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Interview with Commonwealth Shared Scholarship winner at Cardiff University – Mesele Oluwaseun from Nigeria

An excellent first class undergraduate degree and a passion for Chemistry brought Nigerian Oluwaseun Mesele’s application for Cardiff University’s Commonwealth Shared Scholarship to the attention of the deciding scholarship committee. Rising above nearly 60 other applicants, Mesele is enjoying this highly prestigious award, enabling him to study his chosen programme, MSc Physical Organic Chemistry.Mesele Oluwaseun - Cardiff University

Mesele shares his scholarship and study abroad experience with potential scholarship winners on afterschoolafrica.com. Let’s meet Mesele.

Could you tell us a little about yourself; where you are from and your background?

Mesele: I am Mesele Oluwaseun. I am an indigene of Kogi State. I have had all of my education in Lagos. Finishing secondary school education at Kings College, Lagos before proceeding to study Industrial Chemistry at the University of Lagos Nigeria where I finished with a First Class

What motivated you to apply for Masters in Physical Organic Chemistry and why did you choose Cardiff University?

Mesele: My decision to apply for the MSc in Physical organic Chemistry was based entirely on faith. I had come across the Commonwealth scholarship on CSCUK website and saw that Cardiff was offering one award for the 2011/2012 academic year. Though, the University was offering just one award, I decided to apply. The choice of Physical Organic Chemistry was natural since I was a graduate of Chemistry.

How many scholarships did you apply for before you won the commonwealth Shared Scholarship?

Mesele: The Commonwealth scholarship must have been the first major scholarship I have applied for. I had also received an assistantship position in a US university before I won the Commonwealth scholarship. I decided to take the Commonwealth Scholarship based on the pedigree that the award brings with it. I knew that if and when I decided to continue my education in the US, the experience gathered in the UK will be invaluable.

Tell us about your creative process for the application of the Cardiff University Commonwealth Shared Scholarship.

Mesele: In applying for the scholarship, I had to write an essay on how my proposed course of study would help in the actualization of the Millenium development goals in my country. The task was therefore writing an essay that will show how knowledge gathered during my Physical Organic Chemistry course would help me in contributing my quota in achieving the MDGs in my home country.

What effort or qualification do you think made you stand out to emerge the scholarship winner?

Mesele: My excellent result during my undergraduate course in University of Lagos was one major element that won me the award. My results showed that I had the required preparation to do well as an MSc student.

How was your first experience studying in UK as an African Student?

Mesele: My experience studying in the UK was very revealing. It made me to understand that one of the major issues affecting Nigeria negatively was that of mind-set. Nigerians do not have the right mind set to make the nation work. Corruption and leaders who feel they are not accountable to the people who ‘elected’ them to their positions are major issues afflicting the nation. A total reorientation of the leaders and the led of their role in nation building is critical if the nation is going to ever move forward.

What would you advice prospective students hoping to win a Scholarship to study abroad?

Mesele: Students that hope to win scholarships to study abroad need to work hard to first have good results to back their applications. Beyond the results, some applications are never even considered as such applications fail to follow instructions given during the application process. Finally for scholarship applications that involve writing essays, applicants should research thoroughly while also giving their essays to colleagues and professionals who would help point out errors before such essays are completed.

Do you mind sharing with us what you hope to do next after your graduation and why?

Mesele: I hope to be an astute academic and leader, one that generations after can look up to. After, my MSc, I hope to proceed to my PhD. My hope is that after gathering the much needed knowledge here, we can return to the country to be the change that we preach.

How do you compare Nigerian Education to the Education you are receiving in UK?

Mesele: Comparing education in the UK and Nigeria especially for the sciences shows that the nation still has a great deal to do in the area of research. Industries should be willing to fund research in the institutions. The Universities need modern state-of-the-art equipment. For developed nations like the UK, the development in the country has been driven by research in the academic institutions. I believe this is one area of development the country needs to fund and tap into.

What is your impression of AfterschoolAfrica?

Mesele: After school Africa is doing a tremendous job in educating Nigerians especially on the medium through which they can acquire world class educations. I hope that other institutions can follow the example of after school Africa to educate and inform Nigerians of many opportunities that students from other parts of the world are enjoying so they are not left out,

Thank you for your time Mesele Oluwaseun, and best of luck with your career pursuit.


See details to apply for the commonwealth shared scholarship

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