Students’ primary goal at school is their academics, and it is expected that they make good grades and understand what they came to school to study. Few students can combine this goal with being involved in other activities like volunteering and making a positive impact on the society. One of these few students, while in the university is Lolade Esther, ALONGE, the GLSUI’19 Producer, Pioneer Financial Secretary of SEIH, amongst others. She tells her story while at the university, and what she wants to accomplish in the future. You can read her NYSC story here by clicking on this
Can we meet you?
I am a graduate of the Department of European Studies, University of Ibadan, with a Combined Honors degree in Russian and French languages. I am into writing, freelance editing, volunteering and have high interests in social entrepreneurship. I was the producer and summit champion of the Global Leadership Summit, University of Ibadan (GLSUI) from March to October 2019, and was recently awarded as the Global Leadership Summit Female Influencer. I am also a volunteer member of Save our Future Initiative, which is an initiative aimed at ensuring, developing and improving the quality of education of children.
I have volunteered for The Ransomed Team, Faculty of Arts Electoral Committee, HultPrize on-campus competition, and am also a founding member of Students Entrepreneurship and Innovative Hub (SEIH UI). From being a volunteer, I have been onboarded as a co-founder of The Edge, a talent development startup that helps youths define their career goals and access global development opportunities.
Why study Russian Language and French knowing fully well that studying one is not an easy feat for an Anglophone citizen?
I’ll start by saying, I have always had a soft spot for languages. After gaining admission to study the Russian language, and the opportunity to combine it with the French language, which I had already fallen in love with, I was game. Already, I wrote French in my Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations. Combining the study of both languages was not easy, but my aspiration to be a polyglot was the exact push I needed to succeed.
Did you know Russian before you gained admission into the University?
Not at all. After I gained admission to study Russian, I went online to learn about the language, and that was my first contact with the language.
What are the similarities between Russia and France both in language and as countries?
Well, they are both European countries. The languages are not the same. The Russian language has its own set of alphabets, and they are different from French language alphabets. On the surface level, one might say the two languages are entirely different, but, with study and research, you’d find out there are some points of convergence between Russian and French languages. Take, for example, my long essay was a comparative study of the past tense form of the Russian verbs of motion without prefixes and the french verbs of movement conjugated with “être”. At the end of my study, we had similarities to point out.
Can you tell us what Global Leadership Summit, UI and what your contributions were as a producer?
The Global Leadership Summit is an annual leadership summit, which I’d call a retreat, organized by the Global Leadership Network, formerly known as the Willow Creek Association in the USA. The University of Ibadan is a host site under GLSNigeria, and we have hosted the Videocast summit, presenting award-winning speakers who constitute the summit faculty, who give practical and applicable examples on the path to and in leadership.
As the producer, I was charged with making things work. Which involved working with a lot of team members and team leads to execute the summit. I am glad to have received feedback from participants about how glad they were to have been a part of the summit, with appreciation notes to me and every member of the team.
What challenges did you face being the producer of GLSUI and how were you able to solve them?
A lot. The first was understanding my role. Then, after the understanding phase, I was faced with how to carry out the function. When how dawned on me, I was saddled with working with a lot of team members and the host to make sure the event was a success. All these were challenges to me, but trusting my team to do the right things at the right time, with prayers to and faith in God, and also, putting in my best to ensure success, all the challenges were overcome. In the end, the event was a huge success.
Why was Students Entrepreneurship and Innovative Hub established?
The hub was established to give the right ambience to breed innovations. It was discovered that lots of students in the University of Ibadan have amazing and billion dollars business ideas, but getting the right team and incubator to bring these ideas to limelight was a deterring factor for the students, and this was the idea behind establishing the hub. The idea for the hub was brought up by Ojo Oladimeji, who was then the Campus Director for the HultPrize University of Ibadan, which is an annual competition involving pitching business ideas to suit given themes. The HultPrize on-campus competition has since the founding of the hub, been a major project for SEIH.
What does has since the founding of the hub mean?
It means, since the hub was established, the HultPrize on-campus competition has been its major project.
Being a founding member of Students Entrepreneurship and Innovative Hub means that you support Entrepreneurship. Tell us your Entrepreneurship story?
Indeed, I support entrepreneurship. I must say as much as I love the concept of entrepreneurship, I have not been so awesome with building a business. I am more of a Social Entrepreneur. I may not birth a business idea, but, I can support it and contribute my impact to see to the success of it.
Being the pioneer financial secretary of the society what challenges did you face and how were you able to tackle them?
It wasn’t so challenging being the financial secretary. But, keeping tabs on how funds were spent kept me on my feet, as the University’s authority were a cogent part of the hub. Making sure we were as economy wise as possible was also a key function, but I had great team members, and they made it quite easy to do my best.
What actions did you regret taking or not taking in school?
Everything I did or didn’t do in school, I do not regret. They have contributed to whom I have become today. But, if I could turn back the hands of time, maybe I would have volunteered for more value-adding organizations. Also, grow my network stronger than I did.
Why will anyone want you to be on their team?
This is because I get the job done to the best of my abilities. I am the team member you can give information and go to sleep because you rest assured that it will be done.
What do you think people think about you and why?
Feedback has always been something I like to receive whether directly or indirectly. From what I have gathered, I believe people think I’m someone you need to have on your team any time any day. I believe this is because they have seen my capabilities and capacity, and they believe I am the go-to girl to get the job done.
What will you like to be known for in the neatest future and how are you working towards it?
I would like to be known in the nearest future as the woman who does all it takes to make things work. Not just for herself, but for the society to be better, for people to be better, for academics to be better, for the church to be better, in all, to make the world a better place for everyone.
The how is by committing myself to learn, grow and impact my immediate society, we move forward to taking giant strides till things work.
Advice to people looking to you as a role model or mentor?
Don’t stop doing what you can. What you have and can do, is what the world needs. Be the drive that drives the driver, as long as things get done.
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