Opeyemi Oyelakin was elected one-day vice chancellor of Bowen University in May. She speaks with Edugist on her idea of leadership in career and business. Excerpts
Please share with Edugist a little about yourself and your background
My name is Opeyemi Oyelakin. I am an economics graduate from Bowen University. I am a lover of Jesus and an avid reader. I love making an impact and adding value to people’s lives.
What were your goals for your one-day tenure as Vice Chancellor at Bowen University?
Career development, clinical effectiveness, repairs of broken infrastructure, enabling a peaceful environment between members of staff and students, and educational stimulation.
What challenges do you think students face on campus and how can they be overcomed?
Inappropriate communication between hall managers and students. This can be solved by placing appropriate sanctions on the defaulting side. Broken infrastructure and faulty appliances can be solved by timely monitoring of infrastructure and appliances and immediate repair of these appliances and infrastructure when they become faulty.
What were the most important lessons you learnt?
A few physical interview tips because top management positions require a lot of effort as I had a lot on my plate that day.
What were some of the most important decisions you made as VC?
Appropriation of bills majorly.
What feedback did you receive from students and other faculty members?
I received positive feedback although some students were expecting instant results.
What are some of the things you would do differently if you had the chance to do it over again?
I would have everyone I met and spoke to write our agreement on paper and sign.
What advice would you give to other students who are interested in holding a similar position?
Anyone interested in holding a similar position must have a problem he or she has noticed and is willing to solve. He or she should have served in other positions in the university environment with a track record of impact, service, excellence and results.
What are your thoughts on the role of education in preparing students for leadership in career and business?
The role of education in preparing students for all-round development particularly leadership in career and business cannot be overemphasised. Education is the key to changing the present and ultimately the future progressively. There is a need for educational strategies to be widespread, equitable, adequate and effective.
What are your career goals after graduation?
My goals include pursuing investment banking and finance and economic policy analysis as a profession, acquiring master’s in finance, Ph.D. in economics analysis and policy and the CFA charter.