Tolulope Agbaje, i-Scholar initiative – Scorecard Series XXII – I hold a B. Tech in Geology from The Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria where I graduated with First-Class Honors. I started my graduate study pursuit immediately after my undergrad. I moved with people of similar interests and I knew right on time I need to write the GRE and TOEFL to stand a chance of getting admission to US schools and more importantly getting a fully-funded offer. The huge fee for registering for these two exams was a major impediment then and it poses a threat of shelving my plans for graduate study. My only source of income as of then was from the Federal Government allowance for corps members and considering the living expenses in Lagos State, that amounts to almost nothing at the end of the month. At a point, I stopped preparing for the GRE because I wasn’t saving much at all as I envisaged to pay for the 2 exams.
A friend of mine tagged me under the call for application for Isi 2020 cohort. He emphasized the need to put forward a very strong application so I can stand a chance to be among the 50 selected scholars. I took the opportunity then as if my life depends on it. To God be the glory, I was among the 50 selected applicants. This marked the beginning of my Graduate Study journey (Phase 2), and of course, getting selected for the iSI scholarship further enhances my self-confidence.
Although, I’m quite aware of the requisite application documents I still don’t understand how to navigate the process of getting admission and funding in US schools. The monthly webinars organized by iSI where previous and invited scholars to expatiate more on finding schools, reaching out to the Graduate Coordinators and Potential Advisors, preparing a very strong application amongst other amazing tips were really helpful while I was working on my applications. I can’t but mention the resourceful engagements with my attached mentor (Dr. Akanbi) on every aspect of my application.
I am forever thankful for the huge investment made in me by iSI. iSI has given hope to young Nigerians who have an unflinching interest to obtain a graduate study abroad. Indirectly, iSI is shaping our future and setting us on the path to glory. i-Scholar Initiative gave me wings to fly and fast-tracked my journey as I was able to get 4 fully-funded offers (3 in the US and 1 in Saudi Arabia) for my graduate study under the mentorship of Dr. Akanbi.
To our prospective scholars, I want to let you know you’re set on the path to success already but don’t be complacent. The journey might seem daunting but it’s worth every effort and sweat. Endeavor to attend the monthly webinars, network with fellow scholars while preparing for the standardized tests, and always keep in touch with your assigned mentors.
Many thanks to Mr. Victor Ogunmola, Dr. Akanbi, the iSI Management committee, and our amazing sponsors. Thanks for believing in us and making a huge contribution to shape our future.