“MEST saw something in me that even I couldn’t see at the time”
My name is Adegboyega Jaiyeola, MEST EIT - 2022 Cohort, and I am here to recount a life-changing experience.
I first heard of MEST Africa in 2018, and it seemed like a program for very smart people, not someone like me. When I got the acceptance call for this year’s cohort, my first inclination was to question whether or not someone was playing a cruel joke on me.
In subsequent weeks, I was expecting to get a call that the offer had been rescinded and that it was a mistake. The reality that I had really been accepted into the program dawned on me when I got to Ghana.
I arrived in Ghana expecting a life-changing experience, and the first thing that struck me was how intelligent the members of the cohort were. For the first time, I found a group of people that thought like me, but were still very different from me.
Another thing that really stood out was the community and sense of belonging. Not just in Ghana, but even back in Nigeria, when we went for Covid tests as well as at the airports. How we instantly bonded and started looking out for each other immediately we realized we were all MESTers.
And then classes started…
I was very nervous for the start of classes because I honestly thought I would struggle along, and I was right, I did struggle some, but the fellows and every member of the MEST community have been incredible support systems. Sometimes it’s like people are almost begging to help you. The very first personal milestone I was conscious of achieving came after only 2 weeks at MEST. I realized that for the first time in my life, I wasn’t nervous speaking in front of a large group of people. That was such an incredible day for me.
MEST has really surpassed my expectations, and it has taught me that I do not need to be perfect, I just need to be willing to wake up every morning and put in the work to get better every day.
Did I mention the party? Oh! MEST can party! I was so shocked by the energy everyone brought to the Alumni networking event. It was incredible, a lot of fun, and great moments to treasure.
After MEST, I look forward to building a tech business in Agriculture and Health in Africa. I’ll be leveraging everything I’ve learned here and the vast network it has given me to achieve this goal. I also hope to build social enterprises that will be aimed at giving back to the community and developing Africa.