The journey of success comes with making trade offs. Sacrifices have to be made to be exceptional in life. For your story to be different, you have to understand your journey and stick to the process. We have a scholar whose trade offs have placed him on the wheel of excellence. Let’s get to meet him.
Welcome to honournaija_blog, can we meet you??
My name is Toyeeb Abidemi Atanda, I am from Osun State, South Western Nigeria but grew up in the city of Ibadan. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Forestry and Wildlife Management from the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Nigeria. Presently I am a Masters student at the Institute of Environmental Sciences, Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland where I am studying Environmental Protection and Management with a sponsorship from Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA). I am also an Awardee of the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Fascinating. What inspired you to seek for scholarship and to study outside Nigeria?
As an individual from a humble background, applying for scholarships was the only way for me to have a Masters degree because even in Nigeria, I couldn’t afford to enrol for an MSc degree. Another thing that motivated me was the opportunity to travel and learn new things, language, culture and to also experience how Education is outside the shores of Nigeria.
Excellent. Were you rejected?? how did you handle it? share your experience.
Yes. I was rejected several times but because it’s something I wanted, I didn’t give up. I continue to improve myself while submitting more applications. “Love letter” as we do call it is unavoidable in a scholarship journey and even in life in general. Although there are few people who got accepted for scholarship on their first attempt. The best way to handle scholarship rejections is to have a strong support system. Have people of like minds in your circle with same vision who can support you and encourage each other in the journey. Believe me, it will get to a point when you will be tired but having like minds around will be the fuel that keeps you going.
One of the ways I handle rejections is to find another scholarship to replace the one I was rejected from. This always keep me on track. Although sometimes I do take a break when it get to me. For Example, when I applied for the Swedish Institute Scholarship in 2020, I spent over 60000 Naira on the application and still got rejected. It really got to me considering the effort and money (out of scarcity) I spent on the application. I took a break for few weeks, do other things away from applications and started applying again.
Tenacity. How many scholarships did you apply for before hitting the jackpot?
I think I applied for 15 scholarships and God’s willing I was able to win two. Funny enough, the last two scholarships I applied for are the one’s I got, The NAWA Polish Government Scholarship and the MasterCard Foundation Scholarship at the University of Cape Town.
Excellent.! Did you feel excited after getting one? Share your experience.
Absolutely. It was an exciting moment for me to win an international scholarship considering the efforts and sacrifices that was involved in submitting different applications. I woke up to several missed calls on my phone on the said day and I was surprised because even on my birthday, I don’t get so much calls like that. That’s when I knew something significant has happened.
Smiles.! From your experience, what are the needful things to be done before securing a scholarship?
First, you need a competitive grade and a strong profile. You also have to be proactive and pay attention to details of each scholarship you want to apply for. Each application is unique and no two applications are the same. Therefore, after getting all the necessary documents require for application, read the guidelines particularly as regards the essays, CV, proposals and so on. For example, some scholarships will require to apply simultaneously for both admission and scholarships. It is imperative on you as an applicant to read through these things and work towards it.
Detail one sir.! Any platform that students can get scholarships from? please share.
There are many platforms with vital informations on securing scholarships. Google is the best and most reliable source of information. Twitter is good too. Follow handles of scholars and read their threads, it’s really informative. YouTube Channels like Scholars Pivot, Scholarship Cafe and a host of others are also helpful.
Wow.!! Studying outside Nigeria, how does it feel?? Stressful, tasking or quite with ease? Share your experience.
Studying outside Nigeria is really demanding. You have to be well prepared for a lot of assignments, reports and presentations with strict deadlines. Literally, you don’t have any excuse here because you have almost all what you need to succeed as a student. Another important point is you have to do a lot of individual readings, critical thinking and many stuffs yourself to catch up with the standard. But once you are determined to pay the price, you will do well.
Bravo.! What are your words of advice to intending scholarship applicants.
My advice for intending applicants is to be diligent, consistent with their applications. It is essential to keep improving one’s profile from time to time because the truth is scholarship get more competitive daily and you have to be on the top of your game as well. Finally, do not forget the place of God not only in your application but in all life endeavours. As one of my brother do say “we dey throw dice, na God dey bring Double six”.
Loool.!! I love this slang sir😅🌺. This is quite detail and articulated. Thank you so much sir for coming.