A Nigerian Man, Ibukun Oyeniyi the University of Lagos, UNILAG, Mathematics Best Graduating Student has narrated his journey to success in University.
You will agree with me that the term mathematics may strike fear in people’s hearts, so was there ever a time when you get intimidated?
Yes, that was in my final year when I took a course on general topology and many students failed it. In fact, it was the hardest examination I have ever written in my life. Eventually, I passed the course.
Can you present mathematics as an attractive course for admission seekers?
I tell people that mathematics gives a lot of opportunities; you can become a data analyst, a data scientist, machine learning, statistician and a financial analyst. In applied mathematics, you can convert to engineering because you do a lot of things in the engineering aspect. Also, in pure mathematics, you can apply the concept of algebra for applications like Uber. When you want to order an Uber car for instance, the Uber application has been programmed to match the closest Uber car around you. So, people don’t know that so much is done with the concept of mathematics.
What are the benefits of mathematics as a course to the Nigerian economy?
In agencies like the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS), statisticians are placed there which is still a subset of mathematics. Agencies like these help the country to analyse data that will improve the economy.
What was your preparation like towards getting a distinction?
What helped me was that I had good senior roommates in my first year. Although I had the party people and other types of people around me, one thing I did was that I had to follow the scholars among them. In fact, most of the scholarships I have today, my senior roommates introduced me to them. If not for my senior colleagues who were also my roommates, I may not have gotten the result that I have today. More so, I didn’t even go to night classes or tutorials to arrive at where I am today. I just ensure I revise everything I was taught that week and also make sure I solve a lot of mathematics questions.
Surely, this success came at a cost, would you say your social life was one of the costs you incurred to achieve this success?
Let me say yes. However, that was for my first and second year at the university. I used those two years to build my academic foundation as advised by my roommates and then in my third year, I explored socially in terms of participating in politics, going to responsible parties and other side activities.
Was there any psychologically induced downtime? How did you manage it?
In the penultimate semester of my final year, I got this low grade. It was the lowest I ever had in all my years on campus, it was an E. I had to do more courses in my final semester and I was able to manage the situation.
What should Nigerians and the world at large expect from you in the near future?
I have a lot on my mind, but one of the things I am planning to do at the moment is to start a tutorial centre to impart knowledge on undergraduate and postgraduate students. Also, I plan to further my education so as to get knowledge to solve real life problems and to also help the society at large.
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