“My life is a testimony. In my 200 level, my class had an issue with a lecturer and we were all marked down, most people failed the two courses the lecturer taught. My result was bad but I didn’t fail. I had a C in both. To me, that is enough testimony that God was on my side.”

Read this interactive interview with Esther, a first-class economist, who narrowly escaped an “F” from a huge blow of mass failure. Her university experience shows that there is still hope for any student facing a hard time.

1. Your full name?

Esther Chidiebele Oseji

2. Course studied, University, Graduation year and Graduating C.G.P.A?

Economics, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, 2014. 4.563.

3. Why did you choose that course of yours?

At the point of choosing the course, I had no clue or idea about economics. I even thought it was not a competitive course so I could gain admission easily, given the competitive nature of entrance into tertiary institutions.

First-Class Student of Economics Shares Her University Experience
4. Can you please share any difficulty or hurdle you faced as a student and how you overcame?

My major difficulty was striving to become on top of my game.

To ensure I laugh last, I didn’t relent. I remember in my final year when I started having discouraging results which almost affected me. I was about to write a paper when my 300 level result was released and had a C in a 4-unit course. My entire self almost died (on a lighter note).

Felt like not writing that exam but I encouraged myself with the help of my friends. I wrote the paper successfully and passed.

Read: How to raise your CGPA in one semester

5. What is your personal mission/vision statement?

I will seek a total balance in my work life, family life and spiritual life as they are all important to me. I’ll seek to make myself friendly, approachable and accommodating to everyone I meet.

I will seek to add value to the lives of people by making them feel better than they were before.

Excellence, humility, integrity and diligence based on the opportunities I am exposed to.

I will ensure I rank first, second or third in any competition I embark on.

I choose to embrace change and respond positively to the changes around me.

Financially independent, financially prudent and be investment driven.

Above all, I will ensure I improve myself daily and become a better me daily.

6. What drives you to success?

The zeal of becoming a person of influence drives me to work hard to become it.

7. What are your hobbies and dislikes?

Likes – I love talking, visiting, browsing and chatting.

Dislikes – I hate sluggishness, laziness and boredom.

smiling while sharing her university experience
First-Class Student of Economics Shares Her University Experience
8. Were you in a love relationship while in school? if yes, how did you combine it with your academics without one affecting the other? If no, why?

No. I simply maintained close friendships

9. Did you see yourself becoming one of the best students a few years back and why?

Actually, I did see myself becoming one of the best.

10. What are the unique secrets or tips for finishing well in your department?

I will say its Grace. God’s grace. Other factors are Attentiveness in class, Good friends, seriousness, always studying and going the extra mile

11. How did you achieve your goals of becoming the best student?

I think my answer is related to that of (10) above

12. Was there any time you failed or any time you were not happy with your grades? Can you tell us about the experience?

Yes, I think I shared earlier. There were times I expected to get a higher grade but got a lower grade. The most painful was in my final year when I saw my 300l second semester result, I had a C in a 4unit course, shortly after the result was released, I had another C in a 2 unit course. 

13. How did you get over it?

It took the help of my pastor and self-talk to believe I could still make a first class result. I lost all hope but my pastor encouraged me.


14. Have you had any challenge with a lecturer in the past? How did you scale through?

No. I wasn’t seen but known.

15. Would you advise students to combine academics with other activities while on campus? Why?

Yes. it teaches you time management which is a key attribute for success in life. what I will advise is never bite more than you can chew. 

16. Which other activity did you indulge in as a student?

I was active in the department academic forum/group, as well as campus fellowship.

17. Would you say you had more friends or lost more friends because of your goals and values? Kindly explain.

I am the jovial type, so, I always had friends around.

18. Have you ever been a recipient of any scholarship? How did you apply for it?

I was. I subscribed to several scholarship adverts, so I always receive scholarship adverts in my mail.

19. Is there any habit you are working hard to break and what are the measures you are taking to break it?

I procrastinate a lot. Personally, setting deadlines helps me a lot. I also ensure I keep friends who keep me on my toe.

20. During your undergraduate days, was there a mistake you made and wished you could undo?

Not really.

21. During your undergraduate days, was there something you couldn’t do but wished you did?


22. Has your choice of friends influenced your success in any way? How?

Yes. I always move with like-minds and they helped to put me in check.

23. Has your structure of home and family influenced your success in any way? How?

My father will always encourage you when you succeed. Often times, he gave us gifts. I also looked forward to the gifts.

24. What advice would you give people with a poor choice of friends and people who are not lucky enough to be raised in a healthy home?

First-Class Student of Economics Shares Her University Experience

They should carve their own niche. They should know what they want, where they want to be and work towards the future. In short, dream big and work hard.

25. Can you share a testimony that showed vividly that God was involved in your success?

My life is a testimony. In my 200 level, my class had an issue with a lecturer and we were all marked down, most people failed the two courses the lecturer taught. My result was bad but I didn’t fail. I had a C in both. To me, that is enough testimony that God was on my side.

26. Is there any particular experience from which you will like us to learn? This could be in any area of life.

Hmm… not sure. I think I served God more and worked more. God is my source of success in all that I do.

27. Who do you see yourself becoming in the nearest future and how are you working towards that?

A consultant in the world bank or the likes/Minister of finance. I intend to gather a few experiences in the finance industry then do  a masters and PhD IN Economics (major in Finance)

28. What advice would you give students who wish to be highly successful?

Believe in yourself. Never give up and trust God. Be smart enough to know how things work. Work with serious minded people. Be humble and teachable.

29. What advice would you give Nigerian students, Nigerian lecturers and Nigerian Universities?

Do not limit yourself to your environment. Hence, be the best in all you do.

Esther shares her university experience
First-Class Student of Economics Shares Her University Experience
30. Any advice to give to a student who has failed severally and about to give up?

My advice is – Whenever you feel like quitting, don’t, because it means your success is close by. Keep pushing till there’s nothing else you can do. Believe in yourself. You can do it, just try.

Read: 7 hidden effects of exam malpractice

31. What is your definition of success?

Being able to achieve a set goal irrespective of obstacles.

32. Would you like to drop your mail, just in case anyone wants to ask you further questions?


Share with love

Post Author: Abimbola Joseph

Abimbola Joseph is a creative content developer who derives pleasure in encouraging individuals to be the best they can be in all relevant facets of life. She believes that we all have a better version of ourselves which can be leveraged to impact others and make the world a better place. Connect with me on Instagram @abimbolajoe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *