Updated: Feb 27, 2019
Scholar: Olamide Ajala
Undergraduate course and grade: Accounting, Second Class Upper
Undergraduate University: Covenant University
Graduate Course and University: MBA, ALBA Graduate Business School at The American College of Greece, Athens
I had always wanted to do my master’s Programme, however, Immediately after graduation in year 2009, my Father told me point blank to look for scholarship because he will not be paying additional school fees. Fast forward to the year 2015, my best friend sent me a flyer with a fully funded MBA scholarship in Greece. At this time, I had just switched jobs, hence it was not the right time to leave for school. However, she (my friend) applied and got the scholarship. In 2016, she informed me about the same scholarship opportunity again which was sponsored by A.G Leventis Foundation. This time, I decided to give it a shot since the opportunity knocked on my door a second time.
I did my research and found out A.G Leventis sponsors two Nigerian Students every year. I sent my application to A.G Leventis Foundation and applied to the school directly. I was shortlisted for the interview which was via Skype. Interview was successful and that's how I became a scholar.
I was intentional about working with one of the big four firms in the world. Interestingly,I took a job with Price Water House Coopers (PwC) in March 2015, it was a big pay cut from my previous work place, but I did not mind because I knew the effect the brand name would have on my CV. This company name has actually opened doors of opportunity.
Secondly, I believe the grace of God, my friendly personality, confidence and inquisitiveness are qualities that make me unique. Believe in yourself and always ask questions as this shows how intelligent and proactive you are. I did a lot of research about the school, connected with past students on LinkedIn and asked them questions about how the MBA has added value to their lives.
I would also suggest you let your inner circle know that you are looking out for something. This is important because the information might not come to you directly. Also, apply to different schools, learn how to write essays so that it gets easier for you.
You might get a lot of rejections, but never give up. I applied to different schools between 2010 and 2015 but I got partial scholarships as opposed to full scholarships, notwithstanding I never stopped trying. Moreover, bear in mind that there are a lot of people with outstanding grades. Thus, you must do a lot to proof yourself. Barriers are created in our minds, give it a shot first.
Finally, keep trying. It took me 5 years to land a fully funded scholarship, with tuition, accommodation and living expenses fully paid for. You can too. Don’t give up. There are opportunities always, the key is the access to right information. And don't forget, always stand for something.
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