Graduate Spotlight: Diana Achieng Maina – The master of computing


about bits, bytes, and beautiful codes… Success stories don’t always begin on life’s express lanes, and Diana Achieng Maina’s fascinating journey is a perfect example.

“I honestly didn’t think I would make it this far” – a humble confession that sets the stage for her inspiring achievement.

Take notes, folks, while Diana talks.

Growing up, she had a few simple pleasures. These included a match of chess and creating art.

The medium through which she did this was not your typical chess board or canvas, but rather, at the interface of an aged cathode ray computer (the ones with a mgongo – aka back). This slowly evolved into a burning passion for computers, paving her path toward her Master of Science in Computing and Information Systems.

Her mantra? “Just start… because money doesn’t flow into a vacuum”, a nugget of wisdom that’s part economics, part physics, part faith, and fully Diana.

Her time at Strathmore yielded more than just a degree – her classmates evolved into a future professional network or, as she fondly puts it, “Not just classmates, but connections.”

Memories from an international trip pepper her narratives like a pleasant daydream. “Unlike Nairobi, where darkness descends by 7pm, in Prague, it was still brilliantly daytime – just perfect for evoking the Dora the Explorer within us.” More light means more exploration! And oh, let’s not forget those art-inspired souvenirs – Talk about a tech lover with a fine art appreciation!

Strathmore, for her, was a buffet of experiences. The brilliant food stole the show.

With a knowing smile, she adds, ‘Those early morning study sessions right before exams may not find a spot in my warmth-filled nostalgia. But hey, who knows? Maybe the sunrises I caught just before might have a fighting chance!”

The Master’s classes, she sums up in a word: Intense. We imagine her juggling work at the Kenya Railways, assignments, classes, and, presumably, a social life – a balancing act that would put an acrobat to shame!

I am not surprised, when she wonders if she could keep the school ID as a token of her journey.

And yes! COVID-19 was undoubtedly a disruptive force, but true to her spirit, Diana and the others were quick to adapt. “It was quite the ride, but we caught up really well when we were back on campus.”

The icing on her Master’s degree is emphasis on applied knowledge, making learning directly relevant to the professional scene. Considering her pre-existing love for technology from her undergraduate years, this balance of theory and practice was profoundly appreciated.

“The systems at Strathmore are meant to ensure that you never give up,” she says, admitting that juggling studies and work was immensely challenging.

And Voila! There you have it! Diana, our Master in Computing Information Systems, wasn’t spun in a day. It took late-night coding sessions, mentors’ patience, and Prague’s extended daylight (yes, that too!). But let’s not forget her secret sauce – resilience and endless mugs of coffee.

She proves that when it comes to succeeding in Computing, being byte-ful helps. A toast to you, Diana, as you move on to conquer the world with your Master’s degree! #DianaDidIt, so can you!

The future of the computing world seems a bit brighter with people like her leading the chase, doesn’t it?

This article was written by Keith Albert.

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