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A Story of Persistence: Soicm's Journey to Securing the DAAD and Two Other Scholarships

Have you heard the story of the tortoise and the hare? 

If you're Nigerian, born and bred, chances are you've heard this story from your parents or encountered a version of it. One day, the tortoise challenged the hare to a race, despite the hare's reputation for speed. The hare quickly dashed ahead during the race, leaving the tortoise far behind. However, the hare became overconfident and decided to take a nap under a tree, believing he had plenty of time to rest before the tortoise caught up. Meanwhile, the tortoise continued the race, slowly but steadily, without giving up. By the time the hare woke up, the tortoise was almost at the finish line. Despite the hare's frantic efforts to catch up, it was too late—the tortoise had already crossed the line. The main lesson of this story is that "slow and steady wins the race”. Discipline, determination, and perseverance are more important than speed. Just like the tortoise, these qualities helped Soicm Olaleye achieve his dreams of studying abroad.

Soicm Olaleye's journey is a testament to the power of perseverance, determination, and community support. His story isn't just about overcoming obstacles; it's about turning challenges into opportunities for growth and success. Soicm graduated with a degree in History and International Studies from Ekiti State University in 2019. His journey wasn't easy; he faced financial challenges that threatened to derail his dreams. However, Soicm refused to let these challenges define him. He knew he had the potential to achieve great things and was determined to make his dreams a reality. During this challenging time, Soicm discovered GetIn, a platform that helps students navigate the complex world of scholarship applications. He was inspired by the success stories he read on the platform, particularly that of an alumnus who had attended the University of Ibadan and later got accepted into prestigious universities like Oxford.

Despite his financial struggles, Soicm believed that investing $100 in the grad school bootcamp would be a worthwhile decision. Little did he know that this small investment would change the trajectory of his life forever. The resources and support he received from GetIn were invaluable in helping him navigate the scholarship application process. The bootcamp was a game-changer for him. He describes it as being “loaded” with all the information and support he needed to succeed. From learning how to write a compelling CV and statement of purpose to receiving valuable advice from mentors and fellow applicants, the Bootcamp provided Soicm with the tools he needed to succeed.

One of the most important lessons Soicm learned during his journey was the importance of accountability. He realized that having a support system during the application process was crucial. He advises others to take their accountability groups seriously, as they can provide crucial support during difficult times. “In 2021, I wasn’t realistic”, Soicm admits. “Experience was the best teacher”. Despite receiving offers from universities in Canada and the UK, financial constraints prevented him from accepting them. However, he saw these setbacks as valuable learning experiences and used them as motivation to work even harder.

Soicm approached the 2022 application cycle with a renewed sense of purpose and determination to succeed. He meticulously tracked application deadlines, evaluated his academic CV, and took online courses to strengthen his profile. “I noted the scholarships I wanted to apply to in a notebook, including their open dates and close dates”, Soicm says. “This helped me track my progress and beat deadlines”. 

The waiting period was one of the most challenging aspects of Soicm's journey. The DAAD scholarship had a long wait period, from June to November. However, he refused to let this deter him. While waiting to hear back from the DAAD scholarship, he continued to apply for other opportunities. “Since I had a list of applications, I kept applying to them”, he says.

Finally, his persistence paid off when he was awarded the DAAD scholarship in December 2022. By April 2023, he had received offers from the Erasmus and Commonwealth scholarships as well. “Persistence might seem tough, but it is worth it”, Soicm says.

As Soicm embarks on his master's journey, he looks forward to networking with German companies and exploring new opportunities. Despite the uncertainty, he remains optimistic about the future. “There can be some level of uncertainty in life, but I hope to continue my master's while I network with some German companies”, he says. 

His journey is an inspiration to us all, reminding us that with perseverance and determination, we can overcome any obstacle and achieve our dreams. Soicm's story serves as a testament to the power of perseverance and the importance of never losing sight of our goals. His journey is a powerful reminder that with determination, hard work, and support, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE! 


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