Mosunmola Ayoola is a 21-year-old graduate of Industrial Physics from Covenant University. She speaks with Edugist about her experience navigating a male-dominated STEM field. Excerpt
Please share with Edugist, a little about yourself and your background
My name is Ayoola Mosunmola and I’m currently 21 years old. I originally hail from Osun state, although I was born and raised in Lagos state. My educational background includes a degree in Industrial Physics with Electronics and Information Technology from Covenant University. Among my three siblings, I hold the position of the third child in a family of four wonderful girls. My personality is marked by determination and a commitment to achieving my goals, particularly in the realms of information technology and human resource management, which I am profoundly passionate about.
What motivated you to pursue a degree in physics with a focus on electronics and information technology?
I began my academic journey in computer engineering during my first year. However, by the time I reached my second year, I made the decision to switch to industrial physics, as I discovered that my true passion and aptitude lay in this field rather than computer engineering. I came to understand that Industrial Physics incorporates elements of electronics, technology, and engineering, which resonated with my passion.
What are your thoughts about STEM fields being male-dominated and how did you navigate your way through it?
Recognising that the gender ratio in STEM fields skews heavily towards males is crucial. Navigating a STEM environment where men dominate can indeed be a demanding task, but with unwavering determination, motivation, hard work, and a resolute commitment, it is entirely feasible to chart one’s course successfully. This challenge, far from being a hindrance, served as a source of empowerment, helping me bolster my self-assurance and heighten my awareness of the unique value I contribute to this field. I made it a point to address and challenge any stereotypes I encountered, and I maintained a commitment to continuous learning and growth, always taking the time to acknowledge and appreciate my achievements, regardless of their scale.
What areas of physics are your favourites and which did you find the most challenging?
The branch of physics that resonates most with my passion is wireless communication, while the aspect that presented the most significant challenge to me was quantum physics.
How would you apply your knowledge of physics to solve real-world problems?
To begin, I will identify the specific real-world problem that can benefit from the utilisation of physics-based approaches. Then, I will apply my physics-based models to devise solutions tailored to address this issue, potentially involving design enhancements and technological problem-solving. Subsequently, I’ll create prototypes or simulations based on these solutions and rigorously test them in practical situations. I will implement these solutions in the real world, whether they entail new technologies or systems, and continuously monitor the results, making necessary adjustments along the way.
Can you discuss any relevant internships or research experiences you had during your academic years?
While pursuing my academic studies at Covenant University, I had the valuable opportunity to undertake an internship with a communication company. In this capacity, I assumed the role of a trainee IP solutions engineer, where I actively participated in in-depth analysis aimed at identifying and rectifying networking issues. Additionally, I had the privilege of overseeing the preventive maintenance of the company’s networking rack and providing technical support to large organisations. This internship served as an enlightening introduction to the realms of wireless communication and computer networking, making it an incredibly enjoyable and knowledge-rich experience. Moreover, it provided the chance to connect with the remarkable individuals at the company, who have since become like family to me.
How do you stay updated with the latest developments in the field of electronics and information technology?
I stay updated by subscribing to technology news websites, attending seminars and undergoing online courses.
Who is your favourite physicist and why?
The iconic figure Albert Einstein is my favourite physicist because he laid the foundation for modern physics.
Can you describe your final-year project?
For my final year project, I constructed a hand-held metal detector security device. This device helps to improve safety. It is used for detecting harmful or life-threatening metallic objects. It helps prevent the unauthorised entry of metallic materials. It consists of a buzzer, light-emitting diodes, and a liquid crystal display. On reception of a metallic material, the buzzer sounds an alarm, the red light-emitting diode comes on, and the liquid crystal display shows that a metallic object has been detected.
What are your long-term career goals, and how do you envision your skills and knowledge evolving in the future?
In the long run, I am enthusiastic about immersing myself in the realms of wireless communication and computer networking, as well as delving into the field of human resource management.