She has been involved in the formation an impressive list of IT related enterprises at the University: Co-founder, Strathmore IEEE student branch; founder of Microsoft Tech community, Strathmore branch; co-founder of Microsoft women in tech; founder, women in Engineering, Strathmore branch and founder, Kenya IT Students Association. Passionate about providing fellow students with opportunities, she identifies needs in her surroundings, and provides solutions.
Her leadership skills have been utilized in different capacities at the Strathmore IT Students’ Association and the Microsoft Tech, Strathmore community. Her name is Ayan Keynan, a 21-year-old Bachelor of Science in Informatics and Computer Science student.
“I was born and raised in Nairobi and I come from a small remote town in Northern Kenya semi-arid area. It has always been believed that a woman wasn’t to go to school in my culture. I always dreamt of getting into tech; I’m glad to be living my dream! With my progress in life, I have been able to inspire other people back home to go out and learn. To embrace education and professional careers. For the youth to step up and take up space within our workforce.
I strongly believe and advocate for the stand of women in the technology and community space. I also head Women-in-Tech which deals with the theme Tech for Good where I execute project, panels sessions & workshops for ladies in the emerging technologies space. Apart from this, I am actively involved in Microsoft as a Research Fellow where I mobilize teams to work on projects that meet the SDG goals.
My vision is to empower every student on the planet to achieve more! What excites me is that every day there are new possibilities, new technologies and there also people who look forward to changing the world with simple real-life solutions for real-time issues that affect the community. I’ve always wanted to build a solid vibrant culture around tech that would enable students to achieve, maximize on their potential and create mind blowing solutions for day to day solutions. Strathmore university has been greatly helped in actualizing my vision and beyond.
I am the president of the Students IT association which I can proudly say I helped revive within the University that involves industry mentors, lecturers and students. This is an avenue where students are able to interact, share and learn from skilled people in the industry.
I have been able to mentor high school children more so in taking up tech courses through organising multinational events such as hack fest. This event was attended by close to 600 guests among them top executives from Microsoft corporation. This event got countrywide recognition and support and was termed as the game-changer in the Cybersecurity field. Aside from that, I’ve also been running boot camps. For instance, last month, I hosted a Data science Boot camp equipping Azure analytics knowledge, Machine learning and visualisation practicals. I hold events, conferences and industry visits under a different theme every month. In one session on Cybersecurity, I led the team to the Communications Authority of Kenya where they were able to learn about information transmissions. I love to inspire people and I believe that change starts somewhere. Change begins with us.
I love giving back to the Strathmore community. To accomplish this, we initiated a partnership with 21Cskill by liquid tell where students will be able to have self-paced learning experiences and get certificates at the end of each course. I do believe that this is an awesome opportunity for students to learn out of class and get certificates for free.
I count Tash disposal AR system; Farm insurance IoT and Data science system; Water quality IoT model; Breakdown locator system and Renewable energy IoT Street light among my biggest achievements and my prudent moments in my life. It’s fulfilling knowing that one person can create solutions that impact the lives of many.”
This article has been written by Ayan Keynan.