Meet Oluwaseun Akasoro – The Overall Best Graduating Student at Yabatech’s 33rd Convocation

The first higher institution in Nigeria, Yaba College of Technology (Yabatech) held its 33rd Convocation recently, and over 8,000 National Diploma and Higher National Diploma graduates were released into the job market.

The week-long ceremony climaxed on Thursday, November 21, with the main Convocation event, graced by the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu.

It was a grand event indeed, and among the thousands of jubilant graduands was one fine young man whose presence could not be ignored, talking of the Overall Best Graduating Student for the 33rd Convocation, Mr. Oluwaseun Akasoro, an Industrial Maintenance Engineering graduate.

So, we had an exciting chat with Oluwaseun after the great event, and it’s our pleasure to share it with you.

Without much ado, please meet one of naija’s most brilliant fresh graduates of our time, Mr. Oluwaseun Akasoro.

I’m also an expert at Arduino programming. I’ve developed… Smart Dustbin with WiFi module to check the status of waste, Automatic Water Level Indicator and Pump Controller, Smoke and Fire Detector with alarm.. . @Timofe001

1. Tell us a bit about your academic  background

Oluwaseun: I had my primary school education at Rockford International School, Ikorodu. I attended Oriwu Senior Model College for my secondary education. I’m a graduate of Industrial Maintenance Engineering. The course helped me develop skills in electrical / electronics troubleshooting and repairs, and in the maintenance of mechanical systems.

2. Awesome! What led to your choice of Engineering? And why Industrial Maintenance Engineering in particular?

Oluwaseun: I have always loved maintenance since I was 12. Back in those days, I would open up faulty electrical and electronics gadgets and try to repair them, which I did most of the time, and I was always elated.
So, when the time came to complete my UTME form, I went through all the available engineering courses in Yabatech. I would have opted for Chemical Engineering, but I discovered that Yabatech didn’t offer that course, so I settled for Industrial Maintenance Engineering, which I believed was God’s plan for me. I would have performed exceptionally in Mechanical or Electrical Engineering, but Maintenance Engineering is a mix of the two disciplines

You are the only one that can stop You. Not your ethnicity, not your background. Set goals and establish priorities…. strike a balance between your academics and social life. Put God in everything you do.. . Don’t take shortcuts.. . Follow the process @Timofe001

3. Have you always been an a top student? If not, when did you start coming top?

Oluwaseun: I was a top student in my elementary (primary) school days. However, my grades dropped in secondary school. In junior secondary school (middle school), I started following friends to video game centres and playing football. I became so addicted that I stopped reading and hardly opened my school notes. I adjusted a bit after several counsels and encouragements from my brother and mentor. I had to stop seeing those friends. I became close to Odewale Ifeoluwa, whom God used to restore me to the right track. In my senior secondary school (high school), I was the best student in Further Mathematics in my set, and one of the best in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. I had always been the very best right from the second semester of ND 1 in my polytechnic years.

4. Who or what inspired your academic prowess?

Oluwaseun: My elder brother, my course adviser (Engr. Oddiah), and my own will to be the very best. I remember when I saw my HND 1 first semester result. I was elated because I came out with a CPGA of 3.82.

However, Engr Oddiah told me not to celebrate yet. Next, he brought out his result (CPGA: 3.85) and challenged me to beat it.

5.Tell us about some of your school activities e. g. professional memberships, field trips etc.

I worked together with my team to organise an excursion to the Nigeria Railway Corporation.

We also organized a one day CAD training program tagged ‘Exposure to CAD’. The program was geared towards exposing students to different engineering softwares e.g. AutoCAD, Solidworks, MATLAB, Proteus, Circuit Wizward etc., and what they can do with them.

Furthermore, I worked with my team to design an app for our association, via which students of the department can chat, discuss, set timetables, and download relevant ebooks and resources on each course. We also planned the Association Week, which was a very grand event.

