She is no doubt a success. The consistent level of her success story has, however, been very amazing and inspiring. Mrs Abibat Yetunde Adebiyi emerged the best graduating student for the Masters category at the University of Ibadan (UI).
A Hijab-wearing Muslimah, Abibat who specialized in Structural and Materials Engineering in the Department of Civil Engineering graduated with the cumulative grade point average of 7.0.
Earlier, she had finished with a First Class at the same university during her undergraduate programme — a feat that earned her a scholarship for her Masters Degree. She also bagged Distinctions in both her National Diploma (ND) and Higher National Diploma (HND) at The Polytechnic, Ibadan.
In an exclusive interview with Muslim News, the exceptionally brilliant Muslimah spoke on her academic sojourn, which indicates a level of consistency in excellence and outstanding performances.
“I started my academic journey from The Polytechnic, Ibadan, where I studied Civil Engineering, both for National Diploma (ND) and Higher National Diploma (HND). I bagged Distinctions at both programmes.
“After then, I proceeded for my first degree at the University of Ibadan, where I also studied Civil Engineering. I made 6.1 out of 7.0 which amounts to a First Class. Due to my outstanding performance at the undergraduate level, I was awarded a Masters Scholarship at the University of Ibadan.
“I started my ND in 2007, and finished 2009. I went for my HND in 2010, but had also put in for a Direct Entry at the University of Ibadan. I didn’t get admitted that year. So, I continued with my HND programme. I was later admitted for the university’s undergraduate degree programme.”
Abibat said it was difficult combining her Masters programme with work, but the passion she built for her field of study, Civil Engineering kept her going. She works as a Teaching Assistant at her Alma Mater, The Polytechnic, Ibadan.
According to her, she has always been working since her days at the polytechnic, jostling academics and work, and at some point family together.
“While I was at the Polytechnic, I was working with a structural firm. Whenever I was on break or holidays, I was always in that office, learning how to analyze, design and build structures. Ever since my ND period, I’ve been working, gathering experience. After that firm, I joined a construction company in Lagos, where I used the knowledge I had in the structural firm to the real construction world.
“Presently, I am working as a Teaching Assistant at The Polytechnic, Ibadan. Even when I was on my Masters programme, I combined work and family as well. I got married in 400 level, and since then, I have been combining work, family and studies together. It’s quite difficult, but since I already have a passion for it, I was able to cope. With prayer and everything, I was able to come out successfully.”
Speaking on what worked for her, the academic said, “It has been Almighty Allah so far. But what I do is for every day, I have my to-do list. If I cannot achieve 100% of the to-do list, I strive to cover 85%. Also, with the help of my family, because they have been very supportive. I think that’s what gave me the encouragement to forge ahead and find everything easy.”
She advised young Muslim girls to ensure they bring out the best aspect of whatever they do, noting: “Every sacrifice in life has a reward. Nobody can tell when the reward will come.”
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