Meet Esther, one of the pioneer girls from the first intake of CMU-R. She also happens to be the class vice president and the CEO of a start-up called Osac Connect Ltd. Osac Connect Ltd is a start-up that develops mobile and web application in Rwanda.
We caught up with her as a student currently about to finish the program, to ask, if it was all it was cracked up to be? How she overcame the challenges that came.
- What were your childhood dreams and ambitions?
When I was a child I dreamed to become a surgeon specifically neurosurgeon and above all I wanted to have skills that will enable me to help people in one way or another.
- Why did you choose CMU?
When I was in High school, my goal was to attend one the best universities in the Rwanda. While I was in my final year in undergraduate, starting to search for possible options for masters; I heard that Carnegie Mellon was opening shop in Rwanda.
This was a perfect timing because I was involved in a lot of things and had started to actively work on my career and the changes that the country was undergoing through and the speed at which they were happening , I thought to myself that it was not the best time to spend 2 years out of the country.
Thus having CMU here to acquire the knowledge and education I have always dreamt about as well as directly applying that knowledge on the ground was more appealing.
- What are some of the challenges you have faced? How have you overcome them?
Since I have entered CMU, my life has completely changed. CMU life requires dedication thus sleepless nights have become routine, my social life has been reduced to non-existent and above all I have given up working for my company in order to succeed here.
Nevertheless, through my internship and other practical project I have been involved in, I realized that it was all worth because no amount of Google searching would enable me to acquire the skills I have gained in the past 15 months.
That is what keeps me going: My company will eventually be better off!
- Do you still have the same dreams and ambitions as when you were a child?
One thing is for sure, I won’t be a neurosurgeon but nevertheless my dream to help people is still strong and I hope I will get to it.
- Has CMU helped you achieve some of those dreams and ambitions?
I believe CMU is one of the biggest steps that will equip me with the ability to achieve all my dreams.
- What advice do you have for girls who are considering master’s degrees
My advice is:
“Among all the things we do in life, if you choose the right education, you can never regret it. All knowledge that you acquire will help you in your life. Life is not worth living if you do not have something to aspire to, a goal or a dream and hard work is the only thing that will help you achieve whatever you aspire to in life.”
So do you have a goal that you aspire to?
Are you already a hard worker that is sees challenges as opportunities?
Then Carnegie Mellon Rwanda is