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Akinniyi Rasaq Akinwumi was the best graduating student at the combined convocation ceremonies of Fountain University, Osogbo, held recently. In an interview with Risqot Adetunji and Kawthar Oyeleye, he shared his experience while on campus and his future ambition.
Congrats on bagging first class! How do you feel about this achievement?
Excited! Although it took a lot of hard work and I never really expected it but at the end of the day, I give all the glory to Allah.
What challenges did you face as a student?
Wow! Virtually everything ... Limited materials, lecturers rushing us, giving us assignments even when they don’t expect us to finish up, as we have no choice but to finish it or we will be penalised. Living in school and the funding weren’t really coming through; I guess we just had to put one thing to another. My course mates were really helpful in every necessary way possible; so I think I should give kudos to them because they were very supportive in everything we did together.
So you mean to say materials provided weren’t enough?
No, what I mean is that, lecturers were giving us several materials to read within a short notice, for example, a lecturer giving us three hundred and something pages to read for the exam, and expecting us to read every chapter. And actually I’m not really a library person; so I was forced to make judicious use of whatever resources I had, and at one stage I had no choice but to go to the library to source for more information. At the end of the day, I guess it was all worth it.
How did you feel when you were asked to give the valedictory speech?
Wow!. Actually, I had never really spoken in public, to such crowd before. So I was just saying to myself that I needed to conquer, you know there’s this 30 seconds fear, the moment someone steps onto a stage. I had to conquer that fear from the beginning. I hoped everything would be okay. I already told myself that from the beginning. Luckily for me, the moment I stepped onto the stage, it was as if the fear wasn’t there at all; so just giving the speech was more or less like a leap of faith, if I could use the word. So at the end of the day everything worked out just the way I hoped it would.
How did you manage to come tops among your mates?
I can’t really say I came tops among my mates because it was more or less a team effort. We all put our efforts in it, and don’t forget, I started as a direct entry student, I did not start from 100 level in FUO. So, starting from 200 level, I had so many people who were willing to help. Though the foundation was already set, people already knew how the school operated. They were helpful and willing to assist. Every other direct entry students and I were getting used to the academic system so I guess things worked out fine.
Was there a time you felt you weren’t up to the task?
Over and over again, I always felt like “why is it so difficult?” Like what’s the point for facing all those challenges? What’s the point for the first class in the entire class. I actually never wanted a first class honestly; I guess what helped out was that I had a very good policy and everybody was looking out or hoping to come out with a first class. Through pressure from every other person, motivation from friends, family and loved ones, everything just helped in motivating and keeping me focused on my goal.
What is next after graduation?
Write as many exams as possible, hopefully masters and Ph.D... probably…. I don’t know….. I think I know…..Maybe go into lecturing, but that’s going to be like a second or third option. Probably go into the industrial business for a while. I could begin with a masters or Ph.D first, and then from there whatever God says.
What is your advice to students out there?
My advice to students is that challenges will come, obstacles will be along the way. They would have to face several rough roads but when they have their eyes on the prize, when they have Allah supporting them in every way possible, the sky is just the limit.