Nura Abdul-Rahman is a graduate of Ashesi University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Management Information Systems. She is currently a Chevening Scholar pursuing a Master’s Degree in Information Technology at the University of Glasgow, UK. While in Ashesi, she participated in a semester abroad at Macalester College, USA where she majored in Computer Science.
After graduating Ashesi, she worked at DreamOval Limited as a Junior Software Engineer for a year and a half and later worked as Product Development Engineer. As a result, she had the opportunity to work with a number of financial institutions in Ghana to enable them deliver value-added services that have facilitated effective and efficient work output.
As a member of Tech Needs Girls & a Future World Changer, it is her goal to encourage girls to take up Computer Science programs and to find unique and creative ways of teaching computer programming.
Why did you get into STEM?
My interest in STEM heightened after taking programming in my first year at Ashesi University. Prior to coming to Ashesi, I wanted to major in Business Administration but after my first year, I switched to Management Information Systems. This was because it was completely new to me, I enjoyed it, and I wanted to leave my comfort zone. In my second year, I met Regina Honu, the Founder of Soronko Solutions, who was a guest speaker for my Java programming class. She introduced me to Tech Needs Girls and has since been a mentor. I have since applied for STEM opportunities and been an advocate for STEM.
In my second year, I worked on a STEM development project with Princeton University to introduce STEM into Pan African Global Academy Senior High School’s curriculum. I also worked as a Java tutor in my fourth year in Ashesi and in addition, worked on a study concerning the enrollment and retention of students, particularly women, in computer science programs in Ashesi. This was with the aim of assisting the computer science department to increase the enrollment and retention of women in computer science programs in Ashesi.
I also participated in iTeach in 2017, a DreamOval Foundation initiative supported by the Ghana Education Service to provide teachers with free basic ICT training. With the goal to assist teachers to understand and appreciate the role of ICT, specifically internet in education, I taught teachers in rural Accra computer basics and social media networking. This included discussing some job opportunities in ICT and how to improve their computer skills.
What do you consider your greatest achievements?
Working at DreamOval Limited gave me the opportunity to work on some challenging yet amazing projects. While some of the projects I worked on are confidential but by far my greatest achievement has been contributing to the technology community in Ghana and providing value-added services to companies in Ghana mostly in the Financial Sector. Definitely being a Chevening scholar and the youngest in my cohort is one of my greatest achievements
What challenges have you faced as a woman in STEM and how did you overcome them?
Work wise, I have not really faced any challenges but instead, I have been given projects I never thought I was good enough to work on. This is because at Dreamoval, it’s more about what you can bring to the table. They equally try to match you up with a senior engineer to help you through your journey. However sometimes, at a client’s side, people would prefer addressing my male colleagues when there’s an issue or they need clarity. Certain times, some clients might take me less serious and go-ahead to talk to my boss even though I am in charge of managing the project.