I got to know Yvette through a mutual friend called Kweku Yamoah who highly believes in encouraging STEM among African young women and girls. Here is our interview about Yvette’s journey in STEM:
Hi Yvette, it is an honour to have you join us today
Hi Winnie, it’s a pleasure to be invited here. Kweku mentioned about the work you do and I am glad to share my story with you.
Please introduce yourself to our audience
My name is Yvette Kokui Kondoh, from Ghana. I currently work as a Data Scientist with Wunderman Thompson Data in America.
Walk us through your journey of becoming a Data Scientist
I studied General Science at Achimota Senior High School, pursued a Bachelor of Science degree in Actuarial Science at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana, did my national service with an insurance company and then a Master of Science degree in Applied Statistics at Loyola University Chicago, USA. I started my career as a Data Scientist with Superfluid Labs Ltd for four and half years and I’m now with Wunderman Thompson Data.
Is this the kind of career you imagined while growing up?
My childhood fantasy was to be a Pharmacist then a Medical Doctor but by the time I was completing my senior high school education, my sights were set on building a career in a mathematics-related profession.
My parents have always been supportive of me pursuing whatever program is of interest to me so I had their full support when I chose to study Actuarial Science for my undergraduate degree. It was a fairly new program introduced by the university at the time I was applying to do my undergraduate studies.
What challenges have you faced along the way?
A major challenge I faced along the way, believe it or not, was the fear of failing Mathematics. I had subconsciously entertained self- defeating thoughts about excelling at studying Mathematics, mostly as a result of hearing people talk about how Mathematics was a daunting subject to study, especially for women. This undermined every effort I put into studying the subject and consequently resulted in my poor grades in Mathematics the first few terms of my senior high school education.
What inspires you to overcome the challenges life presents to you?
Among many other things that have inspired me to move forward, the books “The Power of your Mind” by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome and “Battlefield of the Mind” by Joyce Meyer have helped me a great deal to overcome my fear of failing at anything. They have taught me principles for managing my mind well and developing the right mindset for continuous success.
Please tell us about your achievements and prestigious moments of recognition
I received a Graduate Fellowship from Loyola University Chicago to pursue my Masters degree in Applied Statistics.
What do you enjoy doing during your free time?
I enjoy spending time with my husband, enjoy doing word search puzzles, mentoring others and enjoy serving in my church department.
What’s your favourite quote?
“I have a sound mind and an excellent spirit” ~ Pastor Chris Oyakhilome.
How would you encourage a young girl who is just joining STEM?
Nothing can limit you except yourself and the limitation starts in your mind so guard it from entertaining wrong thoughts and opinions and you will excel and break records in your STEM education and career.
Thank you Yvette, for trusting us to put your words to good use. And for taking time to share this journey with us.