By Foba Akom
2020 has been an eventful year. One in which we could easily find excuses to cut corners. As Better Breeders, we simply have to put in the work. We understand this is hard and to help each other along this journey, we spoke with Kumbong Hermann. His achievements speak to the work he puts in and he is our youth of the month.
Could you give us a brief overview of who Kumbong Hermann is?
I am a recent Computer Engineering graduate from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana and I grew up in Bamenda, Cameroon. I attended primary school at PNEU Bamenda, did my secondary education at St Bede’s College Ashing, Kom and high school at Sacred Heart College Mankon. I am an avid basketball player and I enjoy meeting and talking to new people.
You have been consistently ranked among the top students of your class in every learning institution you attend. What strategy do you employ to achieve these results?
The first step has always been to set goals, ask myself if they are worth working towards if I have what it takes to achieve them, and then finally deciding to work towards them. It has been a very conscious process for me; working hard, getting feedback from the system, and understanding how I can adjust to obtain better results. I believe in consistent and deliberate practice. I go by the motto “Do not practice until you get it right, practice until you can’t get it wrong”
In working towards your goals, what challenges did/do you face? How do you overcome them?
Quite a number of them. Sometimes the motivation is not the same, other times I will work hard and the outcome is not close to what I expected. Keeping a balance between different and sometimes conflicting goals has been a difficult one as well, for example, working on side projects and staying focused with schoolwork has not been the easiest thing to do.
For me it has been about surrounding myself with supportive people and always making sure, I ask for assistance whenever need be. Prayer is the one big thing that has kept me going as well.
At KNUST, you were a MasterCard Scholar. Tell us about your journey into being selected as one and the impact this has had on you.
It was quite an interesting journey getting here, going through the many interviews, and writing my essays to make sure they told my story in the best possible way. This has been a life-changing opportunity for me; it has provided me with a whole support ecosystem and shaped my perspective on several issues especially leadership. I can proudly say I am a lot more aware, sensitive, and committed to creating impact wherever I find myself.
As an undergraduate, you undertook several side projects. What advantage, has constructing a personalized learning plan given you?
In a rapidly changing field like technology, this has allowed me to keep abreast of the changes in the field and prepared me better for life beyond the classroom. This has also allowed me to build skills that have been quite valuable in the real world.
What advice would you give to a young person, particularly one with limited resources, who decides to embark on self-study?
There are a lot more opportunities today more than ever before, so they should stick to the hard work and discipline, and even if they don’t see the benefits in the short run, it always pays off eventually.
Which of your achievements or projects are you most proud of?
For now, I will say graduating as valedictorian of my University at its 54th Congregation with a new academic record, perhaps because it is the most recent.
Currently, you are part of the Goldman Sachs London Analyst Class of 2021. All the best on this new path. What else should we look out for from you in the future?
Thank you! I will say I have an open mind now but I will strive to excel and leave a mark wherever I find myself.
What do you think Cameroonian youth need to know or do to be the Better Breed?
That as cliché as it may sound, their actions no matter how small have the potential to create an impact in other people’s lives.