This is my story

Updated: Mar 22, 2020

When I was 8 years old, I used to read books about space and from there on, I was hooked into Aerospace Engineering

When I was 8 years old, I used to read books about space and from there on my interest in Aerospace Engineering was established . Unfortunately, at that time I didn’t know what the course was called and if it was available in Botswana or other countries in the world. Therefore, I ended up deviating from engineering and decided that I wanted to become a doctor throughout primary school which was appropriate because everyone around me wanted to be a doctor – I wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon at the time.

When I was about 14 years old, in form 2 at Legae Academy there was a college recruiting fair going on and different universities from around the world had attended. I saw a course catalogue from Adelaide University and while scanning through the booklet I came across the Aerospace Engineering degree and couldn’t keep my eyes off it. As soon I read the name and description of the degree, I knew that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. This is my calling. I thought to myself, “This is the course I wanted to do when I was a little girl”.

From when I was younger I pushed it under the rug because of the lack of acquaintance with the course, I didn’t think of doing it or had the encouragement from my surroundings. Stephanie Wilson, an astronaut from NASA is a woman in engineering who I looked up to and followed growing up. I had a lot of interest in Stephanie because of her journey and her faith. She spoke of how her faith catapulted her to reach her dreams and how she applied her skills in Aerospace Engineering to become an Astronaut. Ever since I watched her interviews about her passion for space flight, it inspired me and gave me the confidence I needed to achieve my dreams of becoming an Aerospace Engineer.

I enjoy engineering because I love the mathematical concepts. It’s fascinating how I can leverage my knowledge when it comes to engineering. I remember while I was in high school, I would solve calculations just to feel relaxed and calm.  I like to deal with engines, thermodynamics and continuing to learn parts / functions of the engine , which captivates me a lot.

My favorite as well as the hardest course I’ve ever taken was called Details of Machines. Everything I did had to be very precise. My former professor was hardest on me the most because he knew my potential in engineering. He made me read a lot of textbooks and as a result I had sleepless nights studying for my final exam. However, I ended up failing the exam because of certain mistakes i made throughout  (Thats how accurate one has to be). My professor and I had a bond because of going to his office multiple times for help. Owing to the fact that he knew how hard I was working, to learn Details of Machines to the best of my ability , he ended up giving me the highest grade in my class.

I like to learn about the latest technology out in the market. Therefore I enjoy doing a lot of research on hot topics for example  what NASA is trying to establish i.e Electric Propulsion – Ionic Wind Thruster ! I believe that aerospace is my calling. My person of interest at the moment is Christopher Ferguson, he is one of NASA’s last commander of a space shuttle mission and announced his retirement from NASA in 2011. In the past, I’ve also spent quite a few weeks just watching documentaries on how NASA became one of the top aerospace companies known.

I was extremely excited when I found out that I was selected for the Russian academic scholarship. As a women engineer from Botswana, I feel that it is my duty to pave the way for younger women in Botswana .To break the stigma of “women would not be able to fit into the male dominated aerospace engineering industry”. Being away from Botswana for so long has inspired me to give back and take what I have learned from school to Botswana . I want to make a positive impact in the aviation industry in Botswana. I want us to be known as the heart of aviation in Africa.

Please follow the links for more information:

Stephanie Wilson

Mae Jemison

Kathrine Johnson

Chris Ferguson

Adelaide University Bachelor or Science Program

Natasha Moleele.

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