From Lagos to France and the scholarship in between - Tosin Ogunmusire
After my blogpost on whether or not to go for a Masters degree, there has been significant interest from readers about advanced learning. In this post, I bring to you the story of a bright young Nigerian - Tosin Ogunmusire who won a scholarship from Total to study in France. This story is to inspire our readers and let them know that these opportunities exist and are real. I personally know 4 people who have been beneficiaries of this scholarship. Without wasting your time, peep the interview below -DA.
Tell us about yourself - Educational & Work background
I'm a graduate of the "prestigious" University of Lagos Nigeria, where i studied Industrial Relations & Human Resource Management, and also picked up some work experience via internships at Citibank Nigeria & Chevron.
I worked as a teacher (for free) in a public school for my NYSC after which i was at Guinness Nigeria for about 6 months, KPMG for a month, then PwC Nigeria where I had a bulk of my professional experience for about 2 years.
What is the Total Scholarship all about?
The Total scholarship aims at identifying candidates with the highest potential and supporting them academically (in top schools) to further reach these potentials while exposing them to European values, culture and integrating them with a network of scholars and professionals.
How did you get to know about the scholarship?
Well this is the strange part and most people do not usually believe, but i never got to know about the scholarship. Sure there were adverts out there, but I just never saw it. So you can guess my surprise when i got an invitation to write the test.
However, I had an unsolicited application in their database which i guess they scanned and identified potential candidates for the program. Most people underestimate the effectiveness of just throwing in unsolicited applications for companies that have that feature in their careers section. Campus France was in charge of those who specifically applied for the program.
What was the process like from application to selection?
Unsolicited Application (+Unexpected mail) -> Test -> Panel Interview ->University Applications -> Voila!
What was the toughest part of the process?
The SHL test. I really thought I had failed that one. I remember sitting in the hall after the exams thinking "why did you fly all the way from Lagos to Port Harcourt to disgrace your people ehn". You had to be lightening fast and very accurate. Well as God will have it, I passed.
I know a lot of people who hate SHL because they think it's too complex and try to stay away from it. Well you have no choice but to love it. Companies like Guinness, Oando, PwC, NLNG and countless more all use this test to screen away the obviously numerous job applicants
So what are you currently studying and in which School?
I'm studying Strategy & Organisational Consulting at EDHEC Business School.
What advice do you have for prospective applicants?
If you're in school, you have to give ALL it takes to get a 1st class or a 2'1, It's a very saturated labour market out here.
For those who have crossed that hurdle, ensure you have access to real-time information. We all have smart phones so that should not be too difficult. And lastly, Practice, Practice & Practice. (For tests and interviews). I still practice when i can
After this, what next?
Look for a nice French wife and settle down. (Just kidding). Maybe I'll keep this part to myself.
Thank you for your time Tosin. We wish you all the best in your studies and would love to share more of your success.
For more information about the Total Scholarship, please visit here
If you have questions for Tosin, please use the comments section Im sure he would drop by once in a while and answer your questions. You can also follow him on twitter via @Tosin_Sire