Can you kindly introduce yourself (Name, What you study, University and future aspiration)?
Hi, my name is Williams Obidike, I’m a sophomore Electrical Engineering major at the illustrious Howard University. As an exceptional student who achieved high scores in your SAT exams, what is the advice you can give to those aspiring to study in the USA? First and foremost, I’ll like to give God almighty the glory. I wouldn’t have gone this far without his intervention in my life. All glory be to God. To aspiring students, I’ll say:
Get hold of your vision: if you haven’t done some homework on yourself and just want to come to the states, I’m sorry to tell you this but you’ll give up along the way. The journey to becoming a successful student in the United States is not an easy task but pressing on toward pre-imagined vision is the first ingredient in your recipe for success. Have a vision of how your education here is going to improve your life, that of your family and your country at large because, when the going gets tough your dream and vision is going to keep you fired.
Never accept defeat before you even start your race: most times when I talk with friends about getting an education in the United States, they always doubt the possibility of it may be due to finances or just mere lack of confidence. However, the greatest regrets in life are the regrets of not trying. Don’t count your setbacks and name them one by one please, instead pray, put in the work and hope for it to all work out. I have met people here who didn’t have much but by God’s grace made it here. So please don’t accept defeat before you start the race.
Work like you don’t have a backup plan: one of the things that hinder us from going higher is our inability to crucify our comfort zones. when preparing for your SAT please avoid the thought of going to a private university as a backup, it’ll just make you lazy and unfocused. It’s good to have a backup plan but if that’s what you use to pacify yourself each time you fail an SAT practice test, you’ll never improve. In my case, I burned every bridge of going to school back home which made me very determined to pass my exams because I knew I had no options if I didn’t pass.
Don’t be knowledge deficient and do your research: I can’t stress how important information is in this life. Visit places like Education USA and get authentic information regarding education in the USA. Also, you have to do your research about schools in the United States. After all, knowledge doesn’t hurt.
Kindly prepare for your SAT: I can’t stress how important this is. The first step in securing admission to a school in the United States is having a good SAT score. Make out enough time for self-study because this is critical to your exam success.
Visa interview: So let’s assume you have everything set and your interview date is approaching, kindly take out some time to study your school curriculum and how it can help you achieve your goals in the future. Remember, the visa interview is the last hurdle you have to jump to be sure of your education to the US.
Last but not least please be prepared to work: Your success here is only guaranteed if you put in the work. In the US it’s very easy to get distracted by a lot of things but if you come determined and focused a lot of opportunities will open. America is a land of opportunities for those who are willing to put in the effort.
Was there any setback during the preparation to study in the USA? If yes, how did you overcome them?
Actually yes! The first time I went for my visa interview I was denied. This really made me upset and made me think it was all over but, thank God for his mercies and the encouragement of my parents. I was able to bounce back and it all worked out.
Is attaining scholarship into schools in the USA real? If yes, how can a West African student scale up his or her chances?
Yes getting a scholarship is real, very real. Personally, I believe the most important thing is finding the right school that matches your SAT score. Different schools give scholarships depending on varying SAT scores so just pick smartly. Also, engage in leadership activities because schools like students with leadership skills. Do your best in the SAT, have an excellent WAEC result and very high school GPA. if possible, be in the 10th percentile of your graduating class. ( ). If you follow these steps, you should be fine.
What is your perception of STEM-related fields?
Personally, I believe STEM-related fields are very key to our very near future. With current research and recent advancements in technology, I always tell myself “ what a time to be alive”. Honestly, the future is looking very bright for STEM Fields. The recent developments in neural networks and machine learning show that there is still a lot of information yet to be explored by us.
If you were given a chance to be a policy maker/ changemaker in Nigeria, what is that one policy you wish to drive and hope to achieve in STEM? —
Personally, I believe we as a country underestimate the power of research. If I am given the chance to change a policy, I’ll change the school curriculum to include high levels of research and create research institutions. Great counties like Japan realized early in the days the importance of STEM research which was why they bounced back so quickly into prosperity after the 2nd world war. Our country has a lot of bright minds that can do wonders if empowered. Today what we see is the winner of STEM competitions going home with a laptop which is sad.
As an exceptional student, please share with the audience what drives you into fulfilling purpose?
Basically what drives me is my passion to always be the best and make a lasting positive impact. I try my best to make sure I am very valuable everywhere I find myself. Also, I appreciate everything about the cross. When I remember the love my heavenly father shows me I feel overwhelmed and fired up to succeed.