I am your host: Chijioke okolo- Administrator of NigeriaScholar.
Welcoming our guest today: Engr. Ikenna Odinaka. Ikenna Odinaka is a graduate of Petroleum Enginnering from Federal University of Technology, Owerri. He is a vibrant Nigerian, a Blogger, a Web Designer/Developer, a Constractor, a Consultant, an Infoprenuer and a Perfect Gentle Man.
Ikenna Odinaka Administrate one of Africa's leading blog on Career Development and Financial Aids ( Scholarship, grant and Fellowship). He has been blogging for some years now, and this with many more has given him an international recognition. Visit AfterSchoolAfrica to know more about this blessed Nigerian.
Interview With Ikenna Odinaka
Chijioke Okolo: Thank you for accepting our invitation for an interview.
Ikenna Odinaka: You’re welcome and it’s indeed my pleasure.
Chijioke Okolo: Please, can you personally introduce yourself to us and what you do?
Ikenna Odinaka: First of all, my name is Ikenna Odinaka C. I am an online student adviser and a freelance writer focused on education and youth empowerment.
Chijioke Okolo: I learned you are a successful blogger who blogs about Financial Aids. How truth is that?
Ikenna Odinaka: That is true. My main blog is about financial aids and education options to save time and money.
Chijioke Okolo: How long have you being blogging about Financial Aids like: Scholarship, Grants and Fellowships?
Ikenna Odinaka: That’s been since 2008, towards the end of my national youth service.
Chijioke Okolo: So, we may now classify you as an expert when it comes to Financial Aids matters, right?
Ikenna Odinaka: Well, I wouldn't want to use the word expert. However, having spent a considerable amount of time and resources on the subject, I’d say I’m quite knowledgeable about issues with financial aids and Scholarships.
Chijioke Okolo: Please, can you tell us what are Financial Aids?
Ikenna Odinaka: Financial aids are monetary assistance offered by universities/colleges or for profit/not for profit organization to outstanding students to pursue their studies. It’s either offered to needy students who cannot otherwise pay for their education or to the best students in a field of study regardless of whether they can pay the full fee or not. The former is referred to as need-based financial aids while the latter is merit-based.
Chijioke Okolo: Ok, could you please tell us all you know about Scholarships, since this is what is kind of feasible in Nigerians?
Ikenna Odinaka: Here in Nigeria, there are a number of companies and organizations offering Undergraduate Scholarship to Nigerian Students and a few for Postgraduate Scholarships. There are also specific and general international Scholarships for prospective Nigerian students. The fact is that not everyone can win a Scholarship. First you need to prove to the Scholarship sponsor that your education deserve to be sponsored in some way; starting with a good academic qualification (O’Level or first degree), leadership potential, work experience, career prospect and field of study. Scholarships offered here in Nigeria are a lot easier to qualify and win compared to international Scholarships. There is a lot more to say which of course will take a lot of space so let’s keep it at these points.
Chijioke Okolo: You have written allot of articles about Scholarships, so, could you please educate us on how to get a scholarship award?
Ikenna Odinaka: Two major factors I consider to getting Scholarship awards are; one, to get a good academic and extracurricular background and second to act at the right time. To further explain the second factor, there is no redemption in looking for a Scholarship for Nigerians when you urgently need financial assistance. Starting early to search available options will go a long way with getting the right materials to prepare your winning application. With this the next most crucial part is completing you application. A lot of Scholarship sponsors confess that a greater number of applicants are disqualified due to poorly completed application. It shouldn't surprise you that a number of people are not generally good at following instructions and would rather fill their applications haphazardly than provide a diligent piece of work.
Chijioke Okolo: I believe we have Undergraduate Scholarships and Postgraduate Scholarships (Msc and PhD). What can you tell us about these Scholarships?
Ikenna Odinaka: Yes. I explained a bit of it above but simply put, Undergraduate Scholarships are offered to current or prospective university students to pursue their diploma or bachelors degree while Postgraduate Scholarships are offered to students who want to purse advanced degrees like masters and doctoral degrees.
Chijioke Okolo: Please, could you list out some of the necessary requirements needed for an Undergraduate Scholarship?
Ikenna Odinaka: Scholarship requirements vary for different Scholarship awards. It all depends on what the Scholarship provider wants from candidates. However in most cases good academic performance, involvement in extracurricular activity, in some cases demonstration of leader potential. Applications require an essay(s) recommendation letter(s), credentials and other personal details.
