degree was not an easy task. I did everything to improve my English such as studying grammar, watching movies, listening to music, and speaking with colleagues without fear of making mistakes. As I was about to finish my master’s degree, my supervisor recommended I apply for the Ph.D. Everyone was confused because for those who suffered a lot during the master’s the logical thing was to return home and feel victorious but I accepted another challenge.

Last year I was elected President of the Society of Economic Geologists Akita University Chapter, the term ended last February.

Wow, that’s a lot of resilience if you ask me! I am so proud of the person that you are, especially when faced with challenges.

How do you spend your time out of work?
I love to cook, whenever I have time I create new dishes. I read motivational books like ‘How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie; Limitless upgrade your brain and unlock your exceptional life by Jim Kwik among others. Hanging out with friends for sightseeing, dancing, and singing.

What is your favourite quote?
My favourite quote is: “If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.” ~ Nora Roberts

What is your word of encouragement for a young girl in STEM?
To achieve great things in life, everything starts from the dream and the desire to make it come true.

What makes us special are the life experiences we have, but none of them are good or bad that can make you give up on your dreams. God made the woman with multiple abilities, you can do everything. The world is waiting for you.

This was a very inspiring story, Euclesia! Thank you for not giving up on yourself – it’s hope for the next generation.

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14 Responses

  1. Really inspiring and worth emulating. Paulina pliz keep the fire burning n cook the nice dishes, maybe I shall taste the food another day.

  2. Ja that is great! Congratulations! I saw you when you were a little girl when your took me to your home at Matola, yes you never spoke any English then. I join your family in wishing you all the best in your persuit of a Ph D in economic geology!

    1. It is surely wonderful. That’s why we keep sharing these stories. We want any young girl out there to know that anything is possible as long as you want it enough. Thanks for reading, Delio!

  3. “If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.” Inspiring…
    Very good it’s wonderful to finally see your hard work and dedication keep rising May God all mighty bless your journey and your life.

  4. Congratulations for your amazing journey Euclesia, and thanks to WTC for featuring a very inspiring Mozambican story!👌

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