Cyhana Lena Williams
GIS Mapping Specialist, Voltic Ghana Limited , a subsidiary of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa
And - Co-Founder of African Women in GIS
Never lose sight of who you are and why you chose STEM.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
Working in a Geo-Business field, I create efficient territory and route maps for product distributors as well as managing the company's geo-business data.
I also manage my Co-Founded Community. As an advocate speaker, I give talks on Women in STEM & GIS, LinkedIn Personal Branding and Self development.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?
I found out about Geographic Information Systems(GIS) when I was researching all the elective courses for my third year undergraduate classes at the University of Ghana.
As a Geography student with a technology interest, I found that course to be the best choice despite discouraging comments from friends about the possible bad grades.
After offering that course and having an internship opportunity in that field, I found the vast applications of GIS from research and working with the software team in that company.
After that internship, I decided that I would pursue that career despite the low awareness, limited jobs and GIS application in my country.
I also made up my mind to create a geo - community for African Women in GIS that will be a platform for Women in Africa and the diaspora who study, work or are enthusiastic about GIS . On that platform, they can learn more, network with fellow African women, be mentored and get job opportunities.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"
Despite offering geography, which was believed to be a course with limited career opportunities in my country, I got integrated into the technology world and got a great career path from it.
The younger me had no idea where geography was going to take her. She just followed her passion but was scared about her uncertain future career choice.
Also, being featured by ESRI in the Women and GIS Volume 2 Book. ESRI is one of the biggest GIS companies in the world and to be featured in their book was an honour younger me could never dream of.
WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?
STEM is the now and the future. STEM creates numerous opportunities and solutions that we would never had thought could be easy to get some years back.
The continuous evolution of STEM keeps me excited and looking forward to the next big thing.
It shows me a bit of what the future looks like.
BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?
First and foremost, evaluate yourself thoroughly to know your passion, interests, weaknesses and other traits.
Next, research and get a mentor in your field of interest. Then, constantly learn new and complementary skills in your field of interest. Attend related events, network, join communities and brand yourself.
Never lose sight of who you are and why you chose STEM, it becomes your fuel to move forward despite possible hurdles.
INSPO / FUN FACT
“No one can determine your capabilities and judge your future. But keep in mind that you must be better than you were yesterday.”