Interviews The First Class Diary

First Class Diary: Continuous Learning is Paramount to Remain Competitive in Todays Changing World- TJ

Written by Abigael Ibikunle

First Class Diary: Continuous Learning is Paramount to Remain Competitive in Todays Changing World- TJ

Hello people, happy new month! It’s September and it’s the last month in the 3rd quarter.

What have you gained so far on this series? Has the series been helpful in any way? Please leave me a comment guys.

Meet my scholar for today, Mrs Temitope Mercy Adeyemi-Kayode nee John from Covenant University.

In her words,

One of the steps taken before a product is brought to the market is Market Survey. Every market is different – as a result, it is not wise to copy and paste the strategies of one market to another market. This assertation is not different for education in different landscapes.


Abigael Ibikunle of Edugist: Please share with Edugist, a little about your background.

Temitope John: My name is Temitope Mercy Adeyemi-Kayode nee John. I had my secondary education at Doregos Private Academy, Lagos.

I’m currently on a Phd in Electrical and Electronics Engineering degree at Covenant University. I am married to the love of my life, Adeyemi Tolulope Kayode and we have a daughter Dabira.


AI: Was there any motivating factor(s) that influenced your choice of discipline and institution?

TJ: In Secondary School, I was a member of the Junior Engineers Technicians and Scientists (JETS) club and got the opportunity to represent my school and Nigeria at various international competition.

From that time, my interest was piqued and I knew that I wanted to study Engineering. As for Covenant University, it was and still is a stable campus environment, great staff and facilities etc. I loved that.


AI: There are two major skills that every student must possess: COMPETENCE and PERFORMANCE. While competence revolves around skill acquisition, performance is much more concerned about skills application. It is believed that most graduates are competent because their academic performance testifies to this, but they are performance-challenged. This poor performance ipso facto hinders them from getting lucrative jobs in the labour market. What can you say about this assertion?


One of the steps taken before a product is brought to the market is Market Survey. Every market is different – as a result, it is not wise to copy and paste the strategies of one market to another market. This assertation is not different for education in different landscapes.

Let’s take some hypotheticals – If you go to school in Nigeria, you have to understand the market. There are private and public universities, each of these have their advantages and disadvantages.

If you access the situation and you realise that you would not be getting some desired skills and experience, then you need find a way to equip yourself regardless.

I have realised that, most people spend too much time complaining about the problem without looking for creative ways out of it. At the end of the day, one of the major soft skills employers look out for is creative thinking.

There are jobs for people who are ready to push themselves and learn what they need to be relevant in today’s job market.

Let me end with some pointers, when school is out of session, look for an internship placement. Even if you are not going to be paid, just for a month.

Also, we need to divorce ourselves of the mindset that the only jobs available are the conventional brick and mortar jobs. There are so many opportunities available online and remote jobs would be a prevalent in the nearest future.

So, in all your learnings – learn how to code as well. It will definitely open up more opportunities for you.


AI: What do you think is responsible for competence without performance? Please suggest ways of improving the performance level of university students and graduates

TJ: I think the simple answer for this is Practise. If you do not get opportunities to practise what you have learned; you may run into such issues.

In order to improve your performance level, the first step is to shift this responsibility to yourself. It is easy to request for the opportunities to practise from our academic institutions, industry or government.

However, I believe that you are much better off sourcing for these opportunities yourself in present day Nigeria.

So, by all means, spread your CV around, apply for those opportunities, go for those trainings, do pro-bono work. Just practise! Practise makes perfect.


AI: Achievement in life transcends one’s personal efforts. There were people who, during your programme, rendered some assistance that made your dreams a reality. Who are specific persons whose contribution you can’t forget in your first-class feat?

TJ: My Parents: Rev. and Dcns. Michael Olusegun John. They taught me to believe in myself from a very tender age, they nurtured and allowed me to dream.

Mrs Elizabeth Omolodun: My primary school teacher, in my opinion- as far as teachers go, she taught me to keep trying even if I got it wrong in the first place.

Prof. Aderemi A. Atayero, Prof. Idachaba and Prof. Adoghe: These lecturers made undergraduate studies worth it. They taught me to think different, to challenge the staus quo and to love research.

My friends: Tolulope Omowunmi Olabisi, Tosin Aikhomu (nee Sofowora), Tomi Aina


AI: As a first-class graduate, are you currently gainfully employed?

TJ: Yes


AI: Do you think your grades have or is giving you any major advantage over other graduates with lesser grades?

TJ: I think having a first class make other people intrigued and may likely open some doors but you have to prove yourself. In fact, you have more to prove. People’s expectations are wayyyy up there.

For me, the opportunities I have received are as a result of my work ethic, determination and dedication to my craft.

In my opinion, having a first class should not be just about the grades, you should strive to live a balanced life – Intellects, social and emotional intelligence.

All these components can open major doors and keep them open.


AI: For students who aspire to graduate with outstanding grade like yours, what would you advise them?

TJ: First off, God! – Because you can do nothing without him. Dedication and Discipline. Never give up. It gets tough along the line, but remember what you set out to achieve and continue to believe in yourself.


AI: What would you advise the government to do to improve the standard of our education system?

TJ: A complete restructuring of the educational system. The curriculum approved for use by universities need to be revised critically. Universities need to be given the autonomy and flexibility to innovate curriculum wise on their campuses.

Entrepreneurship and Social media engagement studies need to be introduced. I believe that this will prepare graduate for the current realities.


AI: Any other thing you would like to share?

TJ: Alvin Toffler said the literate of the 21st century is someone who can learn, unlearn and relearn.

Continuous learning is paramount to remain competitive in today’s changing world.

Develop and stick to a learning regimen. Use audio books if you are constantly on the go. Pace your learning with online learning. By all means, stay current in your chosen field.


That’s it for this week’s episode. So, I  want to know what you like about the series. Therefore, do well to leave me a comment.

What has been helpful for you? Please share your thoughts!

For contacts and enquiries, please reach out

I am Abigael Ibikunle and celebrating excellence is a top priority for me. iTeach, iSpeak, iTrain, iFacilitate, iWrite, iInterview and iLoveYou all. Smile! See you next week!

About the author

Abigael Ibikunle

Associate Correspondent at Edugist, Abigael Ibikunle is a Mathematics Education graduate. A professional Journalist and a passionate writer. She can be reached via:

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