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YESSSSSSS!!!!!! It is SCHOLARS SPOTLIGHT 2.0๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ’ƒ

A lot of scholars have been interviewed and I must say their stories are quite intriguing with so much to learn.

We are kick starting today as we bring an amiable scholar on board, one who is tenacious and seeks excellence efficiently. Lets get to meet him

Welcome to honournaija_blog, can we meet you??๐Ÿฅ€

Thank you for having me. My name is Sodiq Oguntade. I hold a Bachelorโ€™s degree inย  Applied Geophysics from The Federal University of Technology Akure, Nigeria (FUTA). I am currently undergoing a joint Masterโ€™s degree in Groundwater and Global Change- Impacts and Adaptation (GroundwatCH) at IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Netherlands, Instituto Superior Tecnico, Portugal, and TU Dresden, Germany. I am a native of Ibadan. I love reading books on history and watching documentaries.

I love Ibadan city. Your Master’s degree is quite exciting sir. So sir, what inspired you to seek for scholarship and to study outside Nigeria?๐Ÿ’Ž

I have always wanted to study in an environment that offers better academic facilities than Nigeria. There were gaps in the practical training I received in my Bachelorโ€™s degree, and in the 300 level, I was more convinced that a postgraduate study abroad is the best for my career plans. I was also motivated by my brother’s friend, who studied Geophysics at Obafemi Awolowo University and won the prestigious King Fahd University Scholarship for his MSc.

Wow, quite interesting I must say. Were you rejected?? how did you handle it? share your experience.๐Ÿ’

Of course, I was rejected on many occasions. I started applying for scholarships before I graduated in 2018. My first targets were the Saudi schools; many geoscience graduates would love to study at Kind Fahd University. The rejections I received didnโ€™t deter me; in fact, I reflected on them and started making connections with people who have won other renowned scholarships like the Mastercard. At this time, a couple of FUTA graduates won the Mastercard Foundation Scholarship. I met one of them, Mr Femi Ayanleye, the coordinator of an environmental conservation society that I was the President. He added me to a scholarship WhatsApp group and shared a couple of information on the nitty-gritty of scholarship applications. Then between 2019 and 2020, during my national youth service, I paid close attention to information shared on scholarship groups. At this time, I realized that receiving rejection emails is unavoidable in this journey, so I focused on making myself more competitive. I presented my undergraduate thesis at the Nigerian Young Academy Conference, wrote articles on blogs, volunteered for a number of organizations, did online courses, started online advocacy on youths development, and did TOEFL.

 

Hmmmm. How many scholarships did you apply for before hitting the jackpot?๐Ÿ’ซ

I canโ€™t remember a particular number but in respect to the years I started applying which was 2018 and when I nailed one which was in the year 2020, I would say I applied to aboutย  25 scholarships.ย 

Wawu.!!! That is huge. Did you feel excited after getting one? Share your experience.๐ŸŒบ

I was so excited when I received that congratulatory email on the 14th of May 2020. It was two months after my NYSC. I was in the room with my brother, and Iย  remember the happiness on our faces. I dedicated the largest share of my time during NYSC for scholarship applications. I turned down the idea of relocation to the south to have time for myself; I served in a place with no electricity, paid every day to charge my phone and laptop, travelled hundreds of miles every week to prepare for TOEFL. So you can imagine the excitement when I opened that email.

 

Quite some sacrifices there. From your experience, what are the needful things to be done before securing a scholarship?๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒผ

For most scholarships, except for scholarships like the Chevening that put the highest priority on leadership and community development, you need a good academic grade (at least a second class upper). However, a good academic grade is not enough; so many people will have the first-class or second class upper that you have. So the question is โ€“ what makes you unique?. Thatโ€™s why things like having publications and conference presentations come in. These will prove your research potentials to the reviewers; postgraduate study is research-intensive. Therefore, there is no better way to convince them than having a publication or a conference proceeding. The undergraduate project is your first research experience, so do something worthwhile publishing or presenting at a conference. Also, there is a high chance of securing a scholarship if you have research experience related to the programme you are applying to.

I also advise choosing people who know you very well as referees, not necessarily professors. Your reference letter is the most important thing after grade and essay. Volunteering for an organization focusing on the SDG target of your programme also improves your chances. Finally, I always advise being patient; everyone will win with persistence and handwork. So donโ€™t be hard on yourself when rejection comes; continue building your profile.

That was detail. Any platform that students can get scholarships from? please share.๐Ÿ’

There are many platforms such as scholarshipsandaid.org, scholarship-positions.com, opportunitiescorners.infoย etc. However, I will strongly advise being active on LinkedIn and Twitter; these are where you can see the non-conventional scholarships. Follow professors and make intellectual posts.

Thank you for this sir. Studying outside Nigeria, how does it feel?? Stressful, tasking or quite with ease? Share your experience.๐Ÿ‰

Studying abroad is not as easy as being portrayed by peopleโ€™s posts on social media; many donโ€™t share the pain and stress they passed through. There is a huge knowledge gap between what we learned in Nigeria and expectations here. So, you will have to work harder to meet up, and if the programme you are studying is a bit different from your Bachelorโ€™s degree, you have more work to do. However, with resilience and hard work, you will succeed. So, as you seek scholarships, start reading wide and learning advanced software.

Wow, thank you for the honesty. What are your words of advice to intending scholarship applicants.??๐Ÿ’ฅ

The journey of securing a scholarship requires patience and persistence. A congratulatory email will make you forget all the rejections. So, donโ€™t give up!

 

Wooooooooow. Thank you for sharing so much, I really appreciate your coming today sir. Yes, the keyword is DON’T GIVE UP. THANK YOU SIR.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

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