A University of Arkansas at Little Rock student is one of 40 women from across the country that was recognized as an up and coming female professional in the technology industry as a winner of the New Face of Tech Challenge.
“It’s proof that my dreams and career aspirations in tech are valid,” Adesoba said. “I feel that my experiences have been valued. It proves that I am on the right track. It gives me inspiration to continue my education. It took courage to transition into the tech industry. As much as everyone can dream, it makes my dreams come alive all the more by being selected for this scholarship.”
The New Face of Tech Scholarship Program is intended to fund and fuel the aspirations of talented female college students pursuing careers in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math). The life-changing prize package includes a $1,500 grant, career-coaching sessions with HARMAN executives, and JBL products.
Winners were selected based on the quality of their submission, including a demonstrated commitment to their career dream in tech and a clear vision for how winning the New Face of Tech Program will help them accelerate progress toward their dream.
“The funding will help pay for academic and tech resources, including certifications that will accelerate the launch of my career,” Adesoba said.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in statistics from the University of Ilorin in Nigeria, Adesoba worked as a credit risk analyst with Nigerian banks before joining the information science program at UA Little Rock.
“I felt like this would be an opportunity to understand how data governance worked, especially for large organizations,” Adesoba said. “My communication and interaction with my program, advisor, and alumni have been very open, supportive, and receptive. It’s been a great journey since I started last year at UA Little Rock. There are people who support my academic dreams and career goals. And my husband was coming for his Ph.D. at UAMS, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to be close to my family as well.”
At UA Little Rock, Adesoba has worked as a graduate assistant with the offices of eLearning and STAR, where she conducted research on the most effective learning management systems in use at universities across the country.
She is now a graduate research assistant with the Collaboratorium for Social Media and Online Behavioral Studies (COSMOS), where she conducts research on video transcription and speech to text techniques for YouTube tracker development. Additionally, she analyzed and visualized YouTube video behavioral data.
“We are extremely proud of Adeola Adesoba for winning the prestigious and competitive ‘New Face of Tech Scholarship’ that encourages women participation in STEAM disciplines – an effort that we champion and celebrate at COSMOS,” said Dr. Nitin Agarwal, Jerry L. Maulden-Entergy endowed chair and distinguished professor of information science and director of COSMOS. “Only 40 students were awarded the scholarship from across the nation. I congratulate Adeola for this commendable accomplishment that puts UA Little Rock among the nation’s top schools!”
Adesoba, who serves as vice president of the Society of Women Engineers student chapter at UA Little Rock, said it’s important for more women to get involved in the STEM field so they can provide more opportunities for women who are typically underrepresented in college and the career industry.
“When women are represented in the STEM field, it gives opportunities for younger women to look up to other women in the field,” Adesoba said. “It makes you feel like you aren’t alone. These women represent opportunities for other women who are striving to go higher. When more women are working in STEM, those barriers are broken down, and doors will open for younger women to enter the STEM field. Women have a lot to contribute to the STEM field. By giving a lift to the dreams of women and girls, it provides opportunities for others to be inspired.”
After she graduates with her master’s degree in December, Adesoba plans to earn a doctorate as well as pursue her professional dream to become a data scientist/data governance expert who helps businesses and organizations solve complex problems with data and machine learning techniques while also using technology for social good.
“I want every other international student to know that there are a lot of opportunities around you,” Adesoba said. “Look at what communities can help you with your academic pursuits and career goals. You shouldn’t be afraid to try new things and to put yourself out there. There are others out there who will support your journey. I would recommend LinkedIn. You meet a lot of people and get a lot of information. To have a rich student experience, you need to look on and off campus to have a well-rounded experience.”