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How Margaret Awojide achieved first-class in final year through 3 consecutive perfect GPAs

The best graduating student from the department of Statistics’ first graduating sect at the University of Lagos speaks with Edugist about her undergraduate experience and how she achieved the cumulative first-class grade only in her final year.
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Margaret Awojide emerged the best graduating student from the department of Statistics’ first graduating sect at the University of Lagos. She speaks with Edugist about her undergraduate experience and how she achieved the cumulative first-class grade only in her final year. Excerpts 

Please share with Edugist a little about yourself and your background. 

I am a first-class graduate of Statistics from the University of Lagos and the first best graduating student of the department. I was the Director of Studies for the National Association of Mathematics Students, Unilag Chapter. I hail from Osun State but I have mostly lived in Lagos and Ogun states. I have two brothers who are both graduates of the University of Lagos. Professionally, I am a data analyst and data scientist, a career path I started in 2020.

What motivated you to pursue a degree in statistics? 

I have always loved numbers and computation. I applied to study mathematics at the University of Lagos. By the end of 100 level, we were told to select a field in mathematics to specialise in. I did a little research and learned about data analytics as a career and the importance of a degree in statistics for this field. So, I decided that I wanted to specialise in statistics. 

In 2022, Statistics was finally accredited to become a department at the University of Lagos.

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Were there any courses that you found particularly challenging? 

Many courses were challenging. I particularly found stochastic processes difficult, and the ASUU strike in the middle of the semester did not help matters. However, I am glad everything turned out fine eventually.

What significant challenges did you encounter during your study? 

My journey was not all rosy. I had moments of financial constraints and burnout. There were also several strikes which were not encouraging. 

When I started at UNILAG, my CGPA was not at a first-class level. It wasn’t until my final year before I entered the first class, a feat made possible with three consecutive 5.0/5.0 semester GPAs.

Did you participate in any internship during your study? 

My department did not have a structure for industrial training. However, I actively participated in several extracurricular activities. 

In 2021, I was a data science tutor for the Google Developer Student Club. In the same year, I did an apprenticeship with Datagenius Consulting as a Data and Research Analyst. In 2022, I was selected for the ALX-T Udacity Nanodegree and successfully became a Room Fellow. 

In my final year in school, I was a Student Ambassador for Tableau, during which I hosted and co-hosted several workshops to teach data analytics and Tableau. I also actively participated in several hackathons, including the 10Alytics African Data Hackathon where I came 6th place out of about 1500 participants.

Did you win any scholarships for your study?

Unfortunately, I didn’t win any scholarships during my period at the University of Lagos.

Do you have any role models you look up to?

When I gained admission to the University of Lagos, I heard about Omotuyi Oyindamola who made the headlines for being the overall best-graduating student at the University of Lagos and achieving a perfect CGPA of 5.0/5.0 in Systems Engineering. I was inspired by the feat of this lady. My brothers also graduated from UNILAG and performed excellently well. I look up to them as role models and I knew I was going to do my best during my stay in school.

Has any lecturer contributed to your ease of navigating our academics? 

My course advisor and project supervisor, Dr. Mary Akinyemi, was one of my mentors during my stay at the University of Lagos. 

She taught me to push harder rather than achieve the barest minimum. With her support, I was able to present my project topic: “Evaluation of Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis Using Machine Learning Models” as a research paper at the 9th Annual Conference on Mathematical Sciences and Optimization.

What are your long-term career goals? 

I am interested in furthering my education after my bachelor’s degree. Currently, I am in search of scholarships for a master’s degree. 

My long-term goal is to continue and advance my career in data. If I were asked 10 years ago about my career goals, I would have likely said something different. However, I am certain that I will be excellent wherever I find myself.

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What advice would you offer students who would love to replicate this success in STEM fields? 

I have three pieces of advice. The first thing I would say is to enjoy your course. I realise that it is easier to do better when you have a passion for what you are doing. 

Research about your course, and don’t limit yourself to what you learn in class. The second thing is for you to start studying early. Personally, I am against reading a week or a day before the exam. Start from the first day and keep practising. Never pile up. The last thing I would say is to manage your time wisely. It is a good idea to participate in extracurricular activities for career development. You can also make use of productivity tools like Pomodoro, To-do-list/Schedule apps, and so on. However, ensure you manage your time properly so that the activities don’t affect your academics.

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Taiwo Adegite
Taiwo Adegite
1 month ago

Sensational 🎉.

1 month ago

Nice one I love her advices
great enthusiasm
im also looking forward to achieving this great success

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