April 20, 2024

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Ibrahim Quadri: A Dogged Journey to becoming Overall Humanities BGS

By Onibiyo Samson, Precious Ebine, Osaigbovo Beatrice and Akinjishe Oluwatosin 

Ibrahim Quadri, Overall Humanities BGS.

The journey began with hundreds of students gaining admission into the Faculty of Management Sciences, University of Lagos, to study in their various departments ranging from Accounting to Business administration and many others. But at the end of it all, only one student would graduate as the best. Ibrahim Quadri, from the Accounting department, defied it all and came out as the best in not just his department, but the whole Management Sciences Faculty, an impressive feat that many others also fought to attain. 

While conversing with him, it became apparent that Ibrahim proves that with proper time management and discipline, a student can be engaged in many things and still be the best. Graduating with a unique CGPA of 4.94 was, however, not without many issues as it wasn’t until the first semester of his 2nd year that he joined the students at the top of his class. Even after joining the elite first-class students club, he had to fight for his spot due to an unfortunate grade that almost threw him off. But with extra diligence on his part, he was able to reclaim his position, thereby emerging as the best.

The figures-loving scholar was also a beneficiary of some scholarships that, according to him, came just at the right time as he had just begun to sponsor himself. Beyond taking courses within the four walls of the accounting department, Quadri also took online courses to keep himself up-to-date. 

As of the time of writing, he has acquired 17 certifications and has plans to acquire more. As for the concern that pursuing these certifications might jeopardise his chances of becoming the best-graduating student, it is safe to say he has proven it to be false. These courses were of help in his quest for an internship position at a firm. He disclosed that at that time, his priority was surprisingly not graduating as the BGS but rather, gaining experience and getting to put the theories he had learned into practice. 

However, ICAN wasn’t included in all of his certifications due to a lack of resources to fund it. He revealed, “I didn’t have the resources to take ICAN, but I took a lot of other courses to update myself. Maybe in the future, but I would love to take the Chartered Financial Analyst exam instead of ICAN.” As a result of this, he initially assumed that he couldn’t emerge as the BGS because he wasn’t chartered.

“I wasn’t thinking I could be the BGS for accounting, because if you look at the record of the BGSs of the faculty, there were people who were already chartered, all because they had the added advantage. And I wasn’t chartered then,” Ibrahim said. 

Ordinarily, one might not think of him to be a first-class student. When thinking about excellent students, we subconsciously think of library-loving, heads-in-books types of students, but that is not the case with Quadri. He said, “From my second year, I didn’t enter the library. I am not a fan of confined places and I can read with music.” 

He added that the library offers him so much comfort that it induces sleep. “…I’d go into the library for 2 hours and start sleeping, so I thought it wasn’t working for me. There are people who can sit there for 8 hours, reading back-to-back. I don’t know how to do that.”

As for his study strategy, Quadri disclosed that he had a personal reading timetable that he strictly adhered to and took breaks in between reading to indulge in movies, games and the likes. “…I had a timetable for reading. I made sure to follow it. I’m also the kind of person who likes to read before going to class; I like to have an idea of what the lecturer will be teaching and I also read on what has been taught in previous classes.”

Some students believe lecturers are mean and unfriendly, hence the need to stay away from them. But Ibrahim disagreed. He maintained a relationship with his course adviser who happened to be one of his course lecturers, and was also beyond the student-lecturer relationship. On his mentors, he said; “My course adviser, Dr. Iredele… he is a mentor to me, and we have a personal relationship apart from academics.” 

He also mentioned Mr Taiwo Idele, a Tax practitioner he met at a conference. “…the more he talks, the more you get inspired. I love the way he carries himself, he knows what he is saying and his interpretation of tax laws is always precise and on point. I had the opportunity to meet him that day and I was very inspired. He’s someone I look up to, till now”.

With everything he had going on, he didn’t shy away from forming relationships and meaningful connections. His ability to understand situations and determine what and what not to do is something worth admiring. He knew when to withdraw from activities that might harm his academics.

Like everyone else, Quadri made mistakes he wished he could correct if he could go back in time. “Yes, Audit. I didn’t like the course; I had to continue reading for it, probably because I am more into calculations so I didn’t have interest in it, but if I have to go back to it, maybe I will find it more interesting. Something I wish I did in year two was join a society; maybe I would’ve learned more about the area I want to go into now, but I didn’t do that because I thought it was too early to join them at 6am, so if I could go back, I would probably have joined them to learn more about my career.”

He advised students aspiring to have the same level of success, emphasising the importance of knowing oneself. “One thing I’d say is to know yourself; what works for you, don’t copy.” What’s next for Ibrahim, asides NYSC and his current job at ARM Pensions where he works with their financial control unit is his aspiration to branch into the consulting sector which he developed a likeness to at some point during a training programme.

 

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