Interviews The First Class Diary

First Class Diary: For anyone to increase performance, such must possess a willingness to unlearn, learn and re-learn- BM

First Class Diary: For anyone to increase performance, such must possess a willingness to unlearn, learn and re-learn- BM

Hello my amazing readers, how was your week? Trust it was great. The year has been such an amazing year with series of events. Still, we’re grateful to God for thus far.

It’s the last month of the year. Our guest this week is from the University of Ibadan, Biola Madandola. Stay glued!

In her words,

For anyone to increase performance, such must possess a willingness to unlearn, learn and re-learn.

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

Biola Madandola: My name is Biola Madandola. I’m the last and only female child in my family. I grew up in Ibadan with a very humble background.


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

BM: Back in High School, I was a very brilliant chap. My teachers, my parents inclusive, expected me to study sciences. But, I’m not sure exactly why I insisted on proceeding to the arts class.

Naturally, everyone in the art class back then wanted to study law. I can not say that I initially had a motivating factor.

However, the motivation came along the way, especially at the point where I initially gained admission to study English Language in Obafemi Awolowo University(OAU). I’d begun to develop interest in people and the law.

I was hoping to have a change of course of studies to Law in OAU. Nevertheless, I applied to the University of Ibadan the following year. Then, I eventually gained admission to study law. Thankfully, my back up plan worked in my favour. UI is still the first and the best anyway!!


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?

BM: In my opinion, this assertion is not wholly correct. Competence is the ability to do something successfully. While performance is the process of carrying out a task.

Now, performance can either be excellent or not. Thus, your performance is dependent on your competence. I encourage every young person to work on being competent. It will definitely aid your performance anywhere in the world.

With regards to academic performance, it is important to be successful as a student. I do not agree absolutely that graduates who excelled in their academics end up with low performance.

Work life is absolutely different from school life. There is a lot of learning to do in the workspace.

Also, there are so many things you will never be taught as an undergraduate which you need to be competent out there. For instance, there is the National Youth Service Corps Program and several Graduate Trainee programmes organized by companies.

The problem is not really the ability to secure a good job. It is the ability to keep an open mind by taking up graduate internships. Also, to learn from experienced colleagues.


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


For anyone to increase performance, such must possess a willingness to unlearn, learn and re-learn.

Secondly, take up internship programmes while still an undergrad. This prepares students for the real world.



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?

BM: Well, I have a couple of friends who really helped. But most importantly my parents, siblings, pastors and lecturers contributed immensely. I’ll exhaust the
whole space if I try to be more specific.


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

BM: Yes and I’m currently undergoing my National Youth Service Corps(NYSC).



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

BM: Not exactly. It is not about grades all of the time. But good grades matter a lot.


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

BM: I always encourage undergraduates to pursue the best grades. However, this does not happen without a price. We must be willing to pay the price for a successful one.

This feat God helped me achieve did not come without its challenges. For instance, I was the President of the Stone Campus Fellowship and this was a demanding task. Yet, I had to create my schedules and stuck with them regardless.

Therefore, my advice for undergraduates is to have a vision from the first day of resumption. And keep the vision before them daily.

For instance, I had to change my phone password to FirstClass as an undergraduate. This reminded me of my goal and kept me on my toes.

Secondly, put God first always!!

Thirdly, surround yourself with friends that challenge you and help you become better.

Lastly, discipline yourself and always take an extra mile.


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

BM: I advise that our educational systems should allow for more exchange programs outside Nigeria.

Also, the government should create a system where schooling will not be interrupted by incessant strike actions.



AI: Any other thing you would like to share?

BM: As wonderful as a First Class Degree, you can’t pursue it so badly that you can not deliver value to your employers. Make sure alongside your first class grade, in your pocket is also some value to justify your grades.

Everyone cannot graduate with a First Class Degree. However, give whatever you do your best shot.

Thank you for having me.


That’s it on the series for the week. Hope you had a swell time reading? You can read the last interview here

To be featured on the series, please send a mail to Abby

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!

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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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