Oladimeji Shotunde has emerged as the best graduating student of the Lagos State University, Ojo, as he graduates with the highest CGPA (4.95) in the 2018/2019 academic session. Shotunde, who is a graduate of the Business Administration Department in the Faculty of Management Science and the founder of the academic group, EXCEL MIND, has broken the record of the institution as the highest CGPA holder and graduate since the inception of the university.
(Fareedah Toafeeq): Can you give a brief background of yourself?
(Oladimeji Shotunde): I am Oladimeji Shotunde, the last of four children from a family of six. I am from Ogun State, precisely, Abeokuta South. I love reading books but I am not a bibliophile.
(FT): What was it like growing up?
(OS): Growing up was not easy, but it was fun and interesting. I was not born with a silver spoon, but I give God the glory for where I am today.
(FT): How easy was it for you to gain admission into LASU and was LASU your first choice?
(OS): LASU has always been my first choice. I wrote my GCE examination while I was preparing to go SSS 2 and I passed. Not wanting to waste such privilege, I wrote JAMB the following year and scored about 160 in which I couldn’t apply In LASU so I chose Yaba Tech and was admitted. I took JAMB again and was among the top 3 with the highest post UTME score in LASU but, unfortunately, I was given management technology to study. I took a change of course form but instead of being given business administration I was given PHE (physical health education) I wrote JAMB the third time and scored very high both in JAMB and post UTME and was finally allowed to study my dream course.
(FT): Did you ever imagine that you would be the best graduating student in your set?
(OS): Honestly, I didn’t. I didn’t even imagine graduating with a First Class (degree), I was just determined to have the best I can. So I guess this is my best, although, I can also say I am just a product of grace.
(FT): Why did you choose to study Business Administration?
(OS): My family, most especially my siblings, had a passion for business-related courses. My eldest sibling studied Accounting, my second sibling studied Marketing while my third sibling studied Business Education and I studied Business Administration. Also when I was in secondary school I always scored higher in commercial-related subjects. Hence, I guess that the reason I chose to study Business Administration is that, after all, “it is better for you to be a King in the jungle than being a dog in the city.”
(FT): What challenges did you encounter on your way to becoming the best graduating student?
(OS): I admit the journey was not smooth, I had hiccups on the way coming from both lecturers and my fellow course mates. But everything boiled down to my resolve to make the best of every situation and the only way I could spite my enemies was to emerge the winner.
(FT): Do you have a mentor or someone who inspires you to become better?
(OS): Well, I am not among the calibre of people that believes in having mentors but I had people constantly guiding me, ranging from my lecturers to my fellow colleagues so I basically had role models and not mentors.
(FT): What inspired you to create the academic group EXCEL MINDS?
(OS): When I was in my first year, they were different types of tutorial groups. Mariam tutorial group, Florence tutorial group and others. As a novice, I attended all the tutorial [groups] but I became more confused since both groups most times contradict each other while teaching, so I felt that rather than bringing contradictions, why not bring everybody under an umbrella and [have people] tutor the aspect they are sound in. Excel Minds was birthed based on the need to improve the overall academic performance of the entire students of the institution.
“A person is a person through others,” said Oladimeji. The types of friends he made and kept also contributed to his success and so did his parents, especially his dad who always ensured that he fills him with details of his activities and advises him, so he was driven to make his father and parents proud. Of course, he was not only well versed in his academics but also a key member in a lot of extracurricular activities ranging from being an executive member of the SDGs for LASU, to being a member of the off prize edition. He was also the founder of the Genius Repolius Society and The Writing Club. According to him, “My life was basically 60% extracurricular activities and 40% academics.”
(FT): After your convocation ceremony what are your future goals and expectation?
(OS): I want to become an established business analyst diving into the world of artificial intelligence and technology. After my youth service, I also wish to go for my Master’s Degree and any other professional certification that will be available by that time.
(FT): Do you have any advice to students who wish to achieve your level of academic excellence?
(OS): I will tell my favourite quote: “Do not allow the fear of falling stop you from jumping, do not allow the fear of responsibility stop you from committing,” and also they should imbibe the spirit of three things; diligence, being passionate and being responsible.
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