With a Cumulative Grade Point Average of 4.90, Alexandria Braie of the Department of Accounting, Babcock University, Ilishan Remo, Ogun State, emerged the best graduating student of the institution. In this interview with FOLASHADE ADEBAYO, the 22-year-old discusses her next steps.
You emerged the best graduating student despite having the second highest cumulative grade point average of your set. What qualified you for the honour?
There were other criteria taken into consideration, such as leadership skills, spirituality and community service. I was a leader in church and although there were no specific projects in these areas, my service in church and citizenship grade were considered.
Were you expecting it?
No. I was shocked. I feel blessed and honoured. I was not expecting it because someone else was already announced as the student with the highest CGPA. I had the second highest CGPA. Today is my happiest day and I am grateful to God, my parents and friends who have always supported me.
Did you consider yourself studious?
I was a balanced student. Reading everyday does not come to me, but I also took notes in class. I took notes to have a basic understanding and I guess it helps when you are not reading. I used the library because I like to read in a serene and quiet environment. The Internet played a very big role also. I got so many materials that you would not ordinarily get in textbooks. I feel that people should utilise the Internet more for its positive sides. Social media is good, but one can leverage on the internet to acquire academic knowledge. I would put the role the internet played in my success at 70 per cent.
How easy was it to make a first class?
I have always been a bright student. I was the best graduating student in the university, the best Accounting student and the best student in the School of Management Sciences. I also won the ICAN prize for best Accounting student. I attended the University of Lagos Staff School, Akoka, and the Redeemer’s International Secondary School, Maryland, for my primary and secondary school education.
I have always been brilliant and I have always been very determined to succeed in whatever I do. I look up to my mother because of her drive and determination to be successful. She is a facility manager and she inspires me to do more. I also ensure that I don’t give in to distractions and remain focused. However, I cannot do anything without God. He is the path to my success.
Do you have a boyfriend?
Can I say no comment?
Would you say that bright students get the same reward as winners of talent and reality shows?
I think there is an imbalance, but it is important that one derive satisfaction from what one does. I know that I can participate in a talent show and be presented with N10m, but I might not earn that amount in three years in a regular job. But, am I doing it for the money? Do I love what I am doing? The basic thing is to love what one is doing.
What are the next steps for you?
I am looking at studying for my masters. I have always wanted to be a chartered accountant and later on a consultant. I would love to work in big accounting firms around the world.
Why opt for Accounting?
I have always wanted to be an accountant because figures and numbers come easy to me. It was not a difficult choice at all because I enjoy working with numbers. You need accountants everywhere and there are different aspects of accounting such as tax and consultancy. There is a big tax drive to generate revenue at the moment.
What were your challenges in school and how did you surmount them?
It was basically about trying to create time for other things. The university obviously has restrictions, in terms of leaving school. But it was challenging trying to balance my professional exams and school exams. But I overcame by planning ahead.