Dominica Una is a Nigerian woman who has achieved a remarkable feat in her family by earning a Doctorate degree in Petroleum and Gas Engineering. This notable accomplishment makes her the first member of her family to attain a PhD degree. In this article, we will explore her academic journey, her challenges and her aspirations.
Dominica Una was born into a humble family in Nigeria. Her father was a teacher and her mother was a trader. She grew up with six siblings and had to work hard to support her family. She recalled that one of the turning points in her life was when she was attacked by ants as a child while gathering palm fruits in the bush. She said that this incident motivated her to pursue education as a way of escaping poverty and hardship.
“I made a vow that day that my kids would never have to go through what I’ve been through. My decision right there was education. I immediately and loudly declared, ‘I must go to school to the last level.’” she narrated on LinkedIn.
Dominica Una started her higher education at the University of Port Harcourt, South-East, Nigeria, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Petroleum and Gas Engineering. She then proceeded to obtain a Master’s degree in Materials and Metallurgical Engineering at the same institution. She did not stop there, as she applied for a PhD program in Petroleum and Gas Engineering at the University of Port Harcourt.
She faced many challenges along the way, such as balancing her studies with her family responsibilities, coping with financial constraints, dealing with academic pressure and overcoming self-doubt. She said that she had to make many sacrifices, such as missing out on social events, sleeping late and waking up early, and spending long hours in the laboratory.
However, she did not give up on her dream, as she persevered with determination, passion and faith. She also received support from her husband, children, parents, siblings, mentors and friends who encouraged her and cheered her on. She said that she was inspired by the stories of other successful women in STEM fields, such as Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Dr Oby Ezekwesili and Dr Funmi Olopade.
After six years of hard work and dedication, Dominica Una finally completed her PhD program and defended her thesis successfully. She became the first doctor in her family and one of the few Nigerian women who have attained such a high level of education in Petroleum and Gas Engineering. She celebrated her achievement on social media platforms, where she received congratulatory messages from people across the world.
Dominica Una said that she hopes to use her knowledge and skills to contribute to the development of the petroleum and gas industry in Nigeria and Africa. She also hopes to inspire other young girls and women to pursue their dreams and break the barriers that limit them.
“I want to encourage every girl child out there that you can achieve anything you set your mind to do. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You are smart, you are beautiful, you are strong, you are capable. You have greatness within you,” she said.
Dominica Una is a role model for many people who aspire to achieve excellence in their fields of study and career. She has shown that with determination, passion, faith and support, nothing is impossible.