Betty Kassa MSc. Profile picture
Sep 21, 2020 21 tweets 27 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
I am #grateful for the opportunity given by #IWS_Network to share my story, struggles and success in the voices without frontiers (VWF).
My name is Betelhem, most people call me Betty and I prefer it that way. I was born 27 years ago to a young couple in AddisAbeba, the capital of #Ethiopia. #IWSVoices 1/n Image
My mom and me rather look like sisters. Despite being a teenager when she got me, she sacrificed her whole life to raise me up. She made sure I had the best #education possible. I am forever grateful to my mom sis & do everything to make her and God #proud. #IWSVoices 2/n Image
My mother moved to the #Netherlands for a better life when I was 4 & we met again after 6 long years. In between my dad took good care of me & made sure I did well at school. Miraculously, my mom was allowed to take me to #Holland with her. We were #ecstatic. #IWSVoices 3/n
As a child I was always curious about #medication and #biology. I remember mixing all kinds of herbs with my bestie and burying them for a couple of weeks to see how it would come out and whether we made a #medical breakthrough 🙃 #IWSVoices #womeninstemInspire
Settling in a new country as a teen was both easy and challenging. I picked up the language quickly as most of my classmates didn’t know any English. Within 6 months I could communicate pretty well in #Dutch. Made new friends and had my mom's #support all the way. #IWSVoices 5/n
The struggles were adjusting to a new culture, thriving at school and missing friends and family back home. However, I overcame the challenges by focusing on #school and #church while having fun with my new friends. My #drive was making my mom proud. #IWSVoices
6/n Image
I had smart and motivating friends. We would compete about who scored high on tests. My grade of the final exams in the secondary school allowed me to go to a high school of my choice. I was among the first batch of #bilingual education, together with besties. #IWSVoices 7/n
Because of my interest in life sciences, I selected the curriculum that included #biology #physics & #chemistry during my high school career. Unfortunately, didn’t get selected for medicine. But, BSc in health and life sciences was awesome for me @VUamsterdam #IWSVoices 8/n
My preference went out for the #biomedical track due to my interest in #molecular #research.
during my BSc internship I studied the effect of goji berries on the embryonic development at a #zebrafish lab. It was my first introduction to this tiny but robust model. #IWSVoices 9/n
Life is full of coincidences. My boyfriend, now my husband decided to move to Canada. I had a wish to do my MSc abroad, so I applied to many graduate programs in Quebec. Fortunately, got accepted by @KessenPatten to be a student in his brand new #zebrafishlab. #IWSVoices 10/n
A day after hubby moved to Canada, I received an email from @Inrs that my #scholarship application has been accepted. I finished the study permit process In 6 months & joined my husband & my new studies. I was #thrilled but also #terrified. #IWSvoices 11/n Picture taken at Perce rock...
Despite the support & care from hubby, my first months in Canada were rocky to say the least. Had a lot of #depression episodes, felt like giving up & didn’t know where to turn for help. In retrospect, I had a lack of #professional & social #support system. #IWSvoices 12/n
I believe that a support system is crucial for #success. The #IWS_Network is doing an amazing job by uniting #IWS across Canada to cultivate an environment of #collaboration through the #personal and #professional challenges faced by immigrant #WomenInSTEM. #IWSVoices 13/20 Image
Back to my #IWS story, Months went by to realize I should motivate myself & be #grateful for the #chance I've been given! I became "normal", my old, happy & motivated self. Regained my passion for #science & learned how to #communicate my #project & #findings. #IWSVoices 14/20 Image
I was #thrilled to wear the toga on my #graduation, there are none in #Dutch graduations unfortunately! I’m forever #indebted to my hubby, mom and my former supervisor Dr. @KessenPatten for their support and guidance through it all. #IWSVoices 15/20 4th of May 2019, one of the...
I graduated now what? Visited many #jobfairs and went to resume workshops. Worked as customer service agent and #inventory control assistant at Cirque du Soleil & David's Tea resp. Still couldn't land desired job. The job quest continues. #IWSVoices #jobhunting #polyvalent
16/20 Image
As an international student I had limited network to exploit for jobhunting. However, I’m currently working hard to improve my #networking & other #professional skills. #IWS_Network is prominent in my #development. My #Mantra now is “jobless but not worthless” #IWSVoices 17/20
Meanwhile, I’m a freelance #language #instructor. #Teaching is my other #passion next to #science. Also gladly involved with the initiatives of #IWS_Network. My new hobby together with hubby is #YouTube. Check out our channel, link is in my profile 😀 #IWSVoices 18/20
Through my #IWS journey I learned that #challenge only make us #stronger and #equip us well for a brighter #future. Another lesson I took is to remain #positive & #calm whatever comes. At the end of the day what is meant to be will be! #IWSVoices 19/20 This is why the eagle is my...
Thank you for taking the time to read my story, struggles and success thus far. Again, thank you #IWS_Network for this great opportunity! Every advice I would give current & future immigrant women in STEM is summarized in the image below💜 #IWSVoices 20/20 Image

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More from @Bethio8

Jul 14, 2020
My first months in Canada were rocky to say the least. Had a lot of #depression episodes, felt like giving up & didn’t know where to turn for help or how to ask for help. In retrospect, It was a lack of professional & social support system. I wish I knew #IWS by then!
Months went by before I realized I should motivate myself & be grateful for the #chance I've been given! After a year, I returned back to "normal", my old, happy and motivated self. I was #thrilled to wear the toga on my graduation, no togas in #Dutch graduations! #IWSVoices Image
I was graduated now what? Visited many jobfairs and went to resume workshops. Still couldn't land a scientific job. Worked as customer service agent and inventory control asistant at Cirque du Soleil & David's Tea resp. The job quest continues. #IWSVoices #jobhunting #polyvalent Image
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