Last week, the Lagos State University (LASU) hosted its 25th convocation ceremony at the Buba Marwa Auditorium in its main campus at Ojo, Lagos State, in which 112 students graduated with first-class honors.
Standing out among that number is Mariam Ayomide Ogboye. With a cumulative grade point average of 4.73 (out of 5.0), Ogboye broke a ten-year first-class jinx that has haunted the department of Mass Communication in the School of Communication at LASU.
In an interview with Culture Custodian, Ogboye shared insights into her method of reaching academic acme in her undergraduate years, and her plans for the future.
Could you briefly introduce yourself?
My name is Mariam Ayomide Ogboye. I am a first-class graduate of Mass Communication from the School of Communication at Lagos State University. I pursued a major in Broadcasting and a minor in Journalism, Public Relations, and Advertising. I am from the Lagos Island division in Lagos State.
Could you tell me what academic record you’ve set in Lagos State University?
I emerged as the Best Graduating Student of Lagos State University School of Communication with a CGPA of 4.73 and I broke a 10-year-old first-class jinx in the faculty.
Did you from the outset intend to break this record?
Not really. During my high school days, my dad read me stories of the Best Graduating Students across different universities and he wanted me to graduate with a first-class. So, my dad inspired me to dream first. Since then, I’ve always dreamt of it but I never knew it would eventually be a record-breaking feat.
Could you tell me what study methods and specific lifestyle quirks helped you thrive in your academics?
After my classes, I used to go to the Library to study. I equally went to school on weekends too to study for a minimum of 4 hours. I greatly benefited from the mentorship of Titilope Arowolo – who was then a 300 level student. She taught me how to study for exams, answer questions in the exam hall, and to time myself. My study notes were always full of candle waxes because I made use of candles to study at night.
I am deeply grateful to all my lecturers: Prof. Lai Oso, Prof. Alawode, Prof. Rotimi Olatunji, Dr. Atofojomo, Dr. Olugboji, Dr. Jimi Kayode, Dr. Fatonji, Mr. Arowolo, Mr. David, Mr. Hassan, and Miss Khadija – who all went beyond the call of duty to make sure I maximized my academic potentials.
After my first year, I became heavily involved in extracurricular activities which reduced the number of hours I used to study. The same thing also occurred in my third year. All I did was to ensure that I maintained a 100% solid foundation I had already built while at 100 level.
What is your philosophy on learning and intellectual life?
My philosophy is derived from a movie titled “Three Idiots.” And that is “pursue excellence and success will come chasing you.”
Are there mentors and inspirations to whom you owe a part of your muse?
Yes. I have a lot of people to whom I am grateful. My parents: Mr. Bosun and Mrs. Irene Ogboye – nurtured and ignited the giant star in me. My siblings: Olabisi; Adunola; Akinola; and Olakunle – constantly cheered me on. Pelumi Olugbenga who encouraged and supported me to look beyond academics and embrace community service.
I am also grateful for my current boss and life coach: Mrs. Dayo Benjamins-Laniyi who is an epitome of excellence, kindness, and service. Tolani Alli (the photographer to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo) is also an icon I look up to.
My friends were also very supportive.
Could you describe the things, specifically extracurriculars, that took your time during your stint at the Lagos State University?
I was the Welfare Director of the Communication Students Association in my 300 level. I was also the Academic Coordinator of Potters Revolution Movement Campus Christian Fellowship founded by Pastor Mavis Orji.
I was equally selected as a fellow by the United Nations Academic Impact’s Millennium Campus Network where I worked with Adebiyi Kehinde and Oladimeji Shotunde. Through these platforms, I was able to work on a project called ‘Project 5-Up‘, whose aim was to fulfill a burden of service. The Project provided academic support for students who struggled academically across different faculties and were on the verge of being withdrawn from the university due to low CGPAs. The feedback I received after each semester brought joy to my soul. Those students struggling were eventually able to find their feet again. We also had students with perfect GPAs. I dare say that this was the greatest feat I achieved at LASU.
Lastly, I was the Deputy Media Coordinator for the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) Awareness Campaign Tour in LASU and I was a member of the Media and Publicity Committee for the 2019 LASUSU Intervarsity Debate Competition. I was also selected for the Hesselbein Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh.
What books read during your undergraduate days would you say altered your outlook?
I enjoyed reading books on the success stories of women breaking barriers across the world. I also derived inspiration from movies like ”The Three Idiots”. I was inspired by the lifestyle of Rancho who was a carefree and intelligent student. I was also inspired by Akeelah in Akeelah and the Bee.
What academic and professional goals do you have planned?
I plan to further my education. My goal is to work at the intersection of media, governance, and international affairs.
What advice would you give to undergraduates that you think would help them come full circle in both their academic and intellectual endeavours?
To current and future undergraduates, set goals and have a plan that will guide you. Your life after school will be largely determined by the choices you make as a student. One of my favorite quotes comes from Pelumi Olugbenga: “The best way to shape your future is to start preparing for it now.” My personal experience as a LASU student also taught me that there are no alternatives to hard work and discipline. More importantly, trust in God and don’t ever give up when you are faced with setbacks. Keep improving because the best is yet to come. Always strive to impact your community in your own little ways, because making an impact is making a living and you have not really lived until you have genuinely impacted your world.