Abidakun Olawale, i-Scholar Initiative -Scorecard Series XXIX –
As my final days at the Federal University of Technology, Akure approached, I was particularly scared of what the future holds and I asked myself a question “WHAT NEXT?”. Although I had once nursed a long-term dream of pursuing my graduate studies abroad, I wouldn’t know how to go about it considering the funds required for standardized tests and admission fees.
Fortunately, I got to know about the benevolent i-Scholar Initiative in December 2019 on Linkedin, I applied but could not put up a compelling and competitive application, so I got rejected. So saddening as it could be, I never rested on my oars, I followed the initiative from afar despite been rejected. I am a big fan of ISI’s Monday Motivations, Scorecard Stories of Previous Scholars, and the Graduate School applications webinars. All these honed my craftiness in writing and submitting a strong application for 2021 Scholarship opportunities.
However, In 2020 I had over 7 scholarships rejections from Erasmus Mundus, EducationUSA, and Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program. Instead of been crestfallen, I developed a thick skin to all my rejections while I worked on improving my profile through the writing of research papers, registering as members of International bodies and associations, engaging in Internships, and Volunteering activities, and most importantly reinvigorating my enthusiasm for emerging writing skills.
Finally the year 2021 came with boatloads of scholarship opportunities, I applied for the 2021 i-Scholars Initiative again, but this time with a competitive and all-around application. And to the Glory of God, I got the scholarship, although I passed on the award to another financially disadvantaged applicant as a result of my consideration for the ERASMUS MUNDUS SCHOLARSHIP which I secured a few weeks before my selection as an iSI 2021 Scholar. I strongly believe this token of selflessness is a medium to appreciate the initiative for the impacts made in life during my grinding days.
My admonition to potential graduate school applicants is to always keep their heads up and heart strong because just as Ernest Agyemang once said “Giving up on a Purposeful Journey of Life is as deadly as Death!”. Instead of giving up, awake, arise, and work on your profile and applications.
I am Abidakun Olawale Joshua, a First-Class graduate of the Department of Agricultural Engineering from the Federal University of Technology, Akure. I graduated as the Overall Best Graduating of the School of Engineering and Engineering Technology 2018/2019 Class. My unrelenting passion for quality education birthed Graceful Scholars Breeders, a foundation that provides mentorship and academic assistance to both high and low achieving students in High-Schools and Higher Institutions. I am also a Development Knowledge Facilitator, and an advocate of the Sustainable Development Goals, having contributed to several award-wining community development projects in the nation. Additionally, I am a student member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the National Society of Professional Engineers, and a member of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences and the International Association of Engineers.
I will be proceeding for a Joint Masters Degree in Groundwater and Global Change in Europe under the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship.