Priscilla Mbama Abasi
GIS Technician, FlyZipline
Don't be afraid to travel any path in STEM that is less traveled by women.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I enable Zipline's drones to fly safely from the distribution centers to health facilities through mapping and geographic information systems.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?
While growing up, I thought studying science meant becoming a Doctor or a nurse. So even though I wanted to study science(even against my parents will) I knew I'd be a bad doctor because I hated hospitals and injections. So after high school, I decided to study Biochemistry at the University but I got admitted to study Geomatic Engineering instead. I didn't like it initially but gradually I realised the enormous benefit of engineering, surveying and geographic information systems in solving problems in my society and I loved it. Now I may not have ended up as a Doctor but I still get to save lives every day!
WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"
I wish younger me knew that I could work with the largest medical drone delivery company in the world. I wish younger me knew that I could still save lives by studying engineering.
WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?
STEM is fun. STEM is innovation and problem solving. I look forward to thinking and analyzing data to help banks, governments and other institutions make decisions. I look forward to mapping areas in Tanzania that still practice Female Genital Mutilation so that NGOs can have maps with directions to these villages to save the girls. I look forward to waking up and bringing up sites and plan safe routes so that Zipline's drones can supply medical products to hard to reach areas safely!
BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?
Be open minded and willing to learn. Don't be afraid to travel any path in STEM that is less traveled by women. STEM will afford you the opportunity to solve problems and impact your society, so embrace it. Think big! Think about going to space, think about building things no one has seen before.
INSPO / FUN FACT
"Be the change you wish to see in the world" - Mahatma Gandhi