Priscilla Hazel is a 1st year Entrepreneur In Training (EIT) at MEST. She holds a degree in Political Science and French from the University of Ghana. In just over six months at MEST, Priscilla has won several local software competitions and had the opportunity to represent MEST on the global stage sharing her personal story and short journey as a technology entrepreneur to over 1000 attendees from nearly 50 international cities at the Meltwater Kickoff, the annual meeting for global Meltwater employees.
Journey to Tech
Before coming to MEST, I had no background in technology. I was a tech newbie. The first few weeks were very difficult for me, I was almost always confused in class and there are times I wondered if I had made the right decision to be in MEST. The classes were highly intensive and very involving. But with the constant support of the fellows and classmates, I begun to understand and appreciate the tech jargons and the different processes involved in technology.
Last semester we studied the Java and Ruby programming languages. As part of our tech deliverables last semester, everyone had to come up with a nice idea and build a web application using Ruby on Rails. That was one of my tech highlights for the semester. We had fellow classmates building virtual assistants, recipe guides, crowdfunding applications, church management system amongst others. I decided to build a news aggregator, where I took top news stories from major websites, organized it on my platform. It made it easy for anyone who wanted to have all the top stories of the day in one location. Creating the news aggregator increased my confidence level in technology and made me look forward to creating more applications.
I have been at MEST now for just over six months and have been a part of two winning teams at local startup competitions. I was part of the team that won the Vodafone App Star Challenge in December and awarded GHC 10,000 under the Start-Up category. The application we presented was called Vicinity App, a location and social based application for smartphones that helps users easily locate places nearby.
My team was also among the top 3 winners in the Facebook sponsored Hack For Big Choices Hackathon with Prepa, an app to help senior secondary school students prepare for their examinations.
On the Global Stage
I am still amazed at the fact that I was able to present to a room of over 1000 people and to receive a standing ovation! I prepared well before the presentation, but I still had some huge butterflies flying in my tummy just before walking on stage. But when the moment finally arrived, thankfully, I kept my cool and gave a stellar presentation.Now when I reflect on that moment, I’m glad I took up the challenge to make the presentation. I was scared out of my mind of failing or making a fool of myself on stage. But the experience made me realize that, there are so many things that that I am capable of, but I had somehow convinced myself that I was inadequate. I loved the fact that my presentation was well received, but more importantly, I learnt so much about myself and the experience is forever mine to reflect on and learn from.
I now look forward to opportunities to step out of my comfort zone and put myself out there in spite of any fears I might have. My confidence, presentation and communication skills are truly reflective of the training I receive at MEST in preparation for becoming a globally successful entrepreneur.