The Grace-filled Excellent Mind

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Success comes with grace. There are different seasons one will encounter along the journey of success, however grace will help you stand, weather through the storm and press on. We have a scholar in the house today whose story depicts grace in his journey, lets get to meet him.

Welcome to honournaija_blog, can we meet you??

I am delighted to be here today on honournaija_blog. It is a privilege to share my story to inspire people as well. My name is Oluwatosin Nathaniel Awotundun. I hold a bachelors degree in Bioscience and Biotechnology majoring in Microbiology. I graduated with a first class from Kwara State university, Ilorin. I am an awardee of the prestigious MasterCard Foundation Scholarship and I am currently on my masters program studying  Public Health Epidemiology with concentration on Environmental and Occupational Health at McGill University, Montreal in Canada. At my leisure time, I love participating in sports, most especially football and basketball (my favorite). I am a lover of God as well as Men, hence, I love networking with people.  In addition to my hobbies, I have an interest in becoming an entrepreneur, which is a passion I have developed while growing up.

I love the entrepreneur aspect. What inspired you to seek for scholarship and to study outside Nigeria? 

Thank you Honour, this is a very tough and interesting question for me because my story is a little bit different from a typical Nigerian youth story, most especially, for someone who holds a First-Class Honours Degree.

My passion for quality education was my motivation for applying to scholarships. However, my dream is to be a Military Officer, specifically, the Navy and contribute my quota to the defense system of Nigeria. As you might not know, in Nigeria you might have a dream but without some external backing in the system (the government officials and the politicians); one might not achieve his/her dream. Such is my case, I applied to the Nigeria Navy after my National Youth Service Corps. The competition was very high, I made it to the last round of 11 in a list of 8, 000 plus applicants, I passed my final interviews and exams. Like I said earlier, I had no external backing to fix me into the system. I wasn’t accepted in the top 3 even when I knew I performed excellently.

The scholarship was my backup plan which played out well. More reason, I always tell and advice people to always have a backup plan.

I love your honesty. Were you rejected?? how did you handle it? share your experience.

I will say my story is an uncommon one filled with grace and favour. I did not have much rejections because I took my time to apply to scholarships that fit my profile very closely. I applied to just four scholarships: MasterCard Scholarship, Commonwealth Scholarship, Chevening scholarship and Schwarzman scholarship. I had rejection letter from Chevening and got the MasterCard scholarship and Commonwealth scholarship. The only rejection that got to me was my military rejection, I was devastated and quite sad.

Wow. How many scholarships did you apply for before hitting the jackpot?

I applied to just four scholarship and I got two out of the four which was MasterCard and Commonwealth.

Interesting. Did you feel excited after getting one? Share your experience.

I was excited when I got the email. I told myself, getting the scholarship was a proof that God has not forgotten me after been rejected by Nigerian Navy.

From your experience, what are the needful things to be done before securing a scholarship?

The first thing is to build your relationship with God. I am a lover of God and I don’t joke with my relationship with him. Also, have mentors that have won that scholarship that you are pursuing. Make use of search engines to look out for scholarship applications that are open instead of waiting for someone to share links with you. Be proactive and work hard.

Thank you sir. Any platform that students can get scholarships from? please share. 

I will say use your search engine well, social media like Goggle, LinkedIn and Twitter. You can also join scholarship groups on Facebook and WhatsApp.

Studying outside Nigeria, how does it feel?? Stressful, tasking or quite with ease? Share your experience.

Quite interesting, tasking and stressful. You have a lot to read and research work to do, I am not sure I will go for my PhD once I am done with my Masters.

What are your words of advice to intending scholarship applicants.??

I will say graduate school is not for the faint hearted nor is it for the less determined individuals. You have to be prepared mentally, physically and academically as it could be so overwhelming at some point. Most especially, adjusting to the new environment, new culture, new academic system and the diversity that comes with studying in a different country. Persistency, Consistency and the resolute determination to weather through the storm as you journey through graduate school. No matter what happens, Never give up on your dream

 

Wow, your story is filled with grace and purity. Thank you for sharing honest words sir.

About the author

Honour Afinjuomo

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