Twenty one years old Miss Susan Chioma Obasi made First Class in Business Administration and also emerged as overall best graduating student of Caritas University, Amorji-Nike, Enugu.
In an interview with The Education Report, Susan, whose parents are professors at University of Abuja revealed the secret of her making First Class and emerging the overall best graduating student of the university.
Can we know you?
My names are Susan Chioma Obasi. I hail from Umuokoroukwu kindred in Aboh-Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria. My parents are Prof. Isaac N. Obasi and Prof. (Mrs.) Susan N. Obasi both of whom are lecturers at the University of Abuja. My father teaches Public Administration and my mother is an Educationist. I am the last of four children of my parents. My elder brother, Francis Chidiebere made First Class in Economics from Madonna University, Okija. While my elder sister made Second Class, Upper Division from the same Madonna University. My immediate brother (the third in line) made Second Class, Lower Division in Computer Engineering from Caritas University.
I had my nursery and primary education at the Hillcrest Preparatory and Primary School, Ugwuawarawa, Nsukka. I did my secondary school at Louisville Girls Secondary School, Old Kutunku, Gwagwalada, Abuja. My WAEC result, I obtained seven credits and made D7 in both Mathematics and Catering Craft Practice. I made A1 in three subjects namely Office Practice, Computer Education and Civic Education. I made B3 in both Commerce and Biology, and then got C5 in both English and Economics. In order not to take chances (regarding D7 in Mathematics), my parents enrolled me for the November/December WASSCE private candidates in 2014. That smart move paid off as I made C6 in Mathematics. Luckily, before the result of the examination came out, NECO results had already been released and I obtained credit in nine subjects with C6 again in Mathematics. From my WAEC results, it became clear that I was good in Office Practice and Commerce. This was confirmed to some extent in my NECO results with Economics added as one of the areas of my strength. Before that, I had started nursing the idea of studying Business Administration and that was what influenced the choice of subjects I entered in both WAEC and NECO. But one lesson from my results is that I entered subjects in the area of my strength i.e. where I have the aptitude or natural interest. This helped to motivate me a lot in the university in my study of Business Administration.
In JAMB results, I scored 220 even though I expected to get a higher score. My set was the first to start the Computer-Based Test (CBT) and there were a lot of anxieties then. My JAMB subjects as expected were Commerce (where I made the highest score), and then Economics, Mathematics and English Language. With respect to academic prizes: While in Louisville Secondary School, I received a prize for being the most diligent student in St. Agnes House (2013/2014), where I also served as its House Captain and equally received an award as the most hardworking House Captain. Again, at the Junior Secondary School (JSS) level in Louisville, I got awards for academic excellence in Igbo Language (1st position with 97.9%) and Mathematics (3rd position with 95.7%) during the 2009/2010 academic session.
When did you secure admission into Caritas University Enugu and why the choice of course
I was admitted in 2014, which was the year I completed my secondary school education. I had interest in Business Administration and I was doing well in such subjects as Office Practice, Commerce, Economics and Mathematics. Again, in Louisville, I used to say that I would like to be a business mogul which my father was fond of calling me then.We also used to joke about it at home. My ambition to be a business mogul was even stated as part of my profile in the 2014 Louisville graduation brochure.
Was the course your choice or your parents decided for you?
The choice of Business Administration was based on my interest as shown in my performance in the chosen subjects in the WAEC, NECO & JAMB subjects. My parents as well as my Louisville School teachers provided the necessary guidance that gave me confidence.
You had the opportunity to attend public university, why the choice of Caritas University?
Caritas University was my family’s natural choice because my immediate elder brother was already there studying Computer Engineering. But the most important factor was that my parents love faith-based universities because of the moral values they inculcate in the students. Caritas as a Catholic university is one of such. Again, our cherished family value is that education is only meaningful when it is based on good moral values. Coming from Louisville background (a Catholic School too), the foundation was already there for me and I therefore adapted well into Caritas-disciplined environment.
How did you know that you made First Class and best overall?
I got to know through one of the lecturers after the Senate meeting. My CGPA from Year 1, when I made a grade point (GP) of 4.62 in the first semester, the consciousness that I could make a First Class came into me. I was very excited and called my dad immediately and my mummy started giving me monetary reward for every course I scored an A grade. My mum regularly booked masses for me and I must confess it really helped. Again, in the second semester of the same Year 1, I could not believe my result: I made a GP of 5.00 (all As in the 10 courses of that semester even recording 86% in Business Mathematics). From there on, I got my confidence back in Mathematics-related courses. In summary, my Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) are first year (4.81); second year 1st & 2nd semester (4.73 & 4.75 respectively); third year 1st& 2nd semester (4.77 & 4.81 respectively); and final year 1st& 2nd semester (4.80 & 4.81 respectively). The overall CGPA was finally 4.81.This shows that there was a considerable improvement in the 2nd semester of my final year.
What was your reaction and who did you inform first?
I was overwhelmed with joy and humbled. I went down on my knees and started thanking God.This time around; we were all at the dinning when the news came in. We were all overjoyed and some shed tears of joy. The real surprising news was my being the overall best student because I already knew I was coming out with a First Class.
At what point (level) did you realize you may ultimately emerge as a First Class student?
As I explained earlier, this was right from year 1 (100 level) when I had CGPA of 4.81. In actual fact, my confidence increased and I started re-doubling my efforts in my studies when I again made a CGPA of 5.00 for the second time during the second semester of 3rd year.
Your Dad and Mum are in the university system, will you like to lecture too?
I will be looking on God to guide my footsteps. Acquiring a higher degree is the first option to consider and then other things can fall in place as God directs.
What were your social life/other extra-curricular activities on campus?
Although I was very studious (as people called me ‘bookworm’) I attended almost all the social activities that were held on campus. I loved the company of my friends and we usually hung out. I played the Drumset and Conga drums in the Church choir and I also belonged to Church societies.
In public universities, sorting and handouts are the order of the day, did you experience any?
Personally I did not experience any such thing as sorting. All my lecturers knew me well from 100 level based on my performance and so no practice came my way.
Many view some of the private universities as glorified secondary schools, do you agree with their views?
Maybe people who hold this view do so because of the strict disciplinary measures existing in most private universities.
ASUU claims that public universities have qualified lecturers than private ones, judging from your experience, how true is that?
It depends but what I know is that my university makes serious efforts to get qualified lecturers. The location of my university makes it possible to get lecturers as there are many experienced lecturers living in Enugu some of whom retired from nearby universities.
Are there friends in public universities that you gained admission at the same time who are still in school due to strike?
Yes, and this is very sad. The Federal Government should do something about the frequent ASUU strikes.
What do you think of Nigeria?
Nigeria needs serious prayers as things are not going on well at all. High unemployment rate is the worst problem any country should have. I am praying that these coming elections would be peaceful.
Do you agree with the saying that the youths are leaders of tomorrow?
It is very true but when and how will they be leaders without employment?
Do you agree that handsets, Facebook and other social media platforms are distractions to several students on campus?
Yes, the use of handsets and social media platforms could become counter-productive to the interest of the youths if not used responsively.
Finally, what is next after your graduation and NYSC?
I am looking unto the Almighty God to order my footsteps into the future because He promises us the future with a hope (Jeremiah 29: 11). However, going for a higher degree is definitely an option.