At the 28th and 29th convocation ceremonies of Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Etieh Chinoso Justice stood tall among the over 10,500 graduating students.
He emerged one of the best overall graduates with 4.76 CGPA from the Department of Biochemistry and was offered a job by the Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun. In an interview with The Education Report, Etieh spoke on his journey to OOU after the same university rejected him twice.
Can we have a peep into your background?
I grew up from a family of five children, four boys, and a girl. My parents are, Mr. Etieh Nduka Paul while my mum is Mrs. Etieh Hope Uche. I am from Ika North East Local Government Council of Delta State. My dad works as a Sales Manager at Emotech Nigeria Ltd while my mother is a fashion designer.
Details of my educational journey
My early childhood education started from Mother Alice Memorial School, New Oho Oba, Lagos State. My family relocated from Lagos State to Ogun State, where I completed my primary school at Scholars Universal Primary School, Iyana Iyesi, Ota, Ogun State. I finished my secondary education at Scholars Universal Secondary School, Ota, Ogun State.
Admission into OOU, details of WASSCE and UTME results.
I secured admission into OOU after writing their post UTME three times. I was denied admission twice because I chose OOU as my second choice in the two instances but was given admission the third time when I chose OOU as my first choice. I scored 226 in my first UTME and 239 in my second attempt. I gained admission through the newly initiated programme, Joint University Preliminary Examination Board where I scored 14 out of a possible 16 points. I made my WASSCE in one sitting and obtained Distinction in Mathematics, credits in English, Biology, Further Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics.
Did your parents pick OOU and your choice of course?
OOU was the choice our family doctor recommended for my dad, and the love my dad had for the medical profession made him resolute to wanting a doctor in the family. So I intended to study Medicine and Surgery, despite all odds, I ended up in the field of Biochemistry.
Which level did you do well and the GPA recorded?
I produced the best performance in my 400 level, second semester (final semester), I ended that semester with a GPA of 5.0.
Was First Class your target?
Absolute Yes, that was my resolve from day one when I stepped my foot inside the university campus.
Did you at any time thought of giving up your study?
Yes. That was in my 300 level when I was stretched to my full potential. I had to read and pass excellently well in 14 different courses in order to maintain my First Class CGPA. Those times were really trying.
Many regards First Class graduate as a bookworm, are you one?
Yes, I am a bookworm, reading and I are inseparable.
How many awards did you win during the convocation?
I won 11 different awards at the combined convocation ceremonies.
Who did you first break the news of your First Class?
I broke the news to my mom then thereafter my dad.
Which was your best course, why and what did you score from 100 level to 400?
BCH 202, General Biochemistry II. I had a strong affinity for this course because I fell in love with Metabolic and Biosynthetic Pathways. This is the basic principle in biochemistry and reactions going on in the human body. I had my highest score of 98 in my final year.
Nigerian students do well abroad, why?
Nigerian students abroad perform excellently because they put into practice what they study immediately they are taught anything. Invariably they perform more practical than we do.
Job offer by the governor, did it come as a surprise?
Yes, I was positive of something great and it came through.