Daily Trust

‘I wasn’t expecting a first class degree from Coventry University’

Daily Trust: Did you see yourself graduating with such flying colours?

Mohammed Babangida Ibrahim: To be honest, I never expected to graduate with such a result but however, starting with the mentality to achieve the best, I was able to overcome different obstacles that came my way and it was until after my first year in the university, that I realized the burning hunger in me to attain an outstanding result.

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DT: How did you achieve it?

Ibrahim: I think the key for me in achieving this was to keep up to date, be structured and organised and always pray to Allah. This made it a lot easier for me. Time management is the main factor which really counts. As Benjamin Franklin said, ‘time is money’.

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DT: What’s your study pattern like?

Ibrahim: I believe everyone has a different study pattern and it takes some time to discover the right one for you. For me, it wasn’t until after my first year where I encountered a lot of problems, that made me to discover my strengths and weaknesses. So that was when I was able to make a study pattern of which I adjusted and prepared a three hour daily private study session for myself.

The key is to know the right study pattern for yourself and after that, study smart and not study hard. Those were the words that always kept me moving and with the outcome, I can confirm that studying hard was not part of the success but rather, studying smart.

DT: You were also part of the Global Leadership Program (GLP) that represented your university in Spain and Finland. What led to you being chosen and what was the experience like?

Ibrahim: This actually happened as a surprise. There was a day when I was in a workshop and I realised I had a missed call, but then I didn’t know who it was. Later on, I was about to go home for lunch then I received an email stating that as a high achieving student, I have been selected to claim a membership spot on the GLP. I replied them, and we arranged a meeting during which I was briefed on the programme.

Some other international field trips came up which I was privileged to be selected as part of the students representing the university such as Helsinki, Finland and Seville, Spain. Experiencing those countries was amazing. In Spain, we had a little competition which took place and we actually won, it was a good feeling, really. We were awarded a certificate of excellence by the University of Seville and IQNet Certified Management.

DT: As an Electrical Engineering graduate, what gave you the greatest challenge during your studies?

Ibrahim: Facing challenges will never be a new thing, but you just have to overcome them and move on. I believe the greatest challenge I faced was when I came in for my very first semester. I had no friends and had no clue on what was going on in lectures due to the intensity and bulkiness of the course. I really appreciated what my parents did to me. I eventually came up with the idea of withdrawing from the course and I told them of my decision. It’s funny when you think of it. Initially, I really wanted the course but then suddenly I became afraid. My parents had to make my relatives close by come and sit down with me and discuss it. I really appreciate what they both did for me.

DT: How have you handled the attention that has come with being one of the smartest students in school?

Ibrahim: I always try to be humble and simple. I don’t look at myself as someone who is smarter than, or above others. I try to be the very best version of myself by being humble.

I’ve had this motive since I was a kid that I want to be among the best in whatever stuff I’m involved in. I will describe it as tough-grind. But however, this is part of a greater plan, where I intend to establish a company of my own and be able to impact on lives of people, tech-wise.

DT: What has the support system been like from your family?

Ibrahim: All of this wouldn’t have been possible without my parents and their continuous support and motivation.Without their necessary guidance, I wouldn’t have become the man I am today. They showed me how to become resilient. I dedicate this great achievement to them.

DT: What else would you have studied if not Electrical and Electronic Engineering? 

Ibrahim: Frankly, I would have gone for Business Management. As I already mentioned earlier, I plan to establish my own company.  I already have my business idea and target market and I plan to achieve it. This is why I plan to undergo the doctorate program offered to me by the university where the research area focuses on Future Transport and Cities. The research topic will likewise help me in bringing my dreams to fruition to start my business idea which will impact the lives of people in Nigeria.

DT: What do you do in your free time?

Ibrahim: In my spare time I enjoy reading, listening to motivational speakers, video games, and of course, spending time with friends and family.

DT: What’s your advice for other students?

Ibrahim: They should always remember that all the effort will pay off eventually, so never give up. The obstacle a lot of students encounter is the act of giving up in terms of academic problems. And that’s a temporary thing that builds you for a greater future ahead.