By Abdulafeez Olaitan
We bring to you an interview story of the Overall Best Graduating Student of the University of Lagos for the 52nd Convocation Ceremony.
Elizabeth Osereme Ekeoseye, who graduated with a Cumulative Grade Point Average of 4.95/5.00 from the Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science shares some of her most interesting experience during her time as an undergraduate.
In her words:
Nigerian graduates are very much able to succeed in and outside the country, and indeed all over the world.
Abdulafeez Olaitan of TPC UNILAG: Please share with TPC UNILAG, a little about yourself and your background.
Elizabeth Osereme Ekeoseye: My name is Elizabeth Osereme Ekeoseye. I am from Edo State but I reside in Delta State with my family. I am the sixth and last child of Late Chief Stephen Ekeoseye and Mrs Penna Ekeoseye and I am a lover of God.
AO: What do you enjoy most about your education? What aspects of your field of study intrigued you the most and why?
EOE: I enjoy the practicality of my discipline. For example, going for field trips in the Lagoon and collecting samples for analysis were particularly interesting.
AO: Have you had any challenge with a lecturer in the past? How did you sail through?
EOE: I like to say that my lecturers are really the best. I have actually not had any challenge with a lecturer in the past.
AO: Would you advise students to combine academics with other activities while on campus, why or why not? What extracurricular activities did you participate in?
EOE: Yes, I would advise students to combine academics with other activities while on campus. An all-round student is one that can successful combine academics with other helpful activities.
While an undergraduate, I was a chorister at MFM Youth Church. I partook in the faculty-wide debate competition in 2019 and my team won. I also partook in the Miss Science Beauty Pageantry which held same year and won to the glory of God.
AO: “Nigerian graduates are less-competent compared to their counterparts in other parts of the globe.” Give your thoughts. Do you think this statement possesses any elements of truth?
EOE: I firmly oppose this statement. Nigerian graduates are very much able to succeed in and outside the country, and indeed all over the world.
We are not inferior neither do we claim superiority. Rather, we are well-equipped when we stand before our counterparts from around the globe.
AO: Has the structure of your home and family dynamics influenced your success in any way? How?
EOE: Yes. My mother, Mrs Penna Ekeoseye, imbibed reading habit in me. I remember how she would sit and study with me till I began to enjoy reading by myself.
I have five siblings who are all older than me and are all graduates. They inspired me to take my studies seriously and to put God first.
AO: Would you say you had more friends or lost more friends because of your goals and values? Kindly explain? Who are specific persons whose contribution you can’t forget in your first-class feat?
EOE: I had like-minded friends. We knew when to study and when to take a break, see a movie and just have fun.
I can not forget the contribution of Faith Onyekachi Emele. She was my closest friend and reading partner while undergraduates. We would spend long hours at the library, have lunch and enjoy a walk back to the hostel. This used to be our routine for the most of semesters.
AO: Have you been a recipient of any scholarship? Kindly run through the application process?
EOE: I was a recipient of the NNPC/TOTAL National Merit Scholarship. I applied in December 2017, got shortlisted, took the examination and passed to the glory of God.
AO: For students who aspire to graduate with outstanding grade like yours, what would you advise them? Any advise to give to a student who has failed academically and about to give up?
EOE: For students who aspire to graduate with outstanding grades, I implore them to believe that they can do it. Firstly because nothing is impossible with God. Also, they should work hard, read smartly, make good friends and pray about it.
To students on the verge of giving up, simply saying to you “DON’T GIVE UP” might not hold water, but imagine how your story would encourage someone if you keep going and finish strong. You are a success waiting to happen, keep going!
AO: After your Bachelor’s Degree, WHAT NEXT?
EOE: I would like to develop my skillset, open myself up to new learning especially in the Tech Industry and by the grace of God, also proceed to earning my next degree.
And it’s a wrap for this interview. Thanks for your readership of our media contents. This interview was conducted by Abdulafeez Olaitan.
Abdulafeez Olaitan is the Vice President (Operations) of The Press Club, University of Lagos, and Campus Ambassador for EDUGIST. Connect with him on Twitter and Instagram.