Gabriel Dike and Kehinde Olayinka
Twenty-one-year-old Babatunde Babajide, an Accounting graduate of Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA) has set a record from 3.80 GPA in 100 level to 4.68 CGPA in his final exams and bagged First Class. In an interview with The Education Report, he explained the secret of his success and how he overcame some challenges to bag First Class.
Give a brief background of yourself
My name is Babatunde Babajide Mercy. I am popularly addressed by the virtue of political and social nomenclature as, BBM (alphabetism of my name). I was born on February 23rd, 1998. I am an indigene of Ilora, Afijio Local Government of Oyo State and from a middle-class family, though my parents are not educated they have great zeal for academics and they ensure that their children are well educated. My father, Mr. Amos Babatunde is into tailoring and owns a small scale poultry farm. My mother, Mrs. Joke Babatunde is a hairstylist.
How did you write WAEC and UTME?
To the Glory of God, I have never written any exam twice, by implication, I made both WAEC / NECO and UTME at once withn in the range of B3-C6 in WAEC / NECO in 2014 and 231 in UTME in 2015. I did not write UTME in 2014 due to fear and financial unhealthiness. So I judiciously used the period in learning computer and engineering skills. Although I am not the type that usually read during my high school days God helped me. This testimony won’t be complete without talking about how I entered FUTA. I picked FUNAAB (Abeokuta) in 2015 UTME as my choice of institution to study Accounting and The Polytechnic Ibadan (TPI) as the second choice. Having passed UTME with 231, I read with all my strength for about 10hours in a day to study for the post-UTME but I had 45 percent. I was so sad and worried but decided to move on, trusting the process and getting ready for the next phase. In a nutshell, Poly Ibadan offered me admission and all of a sudden, I heard about the announcement of the sale of post-UTME form in FUTA and I applied with the money I was supposed to use to pay my acceptance fee in TPI and traveled to Akure. I had 74 percent in the post-UTME and was offered admission. It was actually God, out of about 22,000 candidates that sat for the exam, only 900 were selected.
Social life and politics on campus are two things that distract students, which one nearly affected you?
Politics! A game of the wise. I served as the pioneer General Secretary of the Nigerian Universities Accounting Students’ Association (NUASA) for the 2016/2017 academic session led by Ibrahim Oluwanifemi. It was indeed a nice experience as I was exposed to leadership and communication skills. Serving as the scribe did not in any way affect or distract me, and to the glory of God, I had my first 5.00 GPA while serving in the office (200 level first semester). I have also served in various appointed offices for one post or the other. I also supported Comrade Ibrahim Oluwanifemi while he was contesting for the post of FUTASU president. And he won! About my social life, most of my friends do say I am not really social because I am always occupied with works and other offices, most especially, being the national president, Junior, and Intermediate, Royal Ambassadors of Nigeria of the Nigeria Baptist Convention.
What role did this four-man squad contribute to your success?
Garuba Yusuf Olatunji, Odeh Emmanuel Ikande and Yekini Usman Olawale… These guys are so wonderful, talented, diligent, brilliant and passionate about success in life. This set of people actually helped me in discovering myself. During our first year in school, we shared everything together. And I must say, if not for them and God, I might not have been able to achieve what I have today, most especially, Odeh Emmanuel Ikande, this guy challenged me in diverse ways. But I am so sad that we were unable to keep the squad till the end as there was a misunderstanding between us in 200 level second semester. Nevertheless, my utmost joy is that we all finished successfully and creditably. Odeh and Garuba also made a First Class while Yekini made a Second Class Upper. Kudos to you guys.
You were disheartened with a 3.80 GPA in your 100 level first semester exam, why?
I was so disheartened for some time is the fact that, firstly, I had the lowest result of 3.80, Yekini had 4.00, Odeh had 4.50 while Garuba had 4.55. Secondly, I had no Android phone during the period, so I couldn’t read some of the materials for the exam. Only Futarians can understand better how FUTA diversifies her teaching strategies and methodologies through the use of PDF and Slides and I had no cash than to have them printed. I was pained. And lastly, I hate being the least in anything I do and as a matter of fact, it is my all-round vision in life to “be the best in all that I do.”
So, at 200 level what did you do to boost your GPA?
I did not do anything special, it was just that God partnered with me, and made studying easy for me. Conveniently, I do read for a minimum of 8-10 hours a day without any difficulty, even while fasting. I used the library so well that it got to the extent that I became familiar with the library staff and was allowed to benefit from things that a normal student could not have access to. Colleagues in the department, faculty, and fellowship often address me as ‘Ilemobade’ or ‘Albert’. Also, I devised some reading plans for myself, I had a well structured, flexible and realistic timetable for reading and became more diligent in all my endeavours.
How did you cope with your professional exams and studies?
As a student who is ambidextrous and does not only read to pass but to also build myself, I was able to handle the two without one affecting the other. Also, I never attended any ICAN tutorial class as the two activities are interwoven, some things were being taught in class and also, new things that were being learned in ICAN were also useful in class. And to the glory of God, I wrote all my papers (ICAN) at once.
Aside, professional exams, what other challenges did you face during your studies?
I had other challenges during my studies, as there is no success story without some challenges. While going through the process, one of them is the finance aspect but many thanks to Adeleke Israel Olaoluwa, the best graduating student in my department and faculty, we hustled and ran some businesses together so as to get some cash and finance ourselves (e.g graphics design, computer engineering, project/data analysis, and others).
As a First Class graduate from a public university, can you compete with your counterparts in private universities?
Smiles, I think it won’t be ethical for me to be boasting about my strengths. I don’t need that. It’s not that I am the best, of course, no, I still have bosses. Perhaps, if such a situation occurs and I am to compete with other counterparts in private universities, I will. And I am so confident about myself that I will do my best to prove my worth and deliver well. I engaged in some inter-university debates during my undergraduate and they were memorable moments because my team and I proved that #WeAreFutarians. And Futarians are known for something, Resilience!
From a 3.80 GPA in 100 level to 4.68 CGPA, how did you make it?
I will not make the mistake of taking the glory by saying “I made it on my own”. With the help of scholars like Iwuchukwu Margaret Bernadette (best female friend), Adeleke Israel Olaoluwa, Fadare Israel Mercy, Olatunji Timilehin and others, and most importantly and paramountly, by God, I made it. Although I carried out a huge part of the task by taking my time to study and make more research. I spent most of my time in the library (Albert Ilemobade Memorial Library) doing one thing or the other. I set minimum reading targets for myself, 8 hours a day, with an average of 10-12 hours and I once read for 16 hours (maximum so far) in a day. People often ask me how I was able to actualise this, I was actually inspired by the life of Dr. Ben Carson, who spent about 23 hours in the operation theater and I was of the opinion that if this man could create such time for something he likes doing, then I should try doing such as well.