Khadija Lamin Sesay is a young woman from Sierra Leone. She has completed a Master’s degree in Management at EADA Business School in Barcelona through a scholarship from the Learn Africa program.
We had a telematic conversation to know more about her background, her experience in Spain, and how it has helped her professionally. The reflections we had were very interesting.
Kadijah told us that in her country the formal education rates are not very high. Although, people are increasingly interested to get more educated, and “wishing that many women can reach leadership positions, achieving high levels of education”.
She is the eldest of three siblings and studied Applied Accountability at the Institute of Public Administration and Management-University of Sierra Leone. She told us that although she had a lot of support from her parents and they helped her with her studies until she completed her degree, it was no longer possible for them to continue doing so, due to the high tuition fees in Sierra Leone. So when she finished her bachelor’s degree, she had two options: either find a scholarship or work to be able to continue paying for her studies. And that’s how she decided to apply for a Learn Africa scholarship.
She told us that she opted for the master’s degree in Management because, according to her, Africa has few managers available, and this number is even smaller for women managers or in management positions. Kadijah would like to contribute to changing this reality. At EADA she had practical training with a strong emphasis on leadership development. She emphasized that it is helping a lot in her current job and will surely help her to achieve her future goals. She misses her classmates from the master’s program. She said that it was a great time to share ideas with people from many different cultures and that she has formed a real family in Barcelona.
Khadija received an offer in another West African country where she is working for a private equity fund. She told us that she loves working there, as it is a company that cares a lot about ensuring gender equity and contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
According to her, very few African women can join postgraduate levels of study. But Khadija wants to go further. In addition to her master’s degree, she is now completing an online MBA in India. And when she finishes, she will seek a scholarship to pursue a Ph.D.
In her plans, she considers co-founding an organization that helps empower women. She stated that she wants to “continue empowering women, even if it is with small gestures, in whatever way I can.”
She is now part of a youth organization that simulates the United Nations conferences as they are. As a result of a presentation about her community involvement in Freetown – the capital of Sierra Leone – she has elected the best delegate of her community and also of the conference in general. In addition, she told us that she was invited to participate in many talks to share her experience in Spain, which undoubtedly encourages other students to seek similar experiences.
Camila Peres Milani
Graduated in Administration, Universidade de São Paulo.
Currently studying the “Master in Strategies and Technologies for Development: Cooperation in a Changing World” at UCM/ UPM.
The Learn Africa program aims to promote knowledge transfer, exchange, and training of African female university students through scholarships offered by Spanish universities.
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