Interview: At no point did my grades fell below 4.5, it is indeed Allah’s favor – First Class Graduate

Yusuff Ibrahim Temitope was one of the top graduating students at Lagos State University’s (LASU) recent 25th Convocation Ceremonies. Ibrahim earned a first-class honors degree in BSc Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management, with a 4.77 cumulative grade point average (CGPA). In this interview with OYEBAMIJI ADESOJI USMAN, he discusses his academic route to success.

MV: Could you please provide us a brief biographical sketch of yourself?

YIT: Yusuff, Ibrahim Temitope is a student member (very close to induction) of the foremost body regulating the practice of human resource management in Nigeria, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management, Nigeria. I studied human resource management at Lagos State University from which I recently graduated as the best graduating student for the class of 2020 in the Faculty of Management Sciences, Lagos State University. I am a product of a polygamous family with my parents being petit traders.

MV: When you were accepted to study at LASU, how did you feel?

YIT: Alhamduli’Lah, it was the beginning of me dealing with the unexpected. I have always nurse the aspiration of becoming a graduate of accounting from the University of Lagos. It happened in 2016 that I wasn’t offered admission to study accounting in UNILAG. I felt the whole world had turned against me; perplexed and soaked in so much bitterness. A very good friend in High school AKINOSO Mariam then advised me, not to waste my quite good jamb score of 240, to consider my second choice. I felt reluctant at first but after so much persuasion and deep thoughts, I decided to give it a try. The second choice was to study Banking and Finance in the Faculty of Engineering at Lagos State University. Yes engineering, I felt there was an error somewhere. To stay clear of that, I decided to change to Industrial Relations and Personnel Management, not even knowing what the course was all about. Truly, the reality came as I got myself changed from Banking and Finance to Industrial Relations and Personnel Management at Lagos State University.

MV: Can you provide an overview of your results from 100 to 400 Levels?

YIT: Reflecting on my four years in retrospect at the Lagos State University, Ojo. I started with a 5.00 grade point average, perfect as most people who are aware of this would say but no too long did I had a great reduction so much so, that I couldn’t recover even till my very last semester. It then dawned on me that I was just at the tail end of the outstanding ones. The second semester result was indeed a slap across the face of my vision of becoming the overall best graduating student, the vision I had nursed having culminated a 5.00 grade point average in my very first semester. I continued with renewed determination and penchant to emerge, at least, as the best in my department. This spurred me to taking more electives quite more than any other person in the faculty of Management Sciences. Some of which went just as expected while a few went a bit lower than expectation.

As a matter of fact I was had a cumulative credit point of 839 and cumulative total number of unit of 176 which produced my final cumulative grade point average of 4.77. Analysis of academic profile is contained in the table below;
Grade Point Average
Cumulative grade point Average

1st Semester

2nd Semester

3rd Semester

4th Semester

5th Semester

6th Semester

7th Semester

8th Semester

Source: Author’s Academic Profile

A close examination of the above reveals that at no point did my grades fell below 4.5, it is indeed Allah’s favor.

MV: At what point did you realize you had the ability to be a first-class graduate?

YIT: Before I gained admission. I have enjoyed rich mentoring sessions from my elder brothers who instilled the courage in me. It perhaps became clearer having emerged as the only fresh man with a perfect 5.00 grade point average in the faculty of Management Sciences for that semester. This expanded my aspiration to becoming the overall best graduating student but eventually the unexpected happened in the second semester.

MV: During the ASUU strike, how did you manage to stay afloat on campus?

YIT: I got myself engaged in a number of activities just to keep me on track. Some of which include taking students in lower levels tutorials using the WhatsApp platform, I don’t stay far from my note books, text books and study materials. Also, I would like to use this medium to appreciate the management of Lagos State University for keeping a very god relationship with ASUU-LASU chapter. I can’t remember the last time the ASUU LASU chapter joined the ASUU strike. Overtime, we have enjoyed uninterrupted academic calendar, if not for the COVID-19 pandemic.

MV: What part of the course piqued your attention the most?

YIT: Hmnn… The worst was my experience in an accounting course ACC 204; Management Accounting. Not that I was bad in it, NO I had a B. What made it the worst was that up till this moment I couldn’t fathom how in a course I had 27 out of 30 in the continuous assessment, I ended up scoring 25 out of 70 in the exam. I didn’t expect it. Although it was a mass failure that year, I ended up with a B by virtue of the addition of 10 marks across board for all students to reduce the failure rate. I have also had some few Cs which was a slap across the face of my vision. I pressed on with renewed determination and finally, the achiever of the seemingly impossible feat.

MV: When you were on campus, how did you participate in religious activities?

YIT: I contributed my quota in religious activities while on campus. At 300 level, I was appointed as the Coordinator of the Association of Management Sciences Muslim Students, a subsidiary of the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria, Lagos State University Chapter (MSSN LASU) at faculties’ level and at 400 level, I was the financial secretary of the Muslim Student Society of Nigeria. I contributed to the advancement of Al-Islam on campus in those capacities among others.

MV: How did you go about your reading routine?

YIT: As regards this I have a strategy of always preparing ahead. I consistently read before the time for assessments, this help me spend little time reading and understanding in times of assessments. What I have also got to realize was that in my penultimate and ultimate levels I really did not enjoy a good amount of time reading in times of assessments. I have always got some other secondary assignments to attend to, if not selfless services then professional exams. What I did leveraged on were fundamental knowledge, class discussion and consistent pre- assessment reading.

MV: What do you regard to be the most outlandish thing you’ve ever done in the name of education?

YIT: The strange thing I did in the name of education was to take a BUS 303; Project Management tutorial on the eve of the exam. It’s a calculation course most of my colleagues were not good in it, I wasn’t also perfect but I was better. On that eve I needed to cover 3 more topics to perfect my readings for the course. With the outcry of colleagues, I forfeited the 3 other topics to take tutorials on the ones I have read, on getting back I felt so tired and I could only cover just one. To the glory of Allah, questions came from the other two topics I didn’t cover. I felt so bad as I couldn’t attempt those questions properly. Hence I had a B. The joyous thing was that I felt fulfilled as most colleagues by virtue of the tutorial had C and passed. Indeed I felt fulfilled.

MV: What tips do you have for new and current students on how to achieve outstanding grades?

YIT: There is no one route to success and for a route to lead to outstanding grades and resounding success, it must have some elements of the following; God’s factor, Determination and Consistency, Attending classes and consistent reading, Consciousness of one’s ability and designing a plan that works with it bearing in mind that capacities differ hence eschewing unnecessary imitations, Knowing one’s lecturers, Intellectual doggedness and fierceness, Being marks-aggressive and keeping the right cliques among others. With this there is a greater chance for outstanding grades and resounding success.
Finally I accrue all praises and adorations to the almighty Allah the creator and sustainer of the universe for giving me the rare privilege to have culminated as the best graduating student for the class of 2020, faculty of management sciences, LASU. I seek unending blessings for Prophet Muhammad (SAW), his companions, his entire house-holds and the generality of muslims.

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