Would you recommend this trip to other students? What are your takeaways from the program?
Yes, I would definitely recommend this trip to students. It is an eye-opening experience and would certainly push you to do more in your life, build and strengthen your potential as a global leader. Berkeley has a strong educational background with many opportunities, but sometimes, it’s hard to see where to go from there. The trip has proved to me that people are still trying to create impacts on the community, even with limited resources. Consequently, there is more to do in this world with an incredible amount of knowledge and information we are receiving from UC Berkeley.
It strengthened my entrepreneurship endeavor to incorporate shipping container architecture and design into African countries’ local architecture. I believe this shipping container schema can help build educational infrastructure, houses for people, and residential halls accessible to African college students in a high throughput, reliable, and affordable way.
It also encouraged me to keep going with my passion for Structural Health Monitoring.
This experience also made me a Global leader who is aware of international realities in other countries. I was exposed to, what I call, a locally-based entrepreneurship mindset, where individuals work and create to serve their society with a strong passion and love. It made me grow as an individual in the sense that I always think about how my engineering skills could support urban minorities on the African continent.
Most importantly, I built an extremely successful and strong network of entrepreneurs and Berkeley students who shared such a fantastic experience.
Do you have some advice for future GLOBE Ambassadors? How did you prepare for the trip?
Be yourself. Reflect on the knowledge you are gaining, write down your thoughts or questions, ask for clarifications when you do not understand something, and make sure to challenge others’ opinions.
Explore. Explore smartly, learn, and embrace the unknown. Sometimes people perceive studying abroad as taking pictures and posting them on Instagram, but in reality, studying abroad means more than that. It is about getting out of your comfort zone, trying new things, experience new sensations, and embrace completely different ways of seeing the world. Sometimes, we really needed to go for it and see for the knowledge we wanted. For example, I learned a lot about different aspects of affordable housing in Singapore. In the Philippines, I learned about the type of mindset they have when it comes to entrepreneurship. Learning about biodiversity in Singapore and the Philippines was extremely informative. I did interact a lot with my UC Berkeley Peers and had meaningful conversations with our program supervisor, Anthony St. George.
Attend the preparatory educational sessions! And get to know the people you are going with, your cohort. The more you know about them, the more you create a fantastic experience. My experience was also valuable because the Berkeley students I went with were like family. We bonded, and that bond strengthened our learning spirit. We completed each other as individuals willing to learn and grow together.
Abdoul is now a graduate student studying Civil and Environmental Engineering with a focus on Structural Engineering at UC Berkeley.
Feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn.
GLOBE Alumni Spotlight Series
- Ariel Ho: Journey from Dietician to Healthcare Startup Co-Founder
- Interview with Scarlett Ho
- Interview with Professor Kajanová: An International Perspective on Berkeley Research
- Interview with Dr. Jowy Tani: Doctor, Scientist, Entrepreneur, and BTB Scholar
- Graduate School Application and Experience with Yingqiao, a GLOBE alumna attending PhD program in Carnegie Mellon University