A Proud moment indeed, as I walk across the stage holding my phone doing a selfie video to capture ‘my’ moment forever. After nearly a year of completing our BSc (Hons) in Oil and Gas Management, we finally got to attend our graduation ceremony last month. Regardless of the fact that I had already received my degree certificates months before my graduation day, the excitement was still very present.
Now, let me tell you a story…
As a child, we all know what we want to become when we grow up. I, in particular, wanted to be an Engineer. However, when I was about 9 or 10 years old, I found a new love for ancient history and wanted to then be an Archaeologist historian but specialised in Egyptology. Everything about ancient history fascinated me. I remember going to a little library near my house in France to read all about the Ancient civilisation, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greek, Ancient kingdoms of Africa, etc.. I also loved sports, from ice skating to athletics to basketball, I loved it all.
I moved to the UK from France when I was 14 years old. I did not know how to speak any form of English, yet, I was told I had two years to learn the language, complete my GCSE, my A level and AS in French all in year 11, and I did with flying colours. I am sure some of you are thinking: “ A level and AS in year 11? How?“, however, with my authorisation, my secondary school gave me the opportunity to do my A level and AS in French in year 11 since I had an advantage.
After that chapter of my life was over, I then had to make a decision to either to go to six from or college. I had a very long talk with my mother at the time and I remember her telling me as I quote: “you have to think and make the right decision as your decision will shape your future“. At that moment I weighted my strengths and abilities and decided to go to college and do my diploma in Health and social care. Yes, health and social care! At one point in my life, I wanted to become a nurse. I’ve always wanted to help people, to help the poor, to go to villages in Africa and help the children in need (my fantasies). Nevertheless, coming from an athletic background, I also wanted to do something related to sports. Here I am, confused about my future and what to do with it.
Let’s fast forward 2 years later….
I was awarded a Diploma in Health and Social care, so now my next chapter in life was the UNIVERSITY.
Every African parent’s favourite word! This is the exact moment your parent(s) have been waiting for all their lives. For them to proudly say: “My daughter or my son is a university student”. With my diploma, I got an admission at the University of Bolton to study Sports Science. It seemed like my love for sports won the battle over wanting to become a nurse or getting myself into sports.
A few months into my studies at the University of Bolton, I knew the course was not for me and decided to drop out. That year, I went to Ghana, I had a long conversation with my grandmother, that’s when I started doing some research on the oil and gas industry.
At that particular moment of my life, I felt like I was behind which was very unusual to me as I’ve always planned my life. I had changed my mind several times when it came to what I wanted to become, but I’ve always made sure I achieve my changed plans. But, this ‘University chapter’ of my life seemed to be crashing down.
My grandmother made me understand that life is not a race with other people but with yourself as an individual. It is okay to not know what career you want for yourself despite what society wants you to believe that after a certain age you should have your life planned out but plans don’t always go according to plans. It is okay to need more time than others to finally realise your passion and what you were destined to do.
She said: “Ohemaa, you are an intelligent young lady, and I know you will use that power of knowledge within yourself to change the world in your own way one day”
At that moment, I knew exactly what I wanted to become. I’ve always wanted to make an impact in the world, help people, advocate for people and what other industry to get myself into than the world’s two major industries: Oil and gas and Politics.
Fast forward to a few years later….
I am now a graduate in Oil and Gas management and currently completing my master’s degree in International Relations and Democratic Politics.
I hope this blog helps and motivates someone out there.