Philip Adebayo – Scorecard Series XXX

Philip Adebayo, i-ScholarPhilip Adebayo -i-Scholar Initiative -Scorecard Series XXX –

“Whatever you set your heart to achieve and you work diligently towards it, you can achieve. It is not going to be easy; it takes courage, persistency, and sacrifice.”

The struggle of winning a scholarship opportunity abroad for further studies can be humbling and demoralizing, especially when ‘love letter’ – as most of us wish to call it, keep coming in, despite the diligence in crafting a somewhat good application. My desire for a graduate degree outside the shore of Nigeria started in my final year at the University of Ibadan. However, I started applying, actively, for scholarship opportunities in October 2019, during my National Youth Service year. Knowing the financial implications of the standardized exams required to study in the US, I did not restrict my applications to a particular country, I tried to explore many countries and opportunities. Also, I sent cold emails to professors – some of them were, at least kind enough, to reply with a negative response, while some, to date, are yet to respond. Despite the rejections, I was not deterred because of the support I received from mentors and friends with similar interests.

Early 2020, I came across the opportunity to apply to i-Scholar Initiative. After checking the requirements, I made up my mind to apply. I drafted my SOP to suit the application and sent it out for review and editing. I connected with one of the 2019 scholar who was also of great help in preparing the needed documents for the application. I was excited to receive the congratulatory email from i-Scholar Initiative, in May 2020. This achievement gave me the confidence to put more effort into US scholarship opportunities. Before this time, I was only checking out schools that waived the standardized exams in the US. As part of the benefit of being an i-Scholar, I was paired with Dr. Akanbi Olufemi as my mentor. I discussed my plans with him and he was very helpful in the process.

Meanwhile, while exploring opportunities around the world, I applied for Mastercard foundation scholarship at the American University of Beirut. Sometimes in May 2020, I received an email from the school that I have been accepted into their Mechanical Engineering graduate program and was considered for the Graduate Fellowship Assistance Program. I was later invited for an interview for the MCF scholarship, and on July 20th, 2020, I received a congratulatory email from MCF AUB, that I have been considered for a full funding scholarship, after several love letters I received from other scholarship applications. Also, I was admitted for a Ph.D. program in Mechanical Engineering at Michigan Technological University and an MS program at Illinois Institute of Technology but without funding.

For aspiring scholars, it is important to have friends, who share the same passion in this journey, and reaching out to those that have treaded the path before, else – when the journey gets tough, there is a high possibility of giving up. Moreover, the importance of prayer cannot be neglected, especially when you have done your part. Remember that “if you give it a try, there is a possibility of winning, and if you do not try at all, no hope of winning.”

I appreciate the management committee of the i-Scholar Initiative, amazing sponsors, and partners for believing and investing in me.

My name is Philip Adebayo. I hold a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Ibadan with a first-class (honors). I am currently pursuing a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon.