- Chidinma Adanna Okolo, a Nigerian first-class graduate shares a story of how she was almost frustrated
- The turning point in Chidinma's life was when she was told she was not qualified for a scholarship
- The Nigerian lady says she told herself she was qualified, went ahead to fight it and she won
If opportunity was human, it definitely will be Chidinma Adanna Okolo.
Chidinma, PhD, MRSB, graduated with a first-class degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) in 2011.
Since then she's gone on to attract over 12 fundings and awards while recording some interesting academic feats worthy of commendation.
However, her history and in fact her success story will not be complete without an incredible defining event that happened in her life some 12 years ago.
In her narration obtained by Legit.ng on her official LinkedIn wall, the well-read academic narrated how she not only applied for but bagged a scholarship she was adjudged not qualified for in her second year as a UNN undergraduate.
"For ExxonMobil Undergraduate scholarship, in my 2nd year (2008/2009 academic session), Mobil advertised in the newspaper for undergrads in MEDICINE, AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES, ENGINEERING AND I THINK LAW to apply for scholarship which would last till graduation.
"The value of the scholarship was #70,000 per annum. This was a yearly stuff and I think it is still on now. Notice that Biological Sciences wasn't included as eligible faculties in the fields above and Zoology, my course of study was under Biological Sciences."
What did she do upon this disappointing discovery? Wasn't she supposed to forget about it since she wasn't eligible?
Hear her story:
I went ahead and applied and I still wasn't shortlisted in the newspaper shortlisting for the exam/interview. But there was a caveat. In the same newspaper shortlisting, interested eligible students who couldn't apply before the closing of the portal were still encouraged to come to the venue of the exam.
As far as I was concerned, I was eligible because the criteria was at least 5A's in O'level (A1, B2 or B3 qualified as A) and here I was with 7A1's, 1 B2 and 1 B3.
My certificates were in the hostel (Nsukka) and I was at home (Owerri) for either NUGA or ASUU strike, so I asked my friend to jump into my room and bring them.
The venue was in Owerri, my backyard (Concord hotel), I went for the exam the next day.
Those who were shortlisted were allowed in first after accreditation. We stayed in the queue till 5pm waiting for them to be accredited and also write their exams.
It got to our turn "the left-overs" and they started accrediting (checking O'level, DOB and department) for eligibility. It got to my turn, my O'level was very impressive, the 'problem' was my department, Zoology.
It wasn't under any of the eligible faculties so they wanted to toss me aside. I told them no way, that Fisheries is a branch of Zoology as well as Agriculture, Entomology is a part of Zoology as well as Agriculture. I made my case that Zoology was an interdisciplinary course with pathways to medicine, agriculture and environmental sciences and I should be given my chance. They let me in after discussing amongst themselves.
I wrote the exam (GRE and GMAT format) and there and then I knew I would pass. The question was will I be awarded?
To my surprise, about 3 months later, my HOD sent for me and said he received a letter/mail from ExxonMobil, that I got the Undergraduate Merit award scholarship.
Had she given up in the early stages when she discovered she wasn't eligible we would have been denied the satisfaction and motivation of this interesting read.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported how the story of Emmanuel Nworie broke hearts as he became a petty farmer as a way to eke out a living despite graduating with a first-class in mathematics.
The Cable reports that it would have been better if he was into mechanized farming. He graduated with a CGPA of 4.92/5.00 from the University of Nigerian, Nsukka (UNN).
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