Miss Joses Vwegba Peter of the Department of Petroleum Engineering and Geosciences (PEG), Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun, Delta State, emerged the overall best HND student with a CGPA of 3.95 in the 2019/2020 academic session. Twenty-one-year-old, Delta-born Joses, who bagged 11 prizes and a scholarship on the school’s convocation on October 23, 2021, shares her thoughts with EBENEZER ADUROKIYA. Excerpts:
You are the best graduating student here, how did you achieve this feat?
I guess it’s discipline, hard work, determination and prayers.
How did you manage your stay at school, joggling between socialising and studying?
I think everything boils down to discipline. If you are disciplined, you’ll know what time to study, what time to cook, what time to play, what time to go to church. So, basically everything is discipline. You just have to be disciplined.
What peculiar style or formular did you apply in studying to excel at school?
During normal school days, I read whenever I remembered there was something I didn’t know. Exams were a different ball game. I study all night and all day.
What’s your take on exam malpractices among students vis a vis the scenario of your friend you referenced in your speech?
Exam malpractices are wrong and have severe consequences. Please, abstain from it.
How did your background help you in attaining this feat?
Well, I’ll say my family is my motivation because we’re not so rich, we’re not poor either, but of course, we’re looking for a better future. So I had to step up my game and I made it.
You’re from where in Delta State?
From the outset, did you plan to come out as the best student?
Yes, right from my ND
So how were you able to avoid distractions from colleagues who didn’t share your vision?
Like I said, it’s all about discipline. If you’re disciplined, you’ll know what to avoid and what to accept and you’ll know what to do, when and where.
Were there times you got discouraged from achieving your goal?
Yes. My last semester, I had a very traumatic experience so I thought I would drop, but I was able to stand by God’s grace and my friends that were around me.
What happened so those reading your story can also be encouraged and learn how to push through whatever challenges that come their way?
I lost my 16-year-old sister. That was in February this year and it really weighed me down because it was very close to my final exams. So, with my family and friends, I was able to step up and still came out well.
Did you experience any form of sexual harrasment from lecturers or cultists during the course of your study?
Not at all. There’s nothing of such in PTI.
Did you have a boyfriend on campus throughout your study years? How did you manage each other?
Yes.. and we’re still together. He encouraged me and I encouraged him. We both had each other’s backs and we were disciplined enough to graduate well.
Do you have a role model?
My mom is my role model. Academically, I’d say Mrs. Tracy Akimoji. She’s a lecturer in my department and I love the way she teaches; the way she acts. She’s really friendly. So, she really encouraged my academic life and I’d like to be like her, someday.
What specific area of oil and gas engineering are you going to specialise in?
Production or Reservoir Engineering
What’s your dream job?
Of course, it’s to work in the oil and gas sector.
What if you were retained as a lecturer at PTI? Would you still prefer oil and gas job?
Being a PTI lecturer is still a part of oil and gas job. So I’ll accept it with full joy. Besides, I have a lot of teaching experience.
What would you advise younger students to do to achieve best results?
My advice is to do what makes you happy. If you want to excel academically, look for a way to get it done. If it means studying all night or all day or intermittently, do as it suits you. If studying doesn’t make you happy, then you should look for something else to make you happy, some form of skill.
What’s your Philosophy?
Be happy. In anything you’re doing, try to find happiness.
Do you think this country holds prospects for you? Are you happy about what’s going on in the country and what do you think the government should do?
Well, if the government can provide jobs for graduates like us, that would be a very huge step because most of us have potentials; we have ideas that can help this country in ways we can’t even imagine. With the way technology is advancing and with their energy, we definitely need to step up our game in this country. So, if the government can take us in line with the growth of technology, it would be better.
In what other areas do you think other stakeholders can also help, particularly as it relates to technical courses?
Well, PTI is trying in terms of technical courses and I think if we had more equipment to assist the process, it would be better.
How do you feel emerging the best overall student in your set?
I feel happy. I mean I’m a girl and I survived in a man’s world. I’m overwhelmed with happiness.
Are you the first child and how many siblings do you have?
Yes, I am and I have four younger ones.
Are you from a wealthy home?
No, I am not. It’s just an average home.
The girl child has, over the years, suffered marginalisation, but here you’re changing the narrative. What’s your word for young girls who are hopping from one man or brothel to another in the name of ‘hustling’ to eke a living?
It’s a choice and not a condition.. The girl child is powerful. We can do anything as long as we are determined.
So what is your dream for the world?
I have a dream for Nigeria before the world. I like to help people especially children and females. If I have my dream job or even with whatever I have now, I’ll always try to assist people in anyway. Children that are financially unstable or from shaky backgrounds. I pray one day I should be there for them.
You hinted at your trip to Saudi Arabia as a student for a conference. What’s your impression about the educational standards there and in Nigeria?
We weren’t exposed to educational facilities and institutions there. We just attended a week’s conference on technological developments in the oil and gas industry and climate change. (tribune)