Young, Black & In STEM: Kemi Oloyede

We are profiling Black people from a variety of industries. In this article, we find out more about Kemi Oloyede who is a scientist & digital artist. They give us insight into how they got into STEM and more about their work!

 

Tell us about your background. What drew you to STEM?

My background is in analytical chemistry and toxicology. Chemistry was my favourite science subject at school. I was very interested in analytical chemistry as a student.

After deciding I didn’t want to study Fine Art any more, I turned to study Analytical Chemistry and Forensic Science for my undergraduate degree and from there Analytical Toxicology for my master’s degree.

 Did you face any obstacles along your journey?

Learning how to interpret mass spectra was definitely an obstacle for me in this field! And learning how to stick to short deadlines. But I learnt how to deal with those along the way. Outside of that being one of the few People of Colour in my department was a bit of an obstacle, causing me to feel alienated at some points.

Can you share a short word of advice for other young, Black people wanting to go into tech? 

Other than doing research on the field they are interested in, try and reach out to other Black people in that field.

LinkedIn is especially good for this. Message them politely and respectfully and if they have enough time on their hands they may message you back! There are also a plethora of Black people in STEM on platforms like Twitter, so following them could help, and they may be able to give to the lowdown on what’s happening in that field.

There is definitely an emerging community of Black people in STEM online so you just have to seek it out.

How can we support you & your work? 

I take pride in being both a scientist and an artist and not having to decide between the two!
I run a Twitter account called Creatives in STEM (@creativesinstem) where we celebrate STEM individuals who express themselves creatively, especially those who come from an ethnically minoritized background and the LGBTQ+ community.
I also have an IG page (@kxmolo_) where I post my artwork and I am currently working on a sci-art collection that will be released at some point this year. You can follow me there and on my Twitter account @imekulo.