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UCB Personal History Statement Proofread

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I grew up in a home where a premium was placed on education. My parents did their best to provide my siblings and I with the best education irrespective of cost or gender. They cultivated in me a drive to think deeply and differently. My parents are medical doctors and as a child, I listened to them tell stories about patients who came to them very ill and left healthy and strong after treatment. I observed the joy and satisfaction they derived from helping to heal people. Although I was not interested in a career in medicine, they influenced my decision to use my career as a means to touch lives positively. Their support encouraged me to pursue my dreams without limiting myself based on stereotypes and to strive for greatness through hard work and perseverance.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for many Nigerians particularly females in some parts of Nigeria. Many females are seen as inferior and are not given the same rights and privileges as their male counterparts. Many girls are abused, deprived of education and forced into early marriage to much older men. As a result most young girls from these parts suffer low self-esteem and believe they cannot achieve much in life. They grow up believing their life's purpose is to be wives and mothers. They are not encouraged to reach for greater goals. I remember visiting a clinic in Northern Nigeria at the age of eighteen. I was heartbroken by the number of girls, many younger than myself suffering from complications and diseases that arose as a result of early pregnancy. Their tales were disheartening, many had been abandoned by their husbands and left to die. This marked a turning point for me; I decided that breaking through this barrier would be one of my life's goals. I want to make it possible for every girl to have access to higher education. I want every girl to be given the opportunity my parents gave me.

As a means of reaching my goal of breaking through the barrier faced by many ladies in Nigeria, I am presently a member of the Gender Equality Community Development Service Group in the community where I live. We hold seminars that help create awareness on the various challenges faced by women in Nigeria and the need for gender equality. We encourage young girls to aspire for greatness and pursue higher education and fulfilling careers. We also hold skill acquisition programs for women to enable them acquire skills that would empower them to be self-sufficient. In addition, we contribute to providing needed infrastructure for less fortunate students in public schools that are inadequately equipped. Education is very important to me because education and awareness creation are the first steps to breaking this barrier. Parents need to be enlightened on the ability of every individual irrespective of gender to achieve great things. Young girls need to be empowered to think differently.

Growing up in a diverse country with so many cultures, languages and values has exposed me to a world very few have been privileged to experience. It has also molded me into the resilient and tenacious person I am today. Throughout my education, I have distinguished myself and shown myself to be a very hard working and determined person. I was the best graduating student in my high school and the third best graduating student from the department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Benin in 2014. Living in a country where many technologically inclined systems are plagued with performance and reliability issues influenced my desire to pursue a career in Engineering. My fascination with telecommunication, networking and wireless communication piqued my interest in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. I struggled to be the best I could be in spite of the many challenges I faced. I stayed up many nights studying hard with the little light from a wax candle due to the erratic power supply in Nigeria. Internet access in Nigeria is also very unreliable and quite expensive. As a student, sometimes I did not have access to the internet, this made doing assignments and projects a rigor. Another technological problem we face in Nigeria is the bad reception often experienced by callers during phone calls, sometimes calls even get cut off midway. My interest in graduate study came with the realization that most of these challenges faced are due to the lack of technical know-how. A master’s degree from a developed country would give me the opportunity to understand how properly functioning technological systems show work and how it compares to that of Nigeria. It would also provide with the skills and knowledge necessary to solve these challenges.

Nigeria has a “vision 2020” to be one of the 20 largest economies in the world by the year 2020. My contribution to the telecommunication industry by using the knowledge I would have gained from the master’s program practically as well as for research purposes would help in strengthening Nigeria’s economy by enabling it have one of the best telecommunication industries in the world thus encouraging investors.  As communication is critical to the development of a nation’s economy, this contribution would significantly aid Nigeria in the realization of its “vision 2020” goal.  The impact of my contribution to this industry would be seen in the revolutionary developments that drive it to become one of the best in the world. It would also be observed in the growth Nigeria’s economy experiences has a result.

The University of California Berkeley is renowned for its academic excellence as well as its high quality faculties and world class research facilities. The learning environment is collaborative and diverse with very bright and passionate people. I am confident that it has the right environment to nurture my interests and enable me to realize my career goals. I hope that I would be privileged to be part of this remarkable program.

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