McGill University, 2010, Bachelor of Engineering, Chemical Engineering
University of Toronto, 2012, Master of Applied Science, Financial Engineering
Employment: Project Development Lead, Project Portfolio Management Group at Suncor Energy Inc.
Canada isn’t so far from The Bahamas if you ask D’Andre Wilson-Ihejirika. Currently residing in Alberta, The Canadian Lyford Cay Foundation Alumna is keen on making a mark on The Bahamas. Passionate about supporting women and children in engineering fields, her Ziri Bag initiative recently awarded its first scholarship, and BETA Camp, a free week-long engineering camp for students in grades 7 through 9, had a successful first summer, serving more than 70 students!
A: Education opened so many doors. My degree in engineering taught me problem-solving and how to apply math and science in every industry. This led to my master’s in financial engineering, which is essentially applying engineering modelling techniques to the finance industry. And it led to a career in the Alberta oil sands. These experiences helped to me to grow into the driven, goal-oriented person I am today.
A: Definitely! Engineering and STEM aren’t limited to traditional technical fields. They can be applied to any industry. STEM professionals can help us revolutionize the healthcare, financial and tourism industries.
A: No matter where I live, The Bahamas will always be home. I hope to one day bring my husband and son back home with me. The Bahamas has infinite potential as a global player in multiple industries. But to make that happen we need professionals in STEM. The initiatives that I am involved in are just one stepping stone towards that goal.
A: There is still a perception that engineering is a male profession. When organising BETA Camp, our applications were less than 15% female. Even after a marketing drive for more girls we ended up with only 28% female enrolment. However, Education Minister Fitzgerald noted Bahamian girls are outperforming boys in STEM. Bahamian girls just need role models in these fields that encourage them to pursue technical professions.
A: I’d like to say “Thank You!” I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the generous donors at the Foundations. I’d also like them to know that donating to the Foundations is one of the best investments they can make. By supporting students, the money comes back tenfold to the Bahamian economy. I haven’t met a single Lyford Cay Scholar who has not given back to our country. And that is a great return on investment!