By Dayo Adesulu
OLAJUWON Ezekiel, 21, graduated with a Cumulative Grade Point Average of 4.88 from the Landmark University Omu Aran Kwara State and same year became a certified member of both Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN) and Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). Thus, Ezekiel, a graduate of Accounting and Finance emerged the university’s valedictorian at the 2017 convocation.
Olajuwon who hails from Osun State explains his road to academic success. He said when he was in secondary school, he found it difficult to choose between Commercial Class and Sciences. According to him, while his father preferred sciences because of his desire for him to become a medical doctor, Ezekiel had interest in business line. Though his father had flare for sciences, Ezekiel disclosed that he never forced him to read sciences, but encouraged him to do commercial course. Today, I’m grateful I did not regret that decision,’’ he said.
Stressing the extent to which Accounting appeals to him, he noted that Accounting is a course he loves , adding that Accounting is seen as a language in business. He, pointed out that in future, he hopes to acquire knowledge in other areas relevant to business such as Business Law.
Asked how he coped with combining school and professional exams, he said: ‘’It’s all about setting ones’ priority right! For instance, since my 100-Level I’d engaged in these professional exams. I started from Accounting Technicians Scheme West Africa, then to ICAN (Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria) and then ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants). ‘’Really, it was demanding; but if you love what you do, it is all about ‘this is what I want to do and I must give my best to it’.
‘’Besides in Accounting, one area helps the other. Professional knowledge is like advanced and makes the academic a bit easier. So, I tried to marry both together because there is a kind of positive correlation between the two.’’
On his social life, he said though he is social, but never had a girl friend.
Said he: ‘’Sometimes my friends in school would tease me that I don’t have social life; but I will tell them this is not the time for it. ‘’If I must attend a party, it would be something corporate that will add more value to me. In fact, there was no time to attend social gatherings because I spent most of my time studying for either my school or professional exams, or even taking up academic projects for my colleagues or giving professional guide to those willing to venture into one kind of business or the other.’’
Ezekiel who believes there is no success without a period of challenges recalled that when he was writing his final ICAN exam, he had not received enough lectures to sit for it. According to him, preparing for the ICAN exam, coupled with the system of studying in Landmark University which keeps every student very busy, he was disturbed.
Thinking of how to cope with ICAN exam and his university course , he said: ‘’Because I did not want my performance in both to drop, it landed me at the Health Centre. At the centre, my blood pressure was checked in morning, afternoon and evening and I was told it had gone up. ‘’But I told them you people are just keeping me here because my mind was actually somewhere else. I wasn’t getting enough books to consult and I needed to pass. At the end I passed all the five papers I registered for at the professional level.’’
The second experience, he added was when we just started school, most of my course mates didn’t reckon with me because of my small stature. But after the first semester exam, everybody was all over me. The lesson I learned from that experience was that when you are committed and you are the best in your game, people will look for you and not the other way round.’’
‘’My father and Dr Tony Nwanji are my mentor. Dr Tony Nwanji who was my former dean inspired me to always aspire for more because he has more than 13 professional qualifications.
‘’I remember in my 200-Level, Dr Nwanji advised me to suspend my ICAN exam and focus on how to get the best out of my first degree which to him, is like the foundation. But I felt otherwise since I’d done my ATS 1 to 3 and believed I could move on. Thank God I did not agree with the decision at the time.
I’m hoping to get into the ‘Big Four’ accounting firms, (Deloitte LLP, Pricewaterhousecooper, KPMG, and Ernst&Young) or top consulting firms which for me, are a great place toork..