Walid Musa was born thousands of miles from Columbus, Ohio, but he considers himself a Buckeye at heart because this is the only home he has ever known. When Walid was a toddler, the Musa family journeyed from Somalia to Ohio where his family settled and his father spent time as a field technician. “My dad would have different computer and electronic parts laying around the house,” Walid recalled. “He would show me and my siblings how these parts worked. That’s when I first became interested in engineering.”
Walid discovered his gift for mathematics during middle school at Columbus City Schools. When Walid entered high school, he found a mentor in Dr. Sybil Brown who invited him to join Project Lead the Way and got him involved in Northland High School’s STEM Club. Dr. Brown also encouraged him to join the National Society of Black Engineers. In 2014 as a high school sophomore, his journey led him to TECH CORPS’ Carla Easley who recruited him to join TECH CORPS’ Student WEB CORPS. Carla explained, “I was impressed with his technology curiosity and openness to new opportunities.”
The following year, Walid completed a second TECH CORPS program, Computing Career Corps — both programs were sponsored by Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services.
“Through the TECH CORPS programs, I met instructors who were college students studying engineering as well as professionals working in technology fields,” Walid explained. “It was clear to me that my future was heading toward engineering and my experience with TECH CORPS helped to build my work ethic and professionalism.”
With wise and caring mentors who understood and celebrated Walid’s gifts and abilities, Walid was accepted to several outstanding universities. He chose The Ohio State University because of its excellent engineering program and proximity to home. He was a summer intern for American Electric Power (AEP) in 2018 and 2019 where he worked in transmission field service.
Walid graduated from The Ohio State University in May 2020 with a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering. “It’s a notable achievement in my family, especially since I’m a first-generation college graduate,” Walid explained proudly. “It also serves as an embodiment to the hard work that my parents put in throughout my childhood in order to set me up for success.”
Upon college graduation, Walid was offered a position with AEP Transmission as a Substation Engineer. Walid shared, “I am grateful for all of the support I received in high school. Having mentors through TECH CORPS, STEM Club and Project Lead the Way helped to shape my future.”
Throughout Walid’s life, his path has intersected with many people, places and organizations, with each one encouraging Walid to move forward. TECH CORPS is grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of Walid’s journey to success.