Recently we interviewed one of the current beneficiaries of the Petroleum Trust Development Fund (PTDF) Scholarship, Damola Anjorin , a 500 Level student of electrical/electronic engineering department at the University of Ibadan. Prior to meeting Damola, my perception of recipients of scholarships managed by the Nigerian government was:
- They don't exist. After all if our elected leaders can engage in blatant corrupt practices that rob the nation of billions of dollars and blame it on some powerful cabal, then it's not a far stretch to imagine funds meant for educational scholarships are being diverted to their pockets.
- If they do exist, they're nerds without a social life that will struggle with the realities of being a bookworm in a society where who you know is valued over what you know.
About discovering PTDF
Well, I found out about PTDF just before I got admitted into the University of Ibadan, I heard some senior colleagues from my Cambridge A-level class that got admitted before me got the scholarship so I really looked forward to it (and that motivated me to find out more about how to apply for the scholarship).
On winning the scholarship
I wasn’t the most brilliant, A few other guys with higher CGPAs got the scholarship; I think it was just a level-playing ground, I mean, once you qualify with a minimum of 4.3/7 grade point to take the test and you pass, you get the scholarship
PTDF pays out about N200,000 annually. I also have another scholarship from the Society of Petroleum Engineers. The money helped me get a car to get around campus and it has also helped with some of my other expenses (e.g. paying for internet wifi to aid my studies)
Keeping his grades up.
I don’t have a rigid reading timetable, but i try to do what needs to be done. I came into the school with a strong knack for learning and problem solving; i think that has helped me more than any resolve to be serious
Advice to students interested in applying for scholarships
To win a scholarship, find out about them, and understand what is required, prepare accordingly and take the tests. It is also important to keep your grades high enough so you don’t miss out on the one's that requires high grades, although not all of them do
His extracurricular activities
I am an active member of professional organizations such as:
- Society of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (SEEES)
- Society of Petroleum engineers (SPE)
- Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers (IEEE)
- National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)
[Author's note: Damola is also the president of the UI NSBE chapter and through his role as leader of this organization has helped bring reputable organizations such as Procter & Gamble to campus to engage students in educational activities e.g. career workshops, motivational talks for secondary school students etc.]
I like listening to music. I prefer R&B, Rap and country music
Girls love nerds
I have several admirers. Good girls appreciate a brilliant guy; they see him as someone they can build a future with. Despite this though, I'm in a steady relationship with just one, it's a serious relationship.
[Authors note: he wasn't very convincing on this issue, sounded like some of his admirers might be getting his attention as well. He also didn't release the name of his girlfriend]
His role models
Thomas Edison and Professor Oluleye (the dean of engineering faculty) come to mind
Visit our our Wiki page for more information on scholarship opportunities.