Interview With Peace Bello Best Graduating Student Chemical Engineering Dept 47th Convocation OAU

Peace Bello hails from Osun state. He attended the International School Ibadan (ISI) for his secondary education. Because of his love for Mathematics and Chemistry, he decided to study chemical engineering at Obafemi Awolowo University where he bagged his first degree with 4.82/5.0.

According to him, he had 4.31/5.0 in his first semester 100 level in the university which made him not to be among the first 10 in his first year.  As he progressed he had some health conditions forcing him to two surgeries in the space of 48 hours in his second year. Also, up to his 4th year in school, he is always out of school for one or two weeks due to health issues. However, he didn’t allow this to draw him back academically and with God on his side, he was able to push through. In his third year, he won his first scholarship award courtesy of the MTN Foundation. He eventually graduated with 4.82, emerging as the best-graduating student in the Chemical Engineering Department during the 47th convocation of OAU.

Below is the excerpt from the interview.

Your full name: Bello Peace Olalekan

Secondary school attended: The International School, University of Ibadan, Ibadan

 Mode of admission: UTME, score: 255/400

Year of Matriculation: 2016

Your experience in school

Reflecting on my journey to emerge as the Best graduating student in my department is a story that I believe will inspire faith as we navigate an exciting year ahead. My passion for studying chemical engineering was initially born out of my love for chemistry and mathematics, coupled with my interest in ensuring affordable, accessible, and clean energy. Transiting from a first semester GPA of 4.31/5.00 to a final CGPA of 4.82/5.00 was one of the herculean tasks that looked almost impossible at the time, as it was quite difficult to identify what was causing the academic drawbacks at the beginning.

As the journey progressed, I had to battle some tough health conditions, forcing me to have two surgeries in the space of 48 hours in my second year. Grateful to God for life, the doctors and most importantly bouncing back much stronger. In my third year, I eventually won my first scholarship award courtesy MTN Foundation, proceeding to undergo industrial training with Coca-Cola and SLB in my fourth year. My active involvement with AIChE motivated me to consume hours of online learning during COVID before proceeding to win my first global competition in 2020, which was when I also began my tech journey with AI and data science. I also had the opportunity of publishing my first paper in 2021 courtesy SPE while benefitting from the awesome webinars and training, after which I participated in the Data Science, AI for Energy Hackathon where team Chemotronix was formed evolving later on to a startup.

My final year came and I had to send cold emails to secure datasets for my project. After several attempts, I got access to the Shell Quest Canada Blue Hydrogen Project, researching thermoeconomic and exergy analysis Grateful for the immense support of my parents throughout the journey (Rev’d Dr. & Mrs Bello), my student fellowship (BSFOAU), my professors, project supervisor, Prof Oludare Odejobi and Prof. Aransiola. Glad to have bagged some awards along the way, motivating me to always contribute more. So many lessons were learnt during the journey which further deepened my drive for excellence. Life in itself has never been a bed of roses and challenges are to be overcome.

Far beyond the awards and personal achievements, lots of beautiful relationships have been formed from various competitions, hackathons leadership, and volunteering positions which are forever cherished. The end of a thing is better than the beginning. No matter where we find ourselves, there’s always room for improvement. Trust the process, seek guidance, and never give up. It’s the end of a phase, and the journey continues to drive a more sustainable future for all.

How are you able to navigate through diverse hurdles in school?

Staying Proactive, not piling up notes, seeking help from senior colleagues, and most importantly God’s help

Your reading strategy

I stay ahead of the curve, I ensure I cover every note by the end of the week. I also tried to check for relevant past questions to assess my level of understanding.

Your life philosophy: Never Give Up

Advice for those who want to graduate with the highest GPA

It can be very challenging, but it’s very possible. Do well to start with a good GPA from year one, it makes the journey much easier.

Bolarinwa Olajire

A tutor with a demonstrated history of working in the education industry. Skilled in analytical skills. Strong education professional with a M. SC focused in condensed matter. You can follow me on Twitter by clicking on the icon below to ask questions.

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