—Oluwatomi Oyende, LASU best graduating science student
By Elizabeth Uwandu
Faith Oluwatomi Oyende, 21, and biochemistry student, graduated with a 4.68 cumulative grade point average, CGPA, to emerge the best graduating student from the Faculty of Science at the 21st convocation ceremony of Lagos State University (LASU).
The first child in a family of six tells how hardwork and providence propelled her to come out tops and to secure immediate employment.
Her words, “I like to work on priority basis. As an undergraduate, I was doing one job or the other in addition to my studies. I engaged in all faculty activities; I taught as a lesson teacher; I was the General Secretary of the university’s fellowship, Chapel of Light, and I was one-time Chief Editor of my department’s magazine. I also received bursary awards three times. I have a very social life.”
I am the first child of my parents. I have two siblings and a cousin who has stayed with my family for over 10 years. LASU, besides being my alma mater, has been my home since I was five years old. This because my two parents work in the university.
How did you emerge as the best science student for the 2015/2016 academic year ?
It is a long story. I actually wanted to become a medical doctor. But I was denied admission at both University of Lagos, UNILAG, and LASU because I was not yet 16years old. Having finished secondary school at age 15, I wrote and passed the Joint Admission Matriculation Board Examination. But during post-JAMB test, I was told I must have completed 16 years on or before October 1, 2011. Unfortunately I was to be 16 on January 1 , 2012.
So, when JAMB came out the following year, I bought the form and applied for medicine at Bowen University. I later applied for microbiology at LASU because my parents felt that I was too young to leave home at time. So, providence made me study biochemistry.
My success was achieved through God almighty and through collective efforts. These include the efforts of my mum, my lecturers and my classmates while my dad, Dr Kayode Oyende, took care of the logistics. My mum was practically amazing as she took care of my studying and research even at nights.
How I studied?
I would sleep at10pm and wake up by 3am everyday. And I read most of the time from 3 am to 7 am. This pattern may change due to my busy schedule. I could also read on the road anytime the urge came. But during exams, my mum made sure I suspended all my house chores and extra-curricular activities. This was because I work on priority basis. As an undergraduate, I was doing one job or the other in addition to my studies.
I understood you got employed even before your convocation. How did it happen?
During my final semester, I applied for the ReadySetWork, RSW, instituted by Lagos State government for final year students under the leadership of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Lanre Fagbohun. So. with the mind to be the best in whatever I do, I put in my best in all the activities that saw me being selected among those sent for three months internship programme. The programme started from November 2016 to January 2017. At the end of the internship, Simply Green Limited retained me and made me a staff. I am involved in customer care, and also in procurement and quality control department.
Your social life?
I am a sociable person but I don’t do partying. I like surprises. However, I make use of my social platforms wisely. Besides using them for academic group chats, if I must chat, it must be productive.
I made up my mind as an undergraduate not to dabble into any relationship that would affect my studies. However, I have nice male friends.
My VC, Prof. Lanre Fagbohun, is my number one mentor apart from God and my parents. I will never forget the day the VC shocked me by giving me back my school fees as a scholar. I also appreciate his endowment of RSW. That initiative is doing a lot to remove graduates from the streets.
Advice to undergraduates
All youths should have plan and follow what my mum teaches: The four Ds of success: Desire, determination, diligence and discipline. If any youth applies these principles, he or she will come out tops.