Oghenefego Ahia graduated with a degree in Computer Engineering from Tufts University in 2017. Oghenefego is currently pursuing his Master’s in Computer Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Oghenefego has completed internships at Dell EMC, Intel Corporation, and Qualcomm.
What got you interested in Computer Engineering?
Growing up, I developed a genuine love for mathematical problem-solving. I decided to pursue computer engineering because I was passionate about building things. I wanted to tackle real-world technology challenges using tools and systems that scale.
How was your time at Tufts University?
I had a splendid time in Medford/Somerville. I spent good chunks of time in the warmth of the Africana Center and an order of magnitude more in the computer science building. I learned a lot about myself and what it means to be an ethical engineer solving complex problems. Looking back, I appreciate the ecosystem of colleges in the Greater Boston area, as there were ample opportunities to peek outside the Tufts bubble and experience other campuses.
What extracurricular activities were you involved in at Tufts?
I was involved with the Tufts Student Government, the Robotics Team, a Bollywood Cinema club, National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), and the African Students Organization. I was also a Resident Head Tutor for Math and Computer Science during my senior year.
You are currently pursuing your Master’s in Computer Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, how did you choose the school?
The computer architecture program at UW-Madison is one of the best in the country. I wanted a campus that breathed innovation. I was even more convinced after speaking with professors and students during the ECE Visit Day. I received the Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship which would fund my first year of graduate school. At that point, it was a no-brainer.
What advice do you have for students looking to go to graduate school?
Think of the application process as an opportunity to look inwards. What excites you? What achievements are you proud of? Could this be the right next step in your career? Why or Why not?
Reach out to current professors and graduate students in your area of interest. Learn more about potential research and funding opportunities ahead of time.
For students that are interested in entering the STEAM field, what advice do you have for them?
Get a sense of exciting problems you can tackle using a STEAM skillset. These can serve as motivation during challenging times. You do not necessarily need grand ideas that will radically change the world. Feel free to start small. In your local community, what changes would you like to see?
I’ve never been to Wisconsin, what places should I visit?
UW-Madison Arboretum, Chazen Museum, and State Street are cool places to check out in Madison, WI. I hear Ian’s Pizza is also worth waiting in line for.
What book are you reading now?
Becoming by Michelle Obama
What are your hobbies?
I enjoy discovering new music on Spotify, playing soccer, weightlifting, learning more about deep learning.
If you were to invite a famous person for dinner, who would it be?
Jeff Dean of Google Brain