Interviews The First Class Diary

First Class Diary: The World is Moving More to Celebrating Skills than Certifications- AO

Written by Abigael Ibikunle

The World is Moving More to Celebrating Skills than Certifications- AO

Hello everyone, it’s a beautiful Monday morning and I’m super excited. I don’t know about you but every episode on the series has been a hit back to back.

The feedbacks have been simply amazing. Without any doubt, the world indeed is moving more to celebrate skills more than certifications.

I present to you, my guest for the week, Adéyemí Osifuwa. He is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from Uniosun. I am confident you’d enjoy the read.

In his words,

…grades could give you an edge when it comes to job hunts. But this might not be the case after 2years of development. The world is moving more to celebrating skills than certifications.


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

Adeyemi Osifuwa: Hi, I’m Adeyemi Osifuwa, I am from Ogun State and from a family of three. I grew up in Abeokuta and attended primary and secondary school in the same city.

I’m an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management. A graduate of Industrial Relations and Management Personnel from the prestigious Osun State University.

I still find it hard to believe I graduated with a First class degree. Taking a dip into my pre-university experience, I was never the best in my class. Yet, friends perceived me to be so smart and intelligent.

Even I wasn’t seeing these things. This motivated me to push and strive. I attribute my success to my tenacity and resilience. Gave my best to what I believed was impossible. And I must confess, success is not easy. Definitely, it’s not for the weak hearted.

I was awarded the best student of the department of IRPM 2014/2015 session.

In conclusion, I consider myself a “philomath”, a lover of computer games and one who never says ” no” to anime.

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

AO: Truth be told, life always have a way of giving you pleasant surprises. You often don’t know where you are going except when the chances have been taken.

I never planned to study Industrial Relations and Personnel Management, I have always looked forward to becoming an Accountant. Life always has its edge. Just like the biblical inscription which says man proposes, God disposes.

Fast forward to when I did my post UTME exams. I picked Accounting but to my surprise, I saw Industrial Relations and Personnel Management on my printout.

It turned out to be the best course. Since then, I have been grateful for the course, as it aligns with my personality. Good things happen when we least expect it.


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?

AO: Everything in life has a prerequisite. So, you wont be wrong with your assertion. However, competence revolves around a person’s ability to do a skill. Performance, on the other hand, is the degree someone performs the competencies.

It is hard to see graduates that are competent without performing.
Job performance spans across team spirit, communication skill, cognitive and evaluative skill etc. And these are not taught within the walls of school.

Performing on a job is more of a person’s skills than knowledge-based skills. So, I would not agree much with your assertion


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

AO: Lack of motivation, self-development and inability to concentrate on a task could be attributed to the assertion of competence without performance. In the today’s job we find ourselves, training or developing oneself on the job plays an important role in enhancing performance.

Contrary to the above, most employers/employees feel ALL KNOWING because they finished with a good grade. They often forget that the finest stone still needs refining.

Competence can lead to performance if skill sets are properly channelled to enhance performance.

Hence, graduates and undergraduates who cherish performance as one of the vital steps to workplace promotion, must keep an eye on enhancing their skillsets.

Also, exploring ways to learn something new. This can be considered as a step towards becoming a better version of oneself. It not only helps to increase one’s performance, but also creates potential opportunities for one’s personal development.


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?

AO: A lot of people assisted me to achieve my dreams. I would be an ingrate if I don’t acknowledge them. My sincere appreciation goes to my mother for her moral, financial and spiritual support.

She played a great role in keeping my body, soul and spirit intact during my career pursuit at the university.
Growing up with a single parent was quite challenging. However, amidst the struggles, my mother was there playing both father and mother roles in my life.

Also, I appreciate Dr. Abolade for her encouragement and advice during my stay in school and after graduation.

To all my friends that helped me become a better version of myself and taught me that success in not what you get by achieving your goal. But, what you become by achieving your goals, I say a big thank you to you all.


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

AO: Yes, with more than four years cognate experience


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

AO: My grades might have opened doors of opportunities for me. However, I would not say it has given me an edge over others with lesser grade. Time, chance and opportunities are all matters of persistency.

So, my submission would be: grades could give you an edge when it comes to job hunts. But, this might not be the case after 2years of development. The world is moving more to celebrating skills than certifications.


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

AO: If you can dream it, you can achieve it. There are two factors to achieving outstanding grades in school. The first is through intelligence and the second is persistence. Certain individuals are intelligent by nature and get good grades without having to stretch out.

In my case, I was an average student back in college who made it a mandate to motivate myself after hearing a brother’s testimony in church. The interesting thing is the brilliant ones rely majorly on studying(persistence).

Persistency goes a long way in developing the required knowledge needed to excel in any field. My simple advice to the world yet to graduate is to dream it and stay focus to work.

Without labour, nothing prospers. So, work hard and you would attain what you wished for.


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

AO: Hmmm, to answer this question, I would like to flash back at a line of our national anthem which says;

the labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain.

Therefore, I would like the leaders to not only sing this song but to reminisce on the song. The labour of our heroes past is going in vain already.

Hence, they should revisit the past and employ approaches used by the likes of Awolowo. This will improve the educational standard of the country.


AI: Any other thing you would like to share?

Ans: No

Thanks for your time!

That’s it for this week’s episode. I hope you enjoyed the interview. Do you know any scholar that should be featured on the series?

Or would you like to engage any of our scholars you find their stories inspiring?Kindly reach out to me

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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