For my final project, I worked on the theme ‘3D modelling and simulation of a locally fabricated mini tractor’

6. Awesome! Tell us about some of the awards you got in your school years…

My vision is to bring back the maintenance culture to Nigeria and Africa as a whole. @Timofe001

Oluwaseun: I received many awards, and notable among them are:

– Founder’s Day Award (Best Student in Further Mathematics) – Secondary school

– Best Graduating Student in Industrial Maintenance Engineering (ND) – Yabatech

– Best Graduating Student in Industrial Maintenance Engineering (HND) – Yabatech

– Best Graduating Student in the School of Engineering (HND) – Yabatech

– Overall Best Graduating HND Student in Yaba College of Technology (33rd Convocation, 2019)

– College Award for the Overall Best Graduating Student in Yaba College of Technology (33rd Convocation, 2019)

… my grades dropped in secondary school. In junior secondary school (middle school), I started following friends to video game centres and playing football. I became so addicted that I stopped reading and hardly opened my school notes

7. Kudos! What was growing up like?

I grew up in our family house located in one of the notorious areas of Ikorodu town, called Orita Famous. My dad later built a house in Aga area, still in Ikorodu, and we relocated. Growing up was fun and tough. My Dad is a disciplinarian and a devoted Christian. My brothers were more like uncles to me (my immediate elder brother is twelve years older). They restricted me from keeping company with bad friends. I wasn’t free like some of my friends, but in retrospect, I thank God for that. My Sunday school teachers also helped shape my life.
On one occasion, I followed my friends to the river to swim, and when my dad got the news, he tied my hands and legs, and beat the hell out of me. It is an experience I will never forget.

It wasn’t easy. It took a lot of sacrifice and self discipline, but I said to myself, ‘whatever it takes, I will give it’. @Timofe001

8. Were you intentional about coming out as the overall best graduating student, or did it just happen?

Oluwaseun: I never planned or dreamt to be the best graduating student. My main goal was to work hard, to be better than who I was the last time, and to touch many lives positively; so I made out time to take tutorial sessions for other students. The only competition I had throughout my polytechnic days was with myself.

9. Did it come easy or did you encounter any challenge that almost made you quit?

Oluwaseun: Finance was a major challenge throughout my stay in school. My dad had retired from work for sixteen years and my mum is a petty trader. Feeding and accommodation in school was a major challenge. I slept in bedbug/ mosquito infested classroom for months. There were weeks my entire feeding and transport allowance was just one thousand naira, and I would have to endure and manage that for the whole week. I had to borrow friends laptop for assignments and project before my brother gave me his old laptop.

It wasn’t easy. It took a lot of sacrifice and self discipline, but I said to myself, ‘whatever it takes, I will give it’.

Another factor that helped was my love for engineering. When you make your passion your profession,then work becomes play.

10. Who or what was/ is your greatest inspiration?

Oluwaseun: My greatest inspiration is God. In Him I live, move and have my being.

I’ve developed projects with Arduino for example, Smart Dustbin with WiFi module to check the status of waste, Automatic Water Level Indicator and Pump Controller, Smoke and Fire Detector with alarm, and several others.

11. What was your greatest lesson learnt in school?

Oluwaseun: Endure the pain of discipline… for payday is coming. Don’t be disheartened when things are hard; if it was easy everyone, would do it.

I am currently in earnest need of scholarship or sponsorship. I am doing my research and giving it all it takes, and I trust God to send help my way. My vision is to bring back the maintenance culture to Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

12. So now that you’ve graduated from school, what next?

Oluwaseun: I will be going for professional trainings and certifications in Industrial Automation, Control System and Robotics. I plan to further my education up to PhD level. I want to be a chief engineer and an expert in the field of Automation and Robotics.

After my National Youth Service, I would like to travel to China for my professional trainings / certification in Industrial Automation, Robotics and Maintenance Management. I am currently in earnest need of scholarship or sponsorship. I am doing my research and giving it all it takes, and I trust God to send help my way. My vision is to bring back the maintenance culture to Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

13. Tell us about your skill set…

Oluwaseun: I’m highly skilled in Solidworks (for 3D mechanical and electrical project modelling, design and simulations) .

I’m also an expert at Arduino programming. I’ve developed projects with Arduino for example, Smart Dustbin with WiFi module to check the status of waste, Automatic Water Level Indicator and Pump Controller, Smoke and Fire Detector with alarm, and several others.

14. Any word of advice for Nigerian students?

You are the only one that can stop You. Not your ethnicity, not your background. Set goals and establish priorities. This will help you strike a balance between your academics and social life. Put God in everything you do, and you will find Him in everything. Don’t take shortcuts or skip a process. Follow the process; every great outcome must follow due process.

Feeding and accommodation in school was a major challenge. I slept in bedbug/ mosquito infested classroom for months

15.Final Words…

I want to seize this opportunity to appreciate everyone that has contributed to my success in one way or the other (my parents siblings, family, friends and pastors.) To you all, I say a very big thank you.

I never planned or dreamt to be the best graduating student. My main goal was to work hard, to be better than who I was the last time, and to touch many lives positively. @Timofe001