One question that virtually every student asks while still in school is the question of what will happen after their program ends. Many people already have the answers, but a vast majority of students are vaguely unaware of what they will do, and this makes them venture into different things while they are still in school. Here, Marvellous Bassey, a fresh graduate of the University of Uyo talks about how she nurtured a teaching career while she schooled. Excerpts:

May we meet you?

I am Marvellous Bassey, a graduate of Linguistics from the University of Uyo, a Linguist and French teacher. I am also into modelling and TV presenting.

How recently did you graduate from the University of Uyo?

I graduated in October 2016, that was when I finished with my research project and all other school-related matter. Though the official date as I have it on my certificate is February 2017.

So, you're a fresh graduate and you already have a job! That is something that does not happen very frequently in this country, seeing the way the economy is going...

Yes, that is true. One truth I have come to learn is that people that believe there are no jobs are those who do not have value to offer. I'm not being harsh, but that is the plain truth, take it or leave it!

So, what you're saying in essence is that there are jobs in Nigeria.


You seem to be currently employed in your basic field of study. Is there any specific way it happened?

Actually, I did not just start teaching French now; I have been teaching French right from my first year in school. I already have the idea that people who speak French in Nigeria are treated as gold everywhere they go. So as an edge, I ensure I tell people around me that I speak French. The first opportunity I had to teach French was through a roommate who was teaching in a school that needed a French teacher. Since she knew I speak French, she recommended me and since then, the recommendations have been rolling in till date.

You said you had been teaching French since your first year in school. How were you able to make out time to work and learn at the same time?

Well, it was not easy, really. I was working during my spare time in school; There were days I did not have classes so I fixed my teaching on those days and I taught once in a week. At a point where I needed to teach everyday, it was for two hours, daily so any two hours of the day that I was free, I would rush to the school(s) teach and rush back to catch up with lectures.

Did it, by any means, affect your academics?

Yes it did! At a point, specifically in my 3rd year, my G.P dropped. My schedule was so tight that I started missing classes; I missed a few tests and my reading suffered. It really affected me, you know, it's the principle of "you can not eat your cake and have it".

While all these were happening, why did you not just stop altogether?

I could not stop working;that was where I was able to sustain myself throughout my university days.

Well, seeing as you were able to combine schooling and work, would you encourage other students to work while they study?

Well, I would say yes and I would say no

Why is that?

Yes, because schooling while working was a plus to my life. Schooling has high financial demands and if you come from a family that can not meet those demands in totality, or you are self-sponsored, it is a wise thing to work. It is as a result of the fact that students want to meet up with the financial demands of school that they indulge in so many dubious and dirty activities, but working earns you legitimate money. Secondly, teaching was one of the ways through which my knowledge in French language expanded. My proficiency in French did not only come as a result of what I was taught in school, but what I also taught in schools. Also, working while schooling adds this prestige to your profile. While I was in school, people that knew I was working held me in high esteem and even after I graduated, those that knew I worked while schooling tend to make certain comments that accord respect; It has a way of telling people that you are responsible. I would also say "no" because working while schooling is a big distraction. I wanted to graduate with a first-class degree but 80% of why I did not was the fact that I was working.

That is pathetic, but does it not also provide an avenue for the student to add value to their certificate as you said earlier?

Yes, it does. As it stands now, I have a 5-year working experience in teaching. And that alone is a plus to my CV

Wow! That is really interesting

Yes, it is. In addition, If a student squarely needs academic excellence or badly needs a first-class, working should not be on such student's list.

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