Inspirational British Born Law Graduate’s Journey from the UK to Ivy League Universities- Yale and Harvard. (Part 1/2)
British born law graduate, Sybil Efrima Sam, shares her amazing journey from the UK to America’s Ivy League univerities- Yale and Harvard. She shares some encouraging tips and words of support for young people.
Sybil Efrima Sam.
26 years old.
3.Which school/ college did you go to?
I got my undergraduate degree from Yale University and completed my law degree at Harvard University.
4. What do you do now?
I’m a lawyer at a corporate law firm in NYC.
5.Give us a brief summary of your life and achievements.
I was born in the UK and attended primary school in the UK, then I moved to Ghana. After finishing elementary and high school in Ghana, I moved to the US for college, and then law school. I’m working as a lawyer, hoping to gain as much insight into the financial industry as possible and learn what it’s like to work as a professional in a fast paced, cutting edge environment.
6.How was school in the UK different from School in Ghana?
I don’t remember what school was like in the UK, unfortunately. School in Ghana was rather strict but once I got used to it, it was quite fun. I think a lot of rules that I once thought were unnecessarily strict instilled principles in me that now inform my daily routine and work life.
7. What subject do you study?
I’m not a student anymore (which is both a sad and happy thing).
8. Why did you choose Yale and then Harvard?
They were the very best schools you could get in to ( I was ambitious!) and had fantastic resources. And I was blessed by God to be accepted by them!
9.What was it like studying abroad?
Very hard, at first. You don’t have your parents close by and that takes some getting used to. You can feel very lost and alone. Nevertheless, it teaches you to be truly independent, to make a community for yourself and to be responsible about your progress and wellbeing.
10.What were the key benefits of studying at each university?
The resources and the people; I made great friends and connections at both places.
11.What career have you chosen to pursue after university?
A career in law.
12.What skills, talents, grades do you think these top universities are looking for in students?
I think the top universities are looking for students that are hardworking and that have talents and aspirations that are original and that they truly believe in.
13.What was it like for you at school when you were younger?
I was very shy but I’ve been always blessed with friends who humored me. Fortunately, I’ve since become less shy and more talkative.
14.If you had to go back and say anything to your 16 year old self what would you say?
Keep your head down, have fun and trust God because He has a plan. Make serving God (in church, your community) a priority.
15.How would you encourage students who do not feel that there is any prospects for them in life?
We are all created in the image of God. God knew us while we were still in the womb. He has a specific plan for all our lives and created us with the specific talents to fulfill His desires for us. There’s something specific for every single one of us, if we just believe.
16. Who inspires you?
My parents; my friend Clement (a software developer), writers like John Green, entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg.
17. Who inspired you at Rio 2016 and why?
Simone Biles; so skilled and poised!
18. If you could go back in time and have a one to one with anyone, who would you choose and
My answer to this question likely changes daily. I would probably like to speak to someone like Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana’s first president). I’m fascinated by African history (there’s so little written about it) and politics. I’d love to have a conversation with him about precolonial Ghana ( to the extent he knew about it) and his plans/vision for an independent Ghana. Should be an interesting conversation, given all the information I know about how Ghana actually turned out.
19. If you were queen of the world what would you change about the world and why?
Would ask everyone to spend the day with someone they didn’t know – to learn empathy by learning to understand and care for a stranger.
20. Is there anything else that you else that you would like to discuss?
I think that’s all I have.
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