What picture have you created about yourself mentally? What do you see yourself achieving? Do you see yourself as a success? Then dress like a success, speak like a success, walk like a success. Success comes with believing, believing that you will get what you want, believing that the world will make room for you. What do you believe about yourself? Today, we have a scholar in the house whose believe system is strategic and has placed.
Welcome to honournaija_blog, can we meet you??
Thank you for having me. I am Olamide Adu with a B. Tech in Forestry and Wood Technology from The Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA). I am an awardee of the prestigious ERASMUS Joint Masters Degree Program, and I am currently undergoing my master’s program in Sustainable Forest and Nature Management at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
What inspired you to seek for scholarship and to study outside Nigeria?
Honestly, I will say the need to get a quality education. I wanted excellence and I have always wanted to pursue my masters outside Nigeria. This has been my aspiration since my third year at FUTA. Research and studies (from homework alone) which I did during my third year made me realize that the knowledge transferred to me is not from the country. Why use borrowed knowledge when you can go to the source? I wanted to tap into the rich wealth of knowledge outside Nigeria and Africa. These were my motivations. You know what is said about curiosity ” it kills the cat”.
Were you rejected?? how did you handle it? share your experience.
Well, I had my fair share of rejection. I applied for various scholarships which were MasterCard Foundation Scholarship Program (to The University of British Columbia and The University of Edinburg), and assistantship positions to the United States. I was interviewed in one of the assistantship programs, and all I needed was to apply to the University and get accepted, but I will resume in September 2022 if I am to be funded (what a long time, felt like a rejection to me). The second assistantship program told me I was a good candidate but the position was filled as I applied too late (Information is power). I also applied for MasterCard Foundation Scholarship to the University of British Columbia Canada and Edinburgh University, Scotland. I applied twice to both schools, and they brandished me with love letters that are daunting to the esteem of man both times. The rejection from my first application to The University of British Columbia hit me so hard because I saw myself in Canada already (I am a dreamer and I saw myself already in Canada **you see**). I didn’t put so much into The University of Edinburg application, so I didn’t feel bad when the rejection came (although the love letter from them was harsh). I was rejected for all and I was angry (can’t remember if it’s to the school or myself) but not discouraged at the first trial. I believed I will be doing my graduate studies outside Nigeria, and I kept working towards it. Interestingly, I saw the rejection process as a learning process, I saw it as an opportunity to improve certain parts of my application package, I went back to my previous application and I laughed at the application (to be sincere, I won’t have awarded myself the scholarship in all fairness).
No discouragement. How many scholarships did you apply for before hitting the jackpot?
I applied to two assistantship positions in the US, two MasterCard Foundation scholarships (Edinburg and British Columbia), and two Erasmus programs in the fourth quarter of 2020. This would be my first time applying to Erasmus and the assistantship position.
Did you feel excited after getting one? Share your experience.
Yes, I was very excited. I was placed on the reserved list for one of the Erasmus programs I applied to (European Forestry) and not reading the mail to the end I was really happy and had called my elder brother, screaming ‘I told you man, I am moving to Finland’. When I read the mail to the end, my soul sunk into the abyss of doubt and depression, and I had SUFONAMA left, which result was postponed for a month. After a month I got my award for SUFONAMA and I couldn’t make sense of the letter, I remember being out of breath then. It was a crazy experience I must say.
From your experience, what are the needful things to be done before securing a scholarship?
Preparation is key. Know what you want early and start preparing for it immediately. I cannot overemphasize the place of preparation. Even if you are not eligible yet, keep preparing yourself ahead. Also, be determined to succeed. I started practicing how to write essays in my 300 level, started preparation for my UBC application from my 400 level.
The place of guidance and mentorship is also important. At times, all you need is just a guide telling you to do certain things. Also, this is a journey for a person, have at the back of your mind to do things yourself and go through things yourself. Guide or no guide, just know it is a “do it yourself” process. Mentors and guides will help to a certain extent, the bulk of the responsibility is still yours, don’t give that to others.
Thank you. Any platform that students can get scholarships from? please share.
I will say maximize the search engine google, follow EMJMD on Facebook, that is for Erasmus, follow EMA Nigeria for that too, that’s important if you are Erasmus. You can always search out scholarships relating to your field and your desired country too (e.g. Biochemistry scholarship in Hungary). Some websites like opportunitiesforafricans.com can be a plus too.
Studying outside Nigeria, how does it feel?? Stressful, tasking or quite with ease? Share your experience.
Education outside Nigeria is different of course, to top it, education within countries in Europe is different. I will talk about studying in Denmark for now. It is a master’s program and it can’t be compared with Bachelor’s degree so it won’t be rosy. Studying in Denmark is quite interesting, a lot of practical experiences, it is stressful I must say and rigorous. Classes are always interactive, I think that’s what I enjoy about the education here the most. Feel free to disagree, but be willing to back your point, I dare not in my fatherland.
What are your words of advice to intending scholarship applicants.??.
My only advice is that you should prepare. Prepare before graduating, prepare before the program opens. I cannot overemphasize the place and need for preparation. Also, see visualize and imagine yourself as an awardee, I think this is equally important.
Yes, Preparation is key. Thank you sir for coming.