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Effectiveness is a key to excelling at what you do. Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.Peter F. Drucker.

Today, we have a scholar on board whose effectiveness has caused her to excell and secure a prestigious scholarship. Lets get to meet her.

Welcome to honournaija_blog, can we meet you?

Thank you very much for having me. My name is Dorcas Damilola Olaiya. I am the last child and only girl from a family of seven. I hail from Ijumu local government area of Kogi state. I speak English, Yoruba, and okun dialect fluently.

I am a Christian and a lover of children. I am happily married to my best friend. I love arts, crafts, music, and cooking. I used to think I had a favorite food, but I eventually realized my appetite makes the decision. I hold a first-class degree in Civil Engineering and I am currently undergoing a European master’s program in Advanced Solid Mechanics at  Universitè de Lille, France and
Universita della Calabria, Italy.

Wow, lovely. What inspired you to seek scholarship and to study outside Nigeria?

I will say the incessant industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities during my undergraduate days led to the conception of the idea of seeking further studies abroad.

The lack of adequate infrastructure for learning and the seeming disparity between academia and field work in my discipline further fueled this passion. I considered it a herculean task when I thought about the workload and financial implication of running a master’s degree program in Nigeria while being a working class.

The need to learn on a global scale, the need for a better life with privileged opportunities are also not left out. Given that part of my undergraduate studies was financed by scholarships I had won and the awareness about people who have been beneficiaries of overseas scholarship, I knew that it was possible to earn one if I worked towards it.

Exciting one. What were the challenges you faced while applying for scholarships?

Some of the challenges I faced were trying to source for the right information and opportunities peculiar to my interest, meeting up with the requirements, drafting and reviewing my essays, endeavoring to meet up with deadlines, facing rejections, and trying to figure out the cause of the rejection, were the forces I had to contend with while applying for scholarships.

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

Yes, a lot of times. In most cases, I would cry, talk to my friend and family about it and pray until I feel at ease. Since it is often a big deal to get a non-generic feedback from the institution that served the ‘love letter’, I would have to do the assignment of finding what I need to improve on. Then, I would commit it unto the hands of God because I know his plans for me is to give me a future and hope (Jeremiah 29:11).

I love this ma. How did you feel when you got a yes? Share your experience.

The feeling was surreal and I felt like it was a dream. Okay, story time. My fiancé had gotten a scholarship to further his studies abroad about two months prior.

On that fateful day (1st April, 2021), we were set to travel for our marriage introduction ceremony when I got the mail. We both almost exploded with joy because it turned out to be a double celebration. Throughout the journey, it felt like I should jump out of the bus and just SCREAM!

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

The first thing I would recommend is that the candidate should obtain an international passport as it is required by most scholarship institutions.

Then, it is needful to get the following documents ready as well:

• Transcripts of record

• Degree certificate

• GRE (If applying to the US, except you are applying to schools that waive it)

• IELTS/TOEFL (Some Erasmus program do not require this but if you can, take the exam)

• Proof of English proficiency (It was requested in place of IELTS in my case. It is issued by your undergraduate university, stating that you were taught in English)

• Letter of recommendation

• Statement of purpose/essays

• Academic CV

• Cover letter

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

I would recommend that you follow these pages: ‘Erasmus-Mundus Nigeria’ on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook ‘EducationUSA’ on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook Follow the ‘Academic Twitter’ community by searching the #Academic twitter and follow as many people as you can ( e.g Olumuyiwa Igbakajobi, Oludayo Sokunbi, Tunde Omotoye, e.t.c.). Also, read this guide by Erasmus-Mundus Nigeria:

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

Hmmn, to say the least, it is tasking especially when there is a wide knowledge gap. Hence, one may have to study twice as hard and cut down on some excesses. The best part of it is the exposure it affords since travelling is also a form of education. Having to learn with different people from at-least 13 nationalities is an eye-opening experience.

Academically, what was your experience transcending from elementary school up to the University level?

Having so many brothers and cousins ahead of me was really helpful. I learnt a lot from them while growing up. I always had someone who had just graduated from a class I was about getting into, so it was quite easy to tap from their knowledge and experience.
Thankfully, I did not face so much financial challenge because my parents tried in their capacity to make those provisions. I eventually benefited from scholarships which funded my bachelors and eased the burden off my mother’s shoulders because at that time, my father was deceased. I was also in the business of making cakes and pastries and drinks for occasions and sales during my undergraduate days.

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

I would say they should keep trying their best and not lose hope even if it doesn’t feel like it’s working. Don’t hang that boot, communicate with people, especially those in your field who have gone ahead so that you will avoid making the same mistake they must have made.

Thank you for coming. Any word for Honournaija_blog?

You are doing a great job. Keep creating awareness to people that scholarship is not a scam and that it is not reserved for the elite.


Thank you so much ma for coming. I enjoyed this session.!!

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