Interviews The First Class Diary

First Class Diary: Hard work, effort, and persistence are all important, but not as important as having that underlying belief that you are in control of your own destiny-OGD

Hello Readers, it’s been a wonderful season this period and our guests have been mind blowing. Today, for our September series, we have our guest, Olanrewaju Gabriel Daramola from Tai Solarin University.

OGD, as I have addressed him in this interview thinks students should be in charge of their thoughts.

In his words,

Hard work, effort, and persistence are all important, but not as important as having that underlying belief that you are in control of your own destiny.



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

Olanrewaju Gabriel Daramola: My name is Olanrewaju Gabriel Daramola, a native of Ilesha West in Osun State. I’m the fifth among six children. I attended Bereola Memorial Primary School for my primary education and thereafter, I attended Easy Flow College where I had my secondary education.

Then, I proceeded to Tai Solarin University of Education, where I studied Transport Planning and Management 2019/2020 set and graduated with first class for the first time in history of my department. It is also worthy of note to say that I emerged as the overall best graduating student in my department, TPM set 2019/2020.


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

OGD: For my discipline, there was not motivation at first. Just like many Nigerian students will say, I was offered the available course (TPM- Transport Planning and Management).

The school(TASUED) did not shortlist me for my course of choice (Accounting), due to some reasons known to them.

I accepted the offer in good fate and decided to excel in the course. At first, it was a bit difficult but with the intervention of God, I zipped up and said to myself,

“I’m determined and focused, ready to learn no matter the difficulties/series of frustrations, I’m in charge/control. So, after a year, I fell in love with the course / program.

Element of transport management is a child of necessity.

My choice of institution was orchestrated by almighty God. Because despite having the requirements to gain admission into Obafemi Awolowo University, I was not able to secure admission.


AT: 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?

OGD: Well, this assertion may be true in some cases. But much more, the validity of this assertion will be proved by the individual.

For instance, the assertion of “No Transport No Tourism”?

Transport plays vital roles in the growth, transformation and development of tourism or any organisation or transport industry. It is a prerequisite and necessary tonic for the evolution and development of tourism industry as a whole.

Transport is a pillar and force that propels the development process of tourism and its allied industries. Hence, without transport, there is no tourism. Therefore, one can conclude that thriving of tourist activities and transaction is anchored on the available transport services.

And note that both competence skill acquisition and performance skill application, one cannot work without other part perfectly.


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

OGD: Competence without performance.

Students’ mindset to education; many students limit themselves to what they are being taught in the class alone. Most, without any desire to know more or acquire more knowledge about what they have been taught, to enable them fit physically and mentally inside and outside the box. They believe they can work it out since they have good grades.

There are many ways the University can improve students to be employable outside the box.  It’s by training them with the demand of the outside world. Institution should focus more on skills application and skills development such as problems solving skills and critical reasoning skill and so on.


AT: 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? Would you say you had more friends or lost more friends because of your goals and values? Kindly explain?

OGD: Firstly, all praises, glory, adoration and thanks goes to God Almighty, who had indeed been faithful to me and the secret behind my successful academic.

Secondly, my sincere gratitude goes to my family, Mr & Mrs Daramola, my wonderful brothers and sisters; Yetunde Oluwafunke Daramola, Olamilekan Samuel Daramola and   Ifeoluwa Grace Daramola, lastborn of the house, thanks for your words of encouragement.

To my treasure, Miss. Victoria Adenike Adeniyi, I thank you for your words of encouragement, prayer when never I’m down. Also, my Daddy and Mummy in the Lord, Mr & Mrs Oyedele who never forget me in the place of prayer.

Lastly, I owe an immeasurable debt of appreciation to all my lecturers, most especially, Mr. Komolafe, Dr. Obed Ndikom and so on.


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

OGD: Currently, I am obeying the clarion call, serving my fatherland (NYSC) National Youth Service Corps in Ogun State.


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

OGD: Yes of course, there are many opportunities that I was privileged to exploit, which was as a result of my grade.

Note: In a race competition, not everyone will have the chance to lift the trophy, neither the medal, only the outstanding runner will have the privilege to lift the trophy due to his/her extraordinary performance.


AT: For students who aspire to graduate with outstanding grade like yours, what would you advise them? OGD: My advice for those students is that, they should put God first in everything they do and decisions they make. I would also advise to be ready for anything no matter series of frustrations. Be determined and set your priorities right!

Factors that will keep you moving.

  1. Be prayerful
  2. Diligence
  3. Creative
  4. Focus
  5. Hard working
  6. Determine
  7. Discipline


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

OGD: The government should assist education sector in provision of all necessary things for effective and efficient learning to take place and with good educational infrastructure and teaching aids.


AT: Any other thing you would like to share?

OGD: Having a growth mindset (the belief that you are in control of your own ability and can learn and improve) is the key to success.

Hard work, effort, and persistence are all important, but not as important as having that underlying belief that you are in control of your own destiny.


That’s it on the series for today. Trust you had a swell time reading. You can read the previous interview here

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

I am Abigael Taiwo 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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