Paul Agada is a first-class graduate of the mass communication department, University of Lagos and the Best Graduating Student of the 2019/20 set.
Agada has won the Future Leader of Marketing award of the Advertisers Association of Nigeria (2021). He was President of the Mass Communication Students’ Association, as well as editor-in-chief of the departmental training newspaper, UNILAG Sun, between 2018-2021; and was among top SDGs advocates to meet with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for the launch of the Lagos SDGs Youth Alliance in September 2021. He speaks more about his feats in this interview.
How do you feel about emerging the best in your class?
I must admit that I feel very proud of my feat because the journey was not easy. All through my five years of studentship, I remained fixated on becoming the best student in my class, I am happy to have achieved my goal.
Why do you have an edge over other students to emerge as the overall best?
Well, I guess I was keen on becoming the best student. My work ethic, associations and decision-making were instrumental in making sure that I emerged top of my class.
I had a good relationship with the previous best graduating students of the department, so I learned from them and worked towards emulating them.
Could you describe a typical school day for you?
In my first year, the typical school day was from class to the library to my house. However, I became more engaged in extracurricular activities in my second year. The typical day in my final year was more about going to class and doing my deliverables either as the President of the Mass Communication Students Association or the Editor of UNILAG Sun.
What academic challenges did you encounter?
Like every other student, I had my favourite courses. I usually found the ones I did not like quite challenging. Sometimes, I had multiple assignments in different courses with similar timelines and they were very overwhelming.
What’s your most cherished moment on campus?
My most cherished moment was when I saw the election results for the position I contested in 2019. I ran for president of my departmental student association, the Mass Communication Students Association in 2019. I faced stiff opposition during the campaign, so when I won, I could not hold back the joy. I kept screaming and jumping, some of my supporters even carried me that day.
What was your social life like?
I am not a party freak; I hung out with my friends whenever I had the chance.
What extracurricular activity did you engage in school?
More often than not, I was busy planning student-centred activities or editing stories for publication. I was a member of the UNILAG cohort of the Millennium Fellowship. I worked on a project tagged Project Floodlight, the project raised awareness of the factors that led to flooding. I was also a member of the Strengthening Student Networks for Inclusive Development (STUNT) Project organized by the Youth Alive Foundation. In 2019, we sought to tackle sexual harassment on campus by raising awareness of the university’s sexual harassment policy.
Were you in any way distracted while on campus?
There were distractions. But distractions are relative and one has to learn to manage them. Parties, relationships, side hustles, and political positions among others may be considered distractions for some people and for others they are not. It depends on what one seeks to achieve.
What are your goals and what are your plans now?
I want to be a top-tier professional in the marketing communications space with the ability, skill and knowledge to provide cutting-edge consulting for startups and technology firms. Also, one of my long-time ambitions is to be a Chevening Scholar, I am hoping to apply and get the scholarship.
I am also passionate about politics; I want to be involved in the next election process. I want to sensitize as many people as possible about the dangers of political apathy.
How have you benefited from the Future Leader of marketing award?
The Future Leader of Marketing Award is one of the categories awarded at the annual Advertisers Association of Nigeria Awards. I sent an entry and my entry and presentation were judged the best. So I got the award.
So far, I will say winning the award has given me a sense of direction. I know I am capable of becoming a top short in the marketing communications industry.
In terms of parental support, what is your story?
My parents believe strongly in education. My family believes in education and they were very helpful and supportive. My elder brother always encouraged me and gave me the motivation to aim for first class.
How would you describe the training you got from the university?
I will say that my university training was invaluable. I learnt beyond the four walls of the classroom. I built relationships with lecturers, students and alumni of the university. The training has prepared me for the next phase of my life and I am grateful for my experience at the University of Lagos.
What is your advice to students who will want to emulate your success?
I will urge them to always believe in themselves, cultivate the right habits and be patient. Prepare yourselves for the opportunities you want, so when they come you will be ready.
Stories You Missed