Annie Ojewunmi is building a generation of female Aerospace engineers at 22

At 22, Annie Ojewumi is building a generation of Aerospace engineers

Annie Ojewunmi is bent on making a difference in the aerospace industry as she aims to contribute back to society at large. The twenty-two-year-old is actively advocating for gender equality and female empowerment in STEM fields while pursuing a career in Aerospace Engineering.

In our exclusive interview with Annie Ojewunmi for our women in tech series, we delve into her upbringing, her motivations, and the incredible initiatives she’s leading to make a difference in the aerospace industry.

Read Also: Here are some trailblazing women changing the tech industry

An obsession became a reality

At 22, Annie Ojewunmi is building a generation of Aerospace engineers

As a child, Annie Ojewumi was fascinated by aeroplanes and how they were able to fly. Growing up under a flight path, she would watch in amazement as planes soared through the sky. This early curiosity laid the foundation for her future career path in Aerospace Engineering.

“That was one of my earliest memories of airplanes and it made me start to wonder how they could fly, and that I can say, was where it all started from…”

This curiosity led her to have an apprenticeship with an Auto Care company. where she had her first exposure to general maintenance and repair operations of vehicles. While the passion for engineering was birthed early, Annie’s journey to pursuing it professionally was not without challenges.

In a society where career choices are often influenced by tradition and expectations, Annie was fortunate to have a supportive family although her family initially pushed her towards more traditional female careers like medicine.

“My Dad initially wanted me to be a Doctor, but to be honest, my Mum had always known somehow, that I was meant to be an Engineer,” recalls Annie. Thankfully, her mother supported her desire to study science and engineering from an early age.

“There was a time due to peer pressure in Senior Secondary School, I wanted to leave Science class, but my Mum didn’t allow it. She said she knew it was because I wasn’t in the same class with most of my friends from Junior School and she didn’t let me.”

This parental support was crucial for Annie Ojewunmi to enter the male-dominated field of Aerospace Engineering. Through her apprenticeship in the automotive industry and internship in aircraft maintenance, Annie gained valuable engineering experience that fueled her career aspirations.

Creating a difference in a male-dominated industry

At 22, Annie Ojewunmi is building a generation of Aerospace engineers

Motivated by the stark gender disparities she witnessed early in her career, Annie Ojewunmi has made diversity and inclusion a core part of her mission.

“After about 3 months at Arik Air Limited on my Aircraft Maintenance Internship, I saw firsthand the huge gender difference in work power and this made me understand, that it is my duty, to do all I can to reduce the difference,” she says.

Being in a male-dominated industry, Annie Ojewunmi has seen firsthand the importance of mentoring especially with people who look like you. According to her, this drive led her to launch her mentoring program ‘Aerospace with Annie‘ to support and guide other young engineers, particularly women.

Through one-on-one support, resume reviews, networking opportunities, and educational webinars with industry professionals, Annie is helping mentees pursue promising careers in aerospace.

“I help them review their resumes if need be and application letters, tutor them on how to effectively use LinkedIn to network with Industry professionals and seek help,” she explains.

Annie Ojewunmi has already seen mentees land internships at major Nigerian airlines through her guidance. Currently, she claims to have 40 mentees interested in Aeronautics, Astronautics, and Drones. She also nominated female mentees to join an exclusive mentoring program through the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria.

For female mentees, Annie Ojewunmi explained that she has to commit extra time “because I don’t want to be the only female, so they must also grow, we grow together.”

Building a generation of Aerospace engineers at no cost

At 22, Annie Ojewunmi is building a generation of Aerospace engineers

Annie Ojewunmi while speaking about her journey explained that her mentorship program; Aerospace with Annie consists of three sectors i.e., AeroMentor, AeroTalk, and AreoShow.

  • AeroMentor is basically for the Mentees. A one-on-one Mentorship program for young Engineering Professionals to achieve their career goals through personalized guidance and opportunities made available at no cost
  • AeroTalk is a podcast discussing with Industry professionals on pertinent Aerospace topics. This started as a one-person talk on Aerospace topics, but unfortunately, the first Host pulled out and it’s being rebranded with the Aviation Hub on LinkedIn, set to re-commence soon.
  • AeroShow involves Industrial Visits to Aerospace and Aviation companies in Nigeria and this hasn’t started at all. Work is also being done, as Aerospace with Annie is a relatively new initiative and a lot of work is still needed to be done to reach our peak.

Speaking on how she plans to run this program, she said,

I don’t intend it to be monetized. I’ve had a lot of people help me along my Professional career and Aerospace with Annie is my ‘Thank You’ giftAlso, APWEN has been really supportive in terms of the SheEngineer 30% Club Mentorship and other activities to help young Engineers like myself. It’s easier to grow with the right community supporting you...

Step by step towards achieving her future goals

At 22, Annie Ojewunmi is building a generation of Aerospace engineers

As for her own future goals, Annie Ojewunmi aspires to make meaningful contributions to sustainability in aerospace propulsion. “I’m hoping for a fulfilling career in Sustainable Aerospace Propulsion, which would make Earth a cleaner and greener place to live in,” she says ambitiously.

Just as importantly, Annie hopes to advance diversity and representation through her example and advocacy.

“I hope to be a role model and guide to all aspiring female Engineers,” adding that she looks forward to “mentorship, opportunities, and resources in developing the next generation of Female Aerospace Engineers as I also grow alongside.

Furthermore, she aims to be a household name in the African aerospace community, inspiring and advocating for diversity in the field.

Life outside work and engineering

When not pursuing her engineering passions, Annie Ojewunmi finds balance through her love of cooking and baking. “Cooking and Baking is like a getaway and I love it,” she says.

Coming from a traditional Nigerian home, food, and culture are deeply intertwined for Annie Ojewunmi. Cooking allows an escape from her demanding career while nurturing important life skills.

It seems Annie’s diverse interests both fuel and ground her in what matters most – using her talents to inspire and support others.

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