Interviews The First Class Diary

First Class Diary: Right from my undergraduate years, I have started to build capacity in the area- YAA

First Class Diary: Right from my undergraduate years, I have started to build capacity in the area- YAA

Hello my amazing readers! A happy new month to you all. It is another exciting beautiful morning to be alive. We thank the Lord for the gift of life.

Today, on the series, we have, Yusuff Adebayo Adebisi, all the way from University of Ibadan. Yusuff says he started building capacity right from his undergraduate years.

What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comment section.

In Yusuff’s words,

Combining academics with other relevant activities could provide students with certain experiences. Which can give them a comparative advantage over those who stick to only academics when they find themselves in the labour market.

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

Yusuff Adebayo Adebisi: My name is Yusuff Adebayo Adebisi. I’m a native of Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria, from a family of five (one brother and one sister). I attended Immanuel College, Oyo for my primary school education.

Thereafter, I proceeded to Peace College, Oyo for my junior secondary school education with straight A’s at the Basic Education Certificate Examination. I had my secondary school education at School of Science, Oyo and finished as the overall best student.

Recently, I was inducted into the pharmacy profession. I am interested in global public health and developmental issues affecting the global south and beyond. I’m passionate about transforming the health landscape in Africa through research, innovation, and advocacy.

Right from my undergraduate years, I have started to build capacity in the area.

I graduated with more than 50 research publications including 4 book chapters with attendance in many local and international conferences as well as many research, travel, and project grants won to my credit.

You will always have my attention when the discussion is centered on global health research and related topics, cryptocurrency, and stock investment.

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

YAA: Yes. I researched the course and I loved it. This was fuelled by my love for chemistry and biology. In high school, I never knew there was such an area of study. Indeed, pharmacists’ roles in the lives and well-being of people, and the communities they live in go far beyond what most people believe.

In fact, my thoughts of the profession, when I originally made the noble decision to be a pharmacist, have been surpassed. Initially, I was motivated to pursue pharmacy because I wanted to be a drug expert that people could rely on for drug information and pharmaceutical care.

Along the line, I realized that I could take different paths that all facilitate one goal. And this was, getting people the care they need and changing the landscape of healthcare. All, with my knowledge as a pharmacist. Pretty exciting!

Regarding the choice of institution, the choice was made by my father. I was completely satisfied with it when I learnt University of Ibadan is the first and the best in Nigeria.

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?

YAA: There are many graduates that possess competence with outstanding performance in practice. However, it is crystal clear that more investment needs to be made to address the performance-related challenges. The educational systems need to be reformed and strengthened. To produce all-round graduates with the right skill sets to thrive in market and make meaningful contributions to the world.


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

YAA: I personally believe that a tertiary institution is not just a place for academics. It is also a place where young and vibrant minds are exposed to other aspects of life.

Combining academics with other relevant activities could provide students with certain experiences. Which can give them a comparative advantage over those who stick to only academics when they find themselves in the labour market.

Being able to combine academics with some relevant activities while in school could make one a strong competitor in the real world.

Our tertiary institutions in Nigeria need to start focusing more on capacity building of graduates. This goes beyond academics and cramming voluminous note for the sake of passing exams.

Efforts should be made to ensure the practical aspect receive much-needed attention. Students should also be self-motivated to make a difference with their knowledge. They should be made to see tertiary institution as a place for all-round growth.

The educational structure should provide the opportunity for students to build capacity. To make them a problem solver and graduates that are employable.


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?

YAA: The list is endless. Special thanks to my parents, siblings, mentors, lecturers, friends and course mates for their support throughout my stay on campus.


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

YAA: Pharmacy is declassified and usually grade doesn’t matter to practice pharmacy. All pharmacy graduates are believed to be skilled and knowledgeable enough for successful pharmaceutical practice.

However, in applying for some jobs and scholarships, the cumulative grade points average can come into play in granting more benefits.


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

YAA: It is very important to have the determination to graduate with a first class. For me, I set the goal to finish with a first class in my first year in the university.

I continued to work and strategize towards it. So, I can say what helped me to achieve this feat is the ability to multitask and manage my time appropriately.

I believed that I needed to build capacity while still a student. So, while reading hard to pass exams, I also took it upon myself to engage in activities that will make me a better person. Though it was not very easy, goalsetting and hard work remained pertinent, especially, with the stress of pharmacy school.


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

YAA: I currently work with Global Health Focus as the Director for Research. However, I will soon start my mandatory one-year internship.


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

YAA: The government should invest more in the educational system by increasing the net budgetary allocation to education. Government should also ensure a long-term solution to the incessant strike actions that normally disrupt the academic calendar.

I will also advocate for a major reform in the Nigeria’s educational systems to be focused on training students to become a problem solver in order to meet the 21st century needs for development.


AI: Any other thing you would like to share?

YAA: Believe in yourself and have dreams that constantly motivate you to be a better person. See the university environment as an opportunity to build capacity. And become a better version of yourself, beyond getting good grades.

Find mentors and people who are like-minded that you can really get motivated and inspired by.

There’s that saying that you are the average of the five people around you. You can create your own life because as long as you have that as a goal, success is guaranteed.


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

To be featured in 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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