Twenty four-year-old Priscilla Amoah, a final year student at the Koforidua Technical University, KTU, is living her childhood dream.
She is a mechanic currently pursuing Automotive Engineering at the Koforidua Technical University and hopes to end up as an aerospace engineer in future.
Miss Amoah believes her chosen profession serves as a springboard to encourage and inspire other young women not to give up on their dreams no matter how long it takes.
Asked why she ventured into the particular field, she told The Mirror in an interview in Accra last Tuesday that it had always been her dream to work in the automotive industry, to serve as a role model and also empower women in the field of engineering.
“I started fixing cars when I completed basic education in 2012, so I was excited when I got the opportunity to finally pursue a course in automotive engineering at the Hyundai KOICA Technical Institute in Koforidua after a brief stint as a General Arts student”.
The journey so far
Ms Amoah told The Mirror the journey to become an automotive engineer had been a daunting one especially because she was combining school with work.
My parents had always wanted me to study business management due to the historic trade at Asesewa so that I could handle the family’s business in the future but my intense desire and zeal to work as an engineer kept me so I ended up in a technical school,” she said.
“My passion kept growing and there has not been a turning back. During my first month in school, I had some experiences that really ignited my love for the engineering course.”
“I was always at the top in my class even though the programme hasn’t been easy. I took it as a challenge never to give up, determination and perseverance have always been the keys to my dream. I thank God for guidance and counselling programmes at school which see me through highs, lows and challenges. I made it clear to myself that I would let this dream come to pass and that has always encouraged me,” she narrated.
Issues of safety
According to her, safety at work was very critical particularly for female engineers and could be a deal-breaker when considering a career in the field.
Priscilla learning automotive welding
“Being on my own can be a worry, but on the field I am provided with a safety device that attaches to my working gear so if there is to be an emergency, I can press an alarm button straight away and receive rapid assistance,” she explained.
Advice for the youth
The budding automotive engineer encouraged the youth, especially females who wanted to venture into the field to search within themselves to find if that was the career path they wanted.
“First, ask yourself these critical questions: Are you excited about this sort of career? Do you crave a life of tackling tough technical problems and putting practical solutions in place to correct them? Are you looking forward to a career that requires technical knowledge, problem-solving skills and the people skills . If your answer is YES, then dig in and build the foundation that comes from technical education in engineering,” she added.
Miss Amoah encouraged the youth to build capacity in science and technology. “Grades are required, but the objective should be continuous learning”.
She observed that often, some clients were surprised to see a female working as an auto mechanic.
“Anytime I tell them I am an engineer, they ask a whole lot of questions as if to doubt my ability to work on a vehicle. Some fear I might end up damaging their vehicle but with dedication, hard work and perseverance from my supervisor, I have never experienced such.
Priscilla being guided by Obed Agyei Darko, her lecturer
I always assure them that their vehicles are in safe hands. I am still learning on the job so most of my experience was gained during my internship”.
Ms Amoah was born in Osino and raised in Asesewa, both towns in the Eastern Region. She is the second of two girls born to Mr Alexander Agyekum, a farmer, and Ms Juliana Isuor, a trader and beautician.