Being a first class graduate is one of the numerous dreams of majority of Nigerian students, both before and immediately after gaining admission into the tertiary institution. However, after gaining admission, a lot of students tend to veer off the path, owing to the many distractions that are ever present in the university environment. Myschoolaid was granted an exclusive interview with Mr. Ekwueze Chukuwdi, one of the few first class graduates that have been produced in the Department of Accounting, University of Uyo and he said a lot of very interesting things pertaining graduating with a first class, he also gave some words of advice to the freshmen, amidst other things. Here are some of the things discussed:

Please, may we meet you?

Thank you for the privilege, I am Chukwudi Ekwueze. I am a graduate of Accounting, from the prestigious University of Uyo, currently serving my country in Rivers State.

Okay, what is your current academic status?

Aside from being a graduate, I am also a registered professional student with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), and I am currently writing my professional exams.

Wow, that is really good. Didn’t you think it was relevant to wait a little after graduating before venturing into professionalism?

Personally, I don’t see any need to give such space for that if I could afford the means or have a sponsor. You can only give space if you don’t have the means. The truth is that when you graduate, it is more advisable to start your professional career, specifically for a course like Accounting; procrastination will only cause more harm than good, unless you don’t want to practice your field of study.

That’s interesting. When you were in school, it was believed that you finished with a CGPA of 4.8, how true is that?

Actually, my cumulative CGPA was 4.67; however I had 4.8 as my final GPA for my final semester in school.

That’s really awesome! It is what can be referred to as a “strong” first class. How were you able to achieve that, despite your venture into politics in the later part of your third year?

Actually, it was a matter of dedication and discipline. I sacrificed my social life to achieve that; I wasn’t visiting friends and attending parties as well as other social gathering because the political involvement was more than the social life. I am one person that is time conscious and I also weigh the benefits of doing something before I do it; I don’t do things for sentiments. One thing I always did was dedicate my weekend for studies; on Saturday and Sunday, you can't find me any were else than in the class because I know during the week I would be so occupied with lectures and other administrative involvements.

Which means you were very meticulous both in your studies and in politics?

Yes, I can take that I was meticulous.

What course did you enjoy the most and why?

I loved all my courses, however I always enjoyed the calculative ones; I am not a man of stories.

Apart from the main things you studied in the University, what else can you say the university environment has actually taught you?

Public speaking, management of human beings, co-ordination and leadership

Okay, but apart from “Diligence and Determination”, what other “off-the-books” advice can you give the incoming freshmen?

They should have the self-will to do things; they shouldn’t be carried away by the euphoria of being in the university, be prayerful –I didn’t mention that, but it is one of my personal principles; I had a covenant with my God as regards my academics.

So from experience, can you say that finishing school is more than just about reading books and passing exams?

Yes, very much more than that.