Ademusoyo Awosika-Olumo

she/her/hers

You can find her on:

Education: Computer Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, 2016

Current Job Title: Software Engineer

What experience first got you interested in science and is that field the same one you went on to pursue? 

Growing up having parents and aunts and uncles who were working in STEM fields had me interested in science. When I was 5 I had said I wanted to become a pediatrician. Alongside that I was always the kid who wanted to learn how computers, cell phones, and other types of technologies worked. 

When I got to my junior year of high school, I realized I didn’t want to become a doctor. Unsure of what I wanted to do but knew it was time to start applying to college, I selected engineering as my major. 

When I began college, I toyed around with other engineering disciplines but I quickly realized that I just wanted to apply Computer Engineering principles across different disciplines. I selected Computer Engineering and the rest is history. 

Tell me about some people who helped or inspired you along the way, in your early training and later in your career.

When I was in undergrad, the community I built in school were my biggest motivators throughout my entire time. I was heavily involved in the National Society of Black Engineers and the Pitt Excel program which kept me focused and encouraged during the times I’ve gotten hard.

I’ve found mentors through my employers, some formal but mostly informal,  which have helped me immensely navigate the work landscape as well as figuring out how to build my career within the tech industry as well. 

Everyone who I’ve met throughout my career thus far has provided me with some sort of clarity, inspiration, or a new found sense of determination and I am grateful.

Can you tell me about any moments of doubt you had as a student or early in your career and how you dealt with it?

For sure! Computer Engineering was really hard for me and there were so many classes that I tried really hard at that I unfortunately wasn’t good at. While in school I just tried to push through and focus on the bigger picture. 

Starting my first job right out of college I dealt with a lot of imposter syndrome and struggled to feel like I belonged. I coped by finding opportunities to be creative, learn from other people, and making sure I took care of myself.

Can you share two or three surprising twists or turns in your early scientific training and your later career path.

I got my first job out of college at the company that I interned at the summer after my junior year. I remember during the internship there were tons of new projects and I really enjoyed the people I worked with. Fast-forwarding a year later when I went to start at that same team and everything was completely different. A lot of the projects that had started when I was an intern no longer existed and my manager had moved on to a different team. What I had thought I was coming back to was actually no longer there. 

Another thing that has happened more recently is projects at work being shifted because of the change in priorities due to the pandemic. It’s tough when you’re excited to work on something and then that completely goes away.

Through these experiences I’ve learned that it’s important to be adaptable and to focus on trying to complete your goals. 

Can you give some examples of how you have incorporated your non scientific interests into your work.

One of my interests is diversity in STEM advocacy. I’ve been able to incorporate those by being a part of different employee resource groups that advocate for equity across gender and race. 

Is there some advice you could share from your own experience to help someone with a science degree

It’s not going to be easy, but it is going to be rewarding once you finish. Focus on the bigger picture and always remember your why. 

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