Scholar: Akeem Abisogun
Undergraduate Course and Grade: Industrial Relations and Personnel Management, First Class
Undergraduate School: Lagos State University
Graduate Course and University: Master of Arts in Human Resources and Consulting at Lancaster University Management School
My name is Akeem A. Abisogun, I hold a First-Class bachelor’s degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Nigeria. I am currently pursuing my Master of Arts in Human Resources and Consulting at Lancaster University Management School, Bailrigg, United Kingdom through the Chevening Scholarship which is funded by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
My Graduate Degree
My name is Akeem A. Abisogun, I hold a First-Class bachelor’s degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Nigeria. I am currently pursuing my Master of Arts in Human Resources and Consulting at Lancaster University Management School, Bailrigg, United Kingdom through the Chevening Scholarship which is funded by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Winning the Chevening Scholarship was by no way an easy journey- this is not to scare away prospective applicants- but to get them prepared for the task ahead. That said, I believe three things made me win the prestigious Chevening scholarship and they are; research, planning, and enthusiasm.
My Chevening Strategy
Firstly, every scholarship has its vision, mission, and objectives; and Chevening is one with great, interesting, and broad goals and objectives. Thus, I did a lot of research, gathering all forms of information, ranging from the eligibility criteria, the programmes, courses options, affiliated Universities, how the scholarship is funded (through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, FCO), the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and its priority areas in applicants’ countries, the global recognition, network, and impact down to the understanding of the whole application process which can take up to a year. Consequently, this gives me a clearer picture of Chevening and I did a lot of self-assessment to check and know if I have all it takes in which I found out I have. Subsequently, I started my application and I provided and included what Chevening is looking out for.
In addition, it is very essential to plan. We all know that it’s only the Almighty who knows what the future holds but the Chevening scholarship committee wants to see how you have laid out plans for your studies, after studies, or in the next five (5) or ten (10) years. I ensured that all these were reflected in all my four (4) essays especially the career plan and why study in the UK essays.
Also, I showed a lot of enthusiasm right from my online application through my essays down to the interview room while facing and interacting with the panelist. In addition, my motivation, drive, passion, vision to learn, study, network, develop professionally and personally in the UK, as well as effect a positive change in quality education and workforce development in Nigeria and globally, were exhibited and communicated in a well convincing and reasonable manner. I wrote my essays using the STAR/L (situation, task, action, results, and lessons learned) format and ensured it was original, clear, concise, specific and not plagiarized. Most importantly, I sought assistance to get my essays reviewed and proofread by five (5) senior colleagues including a Professor.
Furthermore, I always believe that we are products of some decisions we have made. I have always sought to serve as a leader wherever I found myself. Hence, my leadership tract has been excellence right from secondary school, up to undergraduate days where I held the position of a Welfare Director in the Lagos State University Students’ Union Government 15/16 academic session and, yes, with local communities.
What Made Me Stand Out
That said, I would like to add that coupled with this time-demanding position held in my final year as an undergraduate, I graduated with a First-Class degree. This, I believe, equally made my application stand out. Similarly, after graduation, I volunteered as a social auditor with Involve Africa, a local Ngo that advocates for youth development, good governance and public policy processes.
Here is a link to important and useful tips to further assist prospective scholars for creating winning applications.
Finally, it was not as if I had a smooth ride to my Chevening award or journey. I was unsuccessful in my first attempt in 2017 but I never gave up. As a leader, I think we should not be afraid to fail; the most important thing is that we learn from our failure and then, use it to our greatest advantage. Lest I forget, the wait can be long and tiring, it is almost a year; so, you need a lot of tenacity, perseverance and a high level of hope, faith, and prayers. We are only doing our best. The Almighty has a plan for every one of us. So, do not despair if you did not make it in the first try.
Disclaimer: The contents and opinions in this article are mine and do not represent the view of the Chevening Scholarship or the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) or partner organizations.