22-year-old Omotuyi Oyindamola made the headlines as another student that graduated with 5.00 CGPA in the 2015/2016 academic session.
She graduated from Systems Engineering Department. In this interview with TUNDE AJAJA from PUNCH Nigeria, she talks about her journey, challenges, achievements and the way forward.
Read Full Interview Below
5.00 CGPA is the peak of academic excellence for an undergraduate in UNILAG. Did you target it from the start?
When I got to school, I only had the plan to finish with a first class, as the Lord would help me to. However, when I saw my first year results and I had 5.00 CGPA, I made up my mind to sustain it. And it looked achievable. I knew it would require a lot of hard work and I was ready to do it. It wasn’t easy at all but God saw me through it all. I was also blessed with good friends and classmates who encouraged me all the way. I can also trace it to the fact that I had a strong upbringing in the area of being serious with my academics. My father is a scholar, so he trained (not forced) us to be scholars too, and I thank God it worked. Beyond hard work, I believe I also obtained favour from God and my parents were deeply elated seeing that their first child achieved such a great feat.
Was it a continuation of your performances in previous schools or it was a fresh beginning?
Yes, I would say it’s like a continuation. I had the first position from my JSS1 to SSS3, and I finished as the best graduating student in my secondary school. I left a percentage score that people coming after would work smart to beat. With the help of God, I took the West African Senior School Certificate Examination and the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination once; I had a very strong secondary school education. Our teachers drilled us a lot. My WASSCE result was good and I scored 315 in UTME, so I gained admission the same year I finished secondary school. However, when I got to school, I had a little difficulty finding my way around, but thankfully, I had seniors who had been in the system who showed me around. I found that new students tend to hear some discouraging stories from senior colleagues, like how difficult it could be to have first class or have an ‘A’ in some courses. People said a lot, based on their own experiences, but I just had to take the good ones and trust in God. So, if anyone told me no one had ever got an A in a course, I would just say someone could start it. If you have such mindset, you would likely get good results. And thank God four of us had first class in my class.
Some people still see engineering as a field for men.
Did anyone try to make you change your mind?
No, more so that I also did not see engineering as a field that a woman cannot venture into and thrive. In fact, it was my dream as a child to be an engineer, and that desire started at the age of five when I started connecting batteries and light-emitting diodes. So, growing up, I found that I love anything multitasking, computer-related, mathematics, fabrications, etc. Therefore, my mentor advised me to opt in for the course. Unknown to some people, system engineering is a very great but wide course. It is engineering and management put together. It is an interdisciplinary field of engineering and engineering management that deals with complex systems. It combines the knowledge of computer science with mechanical, electrical and industrial engineering. It is an all-encompassing field classified into Robotics, Operations research/manufacturing, Systems modelling and simulation and Control. But in a non-professional language, if you are looking for an industrial engineer who would be an entrepreneur, be effective in management of processes and be a software developer, among other skills, systems engineering is the way to go.
Since your graduation, and given the kind of result you had, have you had offers from companies?
Yes, there have been offers and I thank God for that. Things have been awesome since I left school, but I do not give people reasons to see me any differently from who I used to be. I’m taking one day at a time while looking forward to a post graduate study after my National Youth Service Corps programme. Thank God for the kind of parents I have. They have always been sacrificial. They went through a lot to send us to school, so I didn’t have any financial challenge. Besides, I enjoyed UNILAG scholarship from my second year. Sometimes, they also rewarded me with cash gifts and words of encouragement, and I’m happy I had something to show for their efforts over me.
Did you have an active social life while in school?
Yes, I did. My social life was superb. I was surrounded by good friends and I had a number of fellowship activities. I would never have been better if I had gone through school without finding my great lover – GOD. And notably, my happiest moment was on my convocation day, when I saw what the efforts of so many people had resulted into.