MY MENTALITY HELPED ME EMERGE BEST GRADUATING STUDENT IN NILE UNIVERSITY – AISHA ADEBAYO

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4.99CGPA student, Aisha Tolani Adebayo shares her story of graduating as Nile University’s overall best student

By Farouq Oduola A. and Habeebah Taiwo

The 9th Convocation ceremony of Nile University, Abuja was a huge success with the institution producing a total of 707 (seven hundred and seven) graduates across five faculties (Natural & Applied Sciences, Engineering, Law, Management Sciences, Arts & Social Sciences). 404 (four hundred and four) of the graduates earned Bachelor’s degrees, while the remaining three hundred and three acquired postgraduate degrees.
While there were many excellent graduates at the convocation, with several receiving first-class honours, Aisha Omotolani Adebayo of the Department of Economics, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, stood out as the overall best graduating student with a CGPA of 4.99. A grade that begs many questions about how she achieved such a wonderful feat.
This level of accomplishment necessitates a great level of concentration, consistency, discipline, and other attributes in addition to brilliance and intelligence. Maybe our opinion is spot on, or maybe we’re missing something important.
This is why Hotjist.com sat down with her to get firsthand knowledge of how she overcame every challenge, no matter how big or small, during her time at the institution and her future ambitions.
How does it feel to emerge the overall best graduating student?
It was very incredible and overwhelming, and I thank God for making it possible for me.
Have you always wanted to be an Economist?
Yes, I’ve had an interest in economics since secondary school, and my parents have always been supportive. As fate would have it, I was accepted into Nile University after secondary school to pursue the degree of my dream, and here I am four years later.
Have you always wanted to graduate as the best?
When I first started out, it wasn’t in my plans to finish as the best student in the institution; I simply decided to do my best throughout my undergraduate years. But, after finishing my first, second, and third years with high CGPAs, I thought it was possible to graduate with a first class honour, but I never expected to be the best graduating student. I just kept giving it my all, and it eventually became a reality.
What are things you consider as the key elements to this success?
I’d say hard work, consistency, and prayer. It is not a question of intelligence; it means nothing if you do not work hard on it, and your hard work must be consistent. Then you’ll need God’s help to make things go your way, which is where prayer comes in. Not only that, I commend the efforts of my lecturers, who have been encouraging and willing to assist whenever needed. I also thank the university for providing me with the opportunity to succeed.
What drew you to Economics over the other options?
Economics touches almost everything around me, especially humans, and as an individual, I am really concerned about humans. So, because of its importance in every part of our life, I fell in love with Economics. Of course, it isn’t the only course that deals with people, but I’m particularly interested in its particular aspect of dealing with people. We are the economy.
Who and what motivates you?
The first is my parents, who have been fantastic in my life, always supportive and understanding, and have stood by me throughout. With them in my life, everything was easy, and I am grateful to God that they are my parents. My wonderful friends and I also study and do a lot of other things together. They always lift my spirits, and it’s an honour to call them friends.
Also, the type of future I desire for myself has been and will continue to be a huge motivator in achieving this. I understand that settling for good is not an option if I want the future I want; I must strive for excellence.
What challenges did you face as an undergraduate and how did you overcome them?
There were various challenges for me, just like everyone else, and while I can’t recall most of them, one of them is the pressure that comes with finishing a semester with a high CGPA. After learning my first-year CGPA, there is always a sense of urgency to at least meet the benchmark you have set for yourself. Once you accomplish or exceed that, you’ve already established a new standard to strive for. It was the most interesting aspect of the process, though it could be overwhelming at times. And, yes, how I dealt with it. My mentality was sufficient to carry me through. Thankfully, we have arrived at a point where everything is history.
It’s difficult to go through higher education without encountering distractions; how did you handle them?
Yes, there are distractions on every side, but that is where willpower comes in. Since I’ve set goals for myself, I concentrate on them and make plans, but most importantly, I keep to them. So, I’ll add that discipline was also a factor in my ability to deal with distractions.
Would you rather practise in Nigeria or abroad?
I don’t see why I shouldn’t practise this career in Nigeria. If it is due to global recognition, we already have prominent figures who began their careers in Nigeria before moving on to serve the rest of the world. It will be an honour to serve my nation, and when the time comes, I will do it to the best of my abilities.
In which field of economics would you prefer to work?
If given the chance, I would like to work as a finance or energy economist.
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