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Oladoja Israel Ololade with CGPA of 4.86 emerged as the best graduating students at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), among a total number of 8,533 graduands from the institution for the 2022/2023 academic session. In this exclusive interview with The Informant247’s Toheeb Omotayo, Israel, who was honoured at the 16th convocation ceremonies of the institution , reveals the secret of his success as he sets forth to the future.

Can we meet you, sir?

I’m Oladoja Israel Ololade, a recent Chemical Engineering graduate and also the overall best graduating student of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology.

Could you please tell us about your background?

I was born into a family of 8 with 6 children, where I happen to be the fifth child. My father is a retired Principal, while my mum is a businesswoman.

What motivated you to excel academically during your time at the university?

Actually, permit me to say God, because He is the only one. Also, seeing the outstanding success my seniors have achieved made me believe I can do better.

How did you manage your time effectively to maintain such a high level of academic performance?

The truth about this is that I never joked about my time. I’m always making efficient use of my time by doing the right thing at the right time, and this can only materialize through strict discipline and restrictions of oneself from distractions.

Can you share some of the strategies or study habits that contributed to your success?

Although I always go to night class, ironically I’m not a night person. In night class, I’m always reading from 8:00 PM to 12:00 AM and then take a nap till 4:00 AM, after which I resume studying again till 7:00 AM.

Were there any significant challenges you faced during your academic journey, and how did you overcome them?

Yes, I faced a lot of challenges actually, although it is worthwhile at the end. One of the challenges I faced was the sinusoidal waveform of my result; my results have been full of ups and downs. Also, personally, the ASUU strike, COVID-19 strike, and others.

More importantly, when I was appointed as the President of the NsChE (Nigeria Society of Chemical Engineering) and also as fellowship President; it is a whole lot. Being appointed as the Student Union Government Caretaker Chairman in my finals was a whole lot as I had to represent the student body in a lot of activities, with traveling not left behind. But at the end, God did.

What was the most rewarding aspect of your academic journey?

The most rewarding aspect of my academic journey was when I was in 200 level second semester, where I had a CGPA of 5.00, 300 level first semester, 400 level second semester, and 500L second semester, making a total of four times (5.00/5.00).

How did you balance academic studies with extracurricular activities and personal life?

Efficient and proper time management made it possible.

Now that you have acquired knowledge and certification, especially as the best student of the year, what do you practically intend to do with what you have just acquired?

May the Lord God Almighty lead my path. My aim, so help me God, is to further my education up till the apex.

How did you feel when you were presented with a certificate as the best graduating student?

I was delighted and uttered “it can only be God”.

What advice would you give to students who want to achieve similar academic success?

My only advice to students who want to achieve similar academic pursuit is, they should believe they can. They should learn to do the needful (relying on God, reading, and maintaining a balance between their academic and social life). I will also encourage them to always put God at the center of everything, to set clear goals, manage their time effectively, and actively participate in classes. Furthermore, I will like to remind them to seek help when needed, stay motivated, and maintain a healthy balance between studying and relaxation.

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