Self awareness is a channel to harnessing your potentials. The state of comfort can be so overwhelming and satisfying that it limits you and clouds you vision.
We become who we are meant to be through the daily hard work and a dodged spirit, tackling all hurdles with every tenacity. Today, we have a vibrant soul in the house and will love to dish out the juice from his knowledge. Lets meet him😇
Super welcome to honournaija_blog, can we meet you sir?
I am Timilehin Oguntuyaki. I am from Ipetu-Ijesha, Osun State. I am currently a research candidate at the Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN), Canada. In Nigeria, I did an Ordinary National Diploma program in Science Laboratory Technology between 2010 and 2012. I proceeded to the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) to study Applied Geology in 2012, which I completed in 2017. Before moving to MUN, I did a master’s degree in Land and Water Systems at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, where I graduated in August 2020. I enjoy cooking and listening to music. I love watching football (soccer), and my favorite team is Chelsea. I enjoy playing Table Tennis.
I love the cooking part😀, What inspired you to seek for scholarship and to study outside Nigeria?
I have many mentors that I have been looking up to since I was in the polytechnic. These people are great men and women in their chosen fields of study. There was only one thing common to all of them, international education. I went to FUTA with a strong motivation to finish with a first-class result. I realized early enough that my CGPA will be my first academic identity and a significant factor in determining my chances of getting a scholarship.
I see determination, Were you rejected? how did you handle it? share your experience.
I was rejected about three times. One time was in January 2019. The two other times were after I had been awarded the MasterCard Foundation (MCF) Scholarship to study at UBC in March 2019. I would say that the first rejection was the one that hit and hurt me so badly. However, I read the rejection letter (which contained how my application was evaluated) many times to understand why I was rejected despite my strong academic profile. Also, I sent it to a couple of mentors who read the letter and re-reviewed the application package I submitted for the scholarship, and offered great advice and corrections. I want to state that it was the lessons that I learned from this rejection that helped me land the MCF scholarship as I had applied for MCF since October 2018. However, the lessons helped me land my current position and the required knowledge to mentor and guide upcoming scholars in their applications.
Great, How many scholarships did you apply for before hitting the jackpot?
I am a staunch advocate of doing a self-assessment before applying for any scholarship. Therefore, I did not apply for many scholarships; I only applied for those that I am ‘highly’ qualified for. Before I landed my first scholarship, I had only applied for four scholarships, out of which I won two in 2019.
I see intelligence, Did you feel excited after getting one? Share your experience.
Excitement’ can not perfectly describe my feeling when I got a scholarship. It was indeed life-changing news.
Smiles, From your experience, what are the needful things to be done before securing a scholarship?
Yes, Get a good grade if you are still an undergraduate student. Anything above a CGPA of 80% should be okay. However, suppose you have graduated with a relatively low CGPA. In that case, you can get involved in research in your field of study, get a local master’s degree in Nigeria, gain work experience in the same area you want to apply to or take up internship positions. Get involved in community development activities. Join NGOs, volunteer for causes you are passionate about. Take up leadership positions in the church, mosque, street department; always do things to make life better for other people in the society. Build a great relationship with your lecturers (do not become an errand boy or girl, though). You will need these lecturers to write reference letters for you. Be active in classes, contribute meaningfully, and be versatile. Get mentors. Many people are willing to share scholarship tips with ready students. Remember, you do not need to request anyone to be your mentor. Just follow up on their progress and ask questions. Use your social media platforms more wisely. Many information about graduate admission and scholarships is lying fallow on almost all social media platforms. Use them wisely. You can follow me on Twitter @oguntuyakitimi.
Great insight, Any platform that students can get scholarships from? please share?
Yes, There are many of them; type scholarship opportunity for Africans on google, you will be amazed by the result. Personally, I used platforms like scholarship positions, masters portal, scholarships for development, and opportunity desk.
Studying outside Nigeria, how does it feel?? Stressful, tasking or quite with ease? Share your experience.
It is more challenging here. The pace, expectation, and workload are on the high side. However, you have every motivation to deliver because all you need as a student has been provided.
True, What are your words of advice to intending scholarship applicants.??
I would say that you have to be grinding. Many scholars that I know have failed many times than they succeeded. So, when the rejection letters keep coming, take them graciously, learn from them and present a stronger application after that. As I said in a recent tweet, rejection letters result from your profile and not your person. Therefore, stop beating yourself down over rejections. Instead, keep improving your profile (your application documents). Also, rejections have their ways of preparing you for grad school; you must know how to handle your emotion and mental health in the face of rejections. When you finally land the scholarship and admission, you will find out why you need to be emotionally intelligent before crossing the oceans.
This is intelligent and meticulous, I love your style of answering the questions, I learnt as well. Thank you.