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From Hawking Pepper in the Streets of Ibadan to Becoming One of Canada’s Most Influential Women. Read How Adeola Olubamiji Turned Her World Around

The taste of success feels great, but the road to success is almost never easy. If you read about the success story of Adeola Olubamiji, one of Canada’s most influential women today without bothering to find out the obstacles she had to surmount to get to where she is today, you might be misguided!

Who is Adeola Olubamiji?

Adeola Olubamiji born as Adeola Deborah Adufe Olubamiji is a Biomedical Engineer, Founder, STEMHub Foundation and TEDx Speaker based in Indiana, USA. She was born in 1985 into the family of Mr. Isaac and Mrs. Juliana Olubamiji in Mokola, Ibadan, where she learned the value of hard work at a very young age.

Her primary school education started at Alafia Primary School after which she proceeded to St. Gabriel’s Secondary Commercial School in Mokola, Ibadan, Nigeria. During her formative years and in order to make ends meet, she regularly helped her mom, a farmer and petty trader, to hawk pepper on the streets of Ibadan. Unfazed by the realities that starred in her face, Olubamiji put her heart and soul in whatever her hands found doing. All she wanted was a bright future filled with the desires of her heart.

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Fast forward to when she completed her secondary school education, the time came for her to proceed into College (University). Her desire at that time was to be a Medical Doctor but instead, she was offered provisional admission to study Physics at the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Nigeria.

As a child that understood the power embedded the adage “whatever your hands find doing, do it exceptionally well”, Olubamiji decided to walk the path of becoming a Physicist without fear or self-pity. She worked hard, gave it all her best shot and in 2008, she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics with Upper-Class Honors.

Upon graduation, she had the option of settling and looking for a job or advancing her career and adding another feather to her cap. She chose the latter and then, proceeded to Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland for a master’s degree. Life in Finland was extremely tough. Not only was she thousands of miles away from home, but she also had to work as a cleaner for two different companies to make ends meet. Still, working two jobs proved to be almost inadequate as she could not afford many of the things she wanted.

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8 years ago, I obtained a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering! During that program, I worked two jobs as a cleaner to be able to make ends meet and still ended up as the first to defend my thesis from my class. After completing that program, I was so scared about the future, I didn’t know whether I would stay back in Finland or move back to Nigeria or move somewhere else. I applied to over one hundred (100) schools seeking Ph.D. scholarships and admission!“, Olubamiji wrote in a recent Facebook post.

Adeola olubamiji

In 2011, Olubamiji secured a scholarship at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada for her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering. Deciding to relocate to Canada did not come easy as she had to battle with the choice of being cash-strapped in a country where she knew no one or going back to her home country where the future was uncertain.

At the end of the day, she decided to opt for the former, she remained undaunted, faced her fears and began her move. While in Canada, Olubamiji blazed a trail that no one else her race had done and upon graduation in 2017, she became the first African to receive a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan. This feat not only catapulted her into the limelight, but it also redefined her destiny.

She was celebrated worldwide, received several invitations from world leaders, became an “instant” celebrity and a beacon of hope to everyone who’s dreaming for a better tomorrow.

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In August 2018, she broke yet another record by becoming the first African female to work at Cummins Inc., Indiana, USA as a Senior Additive Manufacturing Engineers. The move led to her relocation from Canada to the USA.

Olubamiji has received several awards of recognition. After her Ph.D., she was ranked among the top 5 of 150 black women making Canada better, also recognized by the Nigerian Canadian Association as a “Woman of Outstanding Achievement in Education”. In July 2019 she was named one of the 2019 Canadian Black Women to Watch! She is also an honoree of the 2019 Women of Worth Canada Honoree and the 2019 Influential Women in Manufacturing.

In the spirit of giving back to the society that has given her so much, she made a big move to start STEMHub Foundation. STEMHub Foundation is a duly-registered non-profit that focuses on providing free STEM education and hands-on skills development programs to encourage females, visible minorities and underserved youths whose dreams are to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. In addition to these, she provides one-to-one mentoring to early-career professionals and university students from underrepresented groups to help foster skill development, career guidance, risk management, feedback provision and inspire champions.

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Furthermore, she offers consulting services to people who want to relocate abroad for further studies.  She has mentored and continues to mentor several young adults who are also blazing trails in their respective industries. 

Olubamiji is surely a pacesetter and she’s an example of how being diligent can turn your world around for good.

To contact Dr. Adeola Olubamiji, you can do so via her Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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