The Optimistic Excellent Mind

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Not giving up is more of doing than mere words. I will say not giving up is associated with having a strong reason to execute your goal. Your reason to embark on the journey of success should be strong enough to keep pushing you through. Her optimistic spirit kept her going and got her winning. Lets get to meet her.

Welcome to honournaija_blog, can we meet you??

Yes, you can meet me. Thank you very much honournaija_blog for having me. I saw your program during the 1.0 episode and I told you I will get featured in the next episode and here am I. I am super excited to get featured. I am Rhoda Oluwafunke Ayoola, a graduate of University of Ilorin with a discipline in Agricultural Economics. I hail from Kwara state. I am an entrepreneur and an agriculturist.  I am an awardee of the prestigious MasterCard Foundation Scholarship program and I am currently studying Food and Resource Economics for my Masters program at the University of British Columbia, Canada.

Yes, I personally remember you. It gladdens my heart to host you. What inspired you to seek for scholarship and to study outside Nigeria?

I have always wanted to further my studies outside Nigeria after my undergraduate. I wanted a different system of learning, a different environment and to explore. For me, either I study for my Masters outside Nigeria or I won’t do my Masters at all. I was resolute and determined.

That is a nice one. Were you rejected?? how did you handle it? share your experience.

Oh, I was rejected several times. I have an interesting ordeal with one of the scholarships I applied for which I will share. I applied for Korean Government Scholarship, I was shortlisted for the scholarship and an interview was scheduled for all of us at Abuja, Nigeria. I travelled by road from Lagos to Abuja a day before the interview and got to Abuja at 1am in the middle of the night. With nowhere to stay, I slept at the park. I got to the interview venue the next day and we were told that due to the pandemic, the interview has been cancelled physically and that it will be conducted online. Candidates were shortlisted based on their own criteria that I don’t know of. At the end of the day, I received my rejection letter a day before my birthday in the year 2020. I was devastated and sad. I applied to Mandela Rhodes Foundation Scholarship, MasterCard Foundation scholarship for an African country, Chevening, Erasmus scholarship, Italian schools (I was given admission with no funding) and all these came with rejection emails. The cold mails were not left out, if I can remember vividly, I emailed thirty to forty professors in the US and all were negative.

Wow, this is a huge one. How many scholarships did you apply for before hitting the jackpot?

I am quite bad at keeping records of my scholarship applications but I will say I applied to not less than 8-10 scholarships before I got a YES. I sent a lot of cold mails too.

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

Yesssssss, I was super excited. When I applied for MasterCard Foundation Scholarship, I channeled all my energy into it, I was shortlisted for the interview, even though I had issues with the interview like bad network etc, God still came through for me. On this particular day, I left my phone at home while I was out. When I got back home, I saw I had missed a call from an international number. I searched out the number and it was from British Columbia, I then knew something was fishing. I called the number back and I was told I have been awarded the scholarship. I was the only one called among my friends before emails of offer was sent to all of us. I was super excited to know I will be going to Canada for my masters. I could not scream nor shout, I was just giving praise to God.

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

I will say get all your documents ready and check the requirements for the scholarships you are applying for to see if you are eligible. If you need to write an English base exam, please do and if you can’t afford it, kindly get a proof that you have been taught in English from your school.

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

For me, I joined Potential Scholars Platform on WhatsApp where scholarship opportunities are posted and tips. Maximize the social media platforms well, follow scholars who have won the scholarship you are applying for. Also, this blog shares scholarship links and necessary information too. I will advise applicants to always follow up honournaija_blog to get updates.

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

Well, I won’t want to scare anyone. I will say as you physically prepare for your applications, also prepare mentally and emotionally. Graduate school is interesting with all that comes with it. We are pulling through and we keep pulling through. I will say you will pull through too when you eventually get in.

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

Please do not give up no matter the challenges. Push through, work hard and trust God. I always tell myself, supposing I had given up, I won’t have gotten it. Even when my friends were suggesting I should apply to Nigeria schools, I refused. Know what you want for yourself and go for it.

 

Woooow. I am so inspired. I must say, this is quite inspiring. Thank you ma for coming and pouring so much out.

 

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Honour Afinjuomo

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