Chijioke Okolo: What about the necessary requirements needed for a Postgraduate Scholarship?
Ikenna Odinaka: Same as above, but in addition previous work experience may be required.
Chijioke Okolo: I saw a wonderful post on your blog where you wrote on how to get a Scholarship in 2012. Could you please in just two to three paragraphs summarize that post for us?
Ikenna Odinaka: Well the post on how to win a Scholarship in 2012 is mainly about encouraging students to make that decision to take their Scholarship quest more seriously and take full advantage of the available resources, which I referenced, to make the task easier.
Chijioke Okolo: For a Nigerian Student; be it an undergraduate or a Postgraduate Student who really needs a Scholarship for Nigerian students to finance his/her education, what advice do you have for such a Student?
Ikenna Odinaka: I’ve observed that most Scholarship for Nigerian seekers simply get online one day and hope to find an easy Scholarship to apply and win the next month. The process of finding, applying and eventually winning a scholarship requires preparation. You have to make it a goal and follow it stringently.
Chijioke Okolo: How many Scholarships for Nigerians can a student apply for?
Ikenna Odinaka: You can apply for as many scholarships as you can find. Some Scholarship for Nigerians will allow you to source fund from other sources while others require that you have no other sponsor. Whichever way, you have to apply for all of them and if you happen to win more than one and have to choose, you shouldn’t have a problem choosing the one with the most benefit.
Chijioke Okolo: When a student apply for a Scholarship(s). What are the chances or odds against such a student that this student will later end up winning that Scholarshp(s)?
Ikenna Odinaka: As long as you are qualified and have put in your best application, the rest is out of your control (except for being positive about it). It’s just like asking, what are the chances or odds of getting a job after you apply. There are several other people vying for the same position as you, so it’s left to the Scholarship committee to decide who get the chance and who doesn’t.
Chijioke Okolo: If a students apply for a Scholarship and ended up not getting that Scholarship award. If you were such a student, what would you do in such a situation?
Ikenna Odinaka: You apply for more if you are still eligible or you look for other source of funding your education. It’s not a do or die affair. Life must go on.
Chijioke Okolo: For does students who are from poor homes and who really want to go to school but don't have a Scholarship. What advice do you have for such a student?
Ikenna Odinaka: Like I mentioned in the post you referred in your 12th question, Scholarship is only an option. There are other options of funding your education. You can Learn a vocational skill. There are small low capital businesses you can start and in time earn money to sponsor yourself in school. Do your diligent research and decide on a path to follow. I know a lot of students (you might have met them too) currently paying their way through higher education. A number of university graduates are doing business that has no connection to their academic qualification. Look for and venture into such fields.
Chijioke Okolo: Is there any one post on your blog you will like to refer us to, that will educate us more on Scholarships and answer questions like: how, when and where to get a Scholarship award?
Ikenna Odinaka: Well it comes in pieces but this post on Your Scholarship Application Process and Strategy kind of did a good job of it.
Chijioke Okolo: In conclusion, what do you have to tell the entire Nigerian Public about NigeriaScholar?
Ikenna Odinaka: Seriously, I’m impressed at the job you guys are doing here for Nigerian students. If you could get to this point in a short while, I’m confident you can get a lot better with time.
Chijioke Okolo: On behalf of the NigeriaScholar Team and our wonderful audiences, we all say a "Big Thank You" once again Ikenna Odinaka for granting us the solemn privilege of having this interview with you. We wish you all the best in all of you endeavours.
Ikenna Odinaka: Anytime! It was interesting to be here. And thank you too.
To our wonderful audience, hope this Interview has done a great job in answering most of your confusing questions you have about Scholarships? If something is not really clear to you here about Scholarships or Financial Aids in General, you are FREE to use the comment box below and we will give you the best answer possible.
Thanks to you our loyal audience for coming this far. We are really greatful to you all. You all are the reason why we had this interview in the first place and to God be the glory, you all made it possible. my friends, If I have to extend my sincere gratitude to you all one after the other, then I will have to write for days without stopping. I believe, you don't want me to go through that, right?. However, you guys are wonderful.
Our next interview will be about University Admission into Nigerian Universities. So, we huge you all to keep coming back to NigeriaScholar for this exclusive Interview and more useful articles.
From the NigeriaScholar Team, we say bye for now and we hope to see you all in our next post.
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