Raheemah Arogundade has been named the best graduate student in a master’s program at Aston University, UK, just a few years after breaking a record 21-year English department at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU).
In her interview with ENIOLA OYEMOLADE, the education enthusiast talks about her love for the English language, her ambitions, and more.
She mastered in teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) after she had bagged her Bachelor of Arts (B.A) in Obafemi Awolowo University.
She mentioned how she gained her admission into Aston university for her master’s programs.
She said, ” I selected Aston University because I received the vice chancellor’s scholarship which greatly contributed towards the affordability of the course”.
She furthered, “The process was really easy. I submitted an online application which includes my personal statement, CV, transcript and certificate. I also had to prove my English language proficiency through the WAEC certificate and a letter of English language proficiency from my past institution. Thereafter, I awaited the offer. I didn’t have to pay any application fee. The postgraduate application system in the UK is actually straightforward”.
“So far, I’ve had a smooth academic trajectory and the consistency has been there since my senior secondary school days. By consistency, I mean I have been the best graduating arts student in high school and the best graduating student during my first degree”.
She was asked the most interesting part of studying English Language. She answered, “The study of languages has different aspects which are of interest to me. Perhaps, I enjoy studying language because I’m a bilingual myself, and typically I am curious about how humans acquire or process languages”.
“You emerged the best graduating student in your department. How were you able to achieve this feat and how does it make you feel?” The interviewer asked.
She responded, “Honestly, it was not anticipated. I joined the cohort in January, as against most of my colleagues who started in September. And when I joined, I was unusually quiet, shy and anxious. Those who resumed early always had something to say in class and dominated class discussions; perhaps, because they have already gotten used to the academic system. We were new and that was obvious in our engagement in class. I would say I came out of my shell in the second term when I realised we all had something to say or offer to others, and it proceeded from there”.
Eniola Oyemolade furthered her questioning by asking the education enthusiast how she accomplished her goals being the best master student in Aston University after bagging the best graduating student in OAU
She responded, “Well, I would usually describe myself as “excellence-driven”. I not only work hard, but I also work smart and consistently. I’m not afraid to ask for help if need be. I’d rather I am turned down than not try at all. And I also ensure to give my best as I said before. In that light, I would say my success in OAU could be attributed to certain habits I developed over time. Those habits helped me at Aston no doubt. By habits, I mean positive habits, I promise”.
She further said, “I read everyday. That’s one of my study habits. While at Aston, I worked with a to-do list everyday. So for me, even if I was not in the right frame of mind to do a serious reading, I could do a light reading, like reading one of the journals I had downloaded for one of my assessments. And I start my assignments well before the deadline. I usually email my lecturers as many times as possible as long as I have not gotten an understanding of what’s expected. I would usually also ask my friends if I had any difficulties understanding a particular task or topic”.
She mentioned that she started her course during COVID-19, a deadly viral disease, where physical gathering is prohibited. She met most of her course mates online before they had face-to-face classes. During the COVID-19 period, She completed the Chartered Management Institute’s Level Seven award in Personal and Professional Development for Strategic Leaders (offered by Aston University) and also the Cambridge CELTA qualification, which qualifies her to teach English to Adult learners in the UK. Alongside, She volunteered as a teacher with two educational institutions in a bid to gain professional experience in the UK.
Towards the end of her Interview, She was asked her next line of action after her master’s degree and her ambition
She responded, “Well, I’m taking the time to reflect, plan and position myself exactly where I want to be. I definitely don’t have it all figured out, but I’m in the process. So, no pressure. I’m just taking each day as it comes”.
” I have the ambition of working in a higher education setting someday”.