Born in Asmara in 1997, Ruth Solomon is an aspiring young Engineer who is pursuing her dream profession. She is currently working in Areza as an electrical engineer in a solar power plant in the sub-zone. She has proved to her peers that gender is not an issue when it comes to achieving one’s vision. Following is an interview with her.
- How was your academic performance?
Well, I was good when it comes to education and I was always a prizewinner starting from elementary school all the way to high school. In fact, I used to get awards for outstanding academic performance out of the entire school at some points during those years.
- I heard you were such a menace when you were a child!
I think I was. My childhood teachers get surprised seeing how I turned out to be. But then again you could say more of an active student in a handful of extracurricular activities than a menace. I used to get involved in many school activities, especially in junior. Activities such as the debating club, there is a time even when I won in a regional competition. In 9th grade, my companion and I represented our school and won the regional competition organized in connection with 24 May, Eritrea’s Independence Day celebration. We also won a similar event in 11th grade organized in connection with the millennium goals, where we received certificates and monetary incentives. Moreover, I have participated in different training programs by the NUEYS.
- Do you believe that extracurricular activities have positive effects?
Getting involved in the book club makes you more curious as many members come and start telling you about the books they have read and vice versa, you get excited about reading other books. The debating and speech activities help you on building self-confidence.
- How did you do in College?
I joined College with a 3.4 GPA from my secondary school leaving examinations. As I got there, I did my best to improve my grade as it has a big influence when you get to choose the department of your preference. Therefore, I managed to score 3.63 in my first year and joined the Department of Electrical Engineering.
It is far different from before as everything depends on your effort in addition to the busy schedule of your studies. Thus, you should be wise in your time management and use to your benefit all the resources you could find so as to improve your knowledge. As all students are the same age, social life in college is one of the good aspects. You get to influence each other for instance when choosing a department. Surprisingly, 99% of those who I asked for their opinion said that Electrical Engineering is not for girls and suggested for me to choose other departments. I didn’t want to get swayed by their opinion as I believe nothing can stumble me from achieving my goal. Thus, I joined the department and got to experience that everything depends on your effort, not on gender. By the way, women should be very austere in their choices.
- Did you maintain your grades?
I graduated with distinction. I was the only girl in our department and only two girls finished with distinction overall in the engineering department. After graduation, I was assigned to the Eritrean Electric Corporation. My workplace is in Areza and I am involved in the transmission of electricity, particularly in solar energy.
- How is it going for you so far?
My workplace is a bit far from home but working in the field, in the profession you love doesn’t give any place for stumbling blocks. I would like to thank my colleagues as they don’t hesitate in sharing their knowledge and are very cooperative.
Every morning, from Areza, we go to the village assigned to us by our employers and so far, we have reached 33 villages, which are beneficiaries of solar electricity. Watching the villages lighted, the people getting happy and starting to thank you is what uplifts your satisfaction. Besides, it is maybe because I am applying in the ground what I have studied in theory.
- What was your secret of success in your education?
My personal desire and the support of my family as they really believed in me. This is where the sacrifice and the help of my family come. They cover all the housework for me saying that their reward is me being good at school. Therefore, I used to do my best to make them proud. However, we, girls, naturally get involved in the housework as that is the culture we are raised in. This is seen mostly in the villages as the girls have a double responsibility, doing the housework and studying. Generally, we, girls, have to make attention to managing our lives.
- As a child, what did you dream of becoming?
Every time I got good marks my father used to call me “Professor or Doctor Ruth”. Thus, I dreamt of becoming a Professor, Doctor, Pilot all the good ones you know. But, with time you get to see and choose what is best for you.
- What are your future plans?
I would like to further my study with a master’s in Biomedical Engineering.
- Why Biomedical Engineering?
This field is much easier for those with medical and engineering backgrounds. I want to utilize my electricity and electronic career in medicine. My dream is to make our country and people beneficiaries of this field, as we do not have it yet, as needed. I want to create opportunities where inner disease, especially those requiring Biomedical Engineering skills, would be healed within our country and people won’t have to go abroad and spend a lot of money. That’s why.
- Good luck with that. Any final remarks?
First, I would like to thank God, then my family, and my beloved brothers who have supported me in all aspects.
My message for students is if you have a clear vision, everything is possible as it outwits any type of obstacle. You just have to focus and stick to it. Hence, let’s have a big goal and not doubt in achieving it.
Thanks, Eng. Ruth