Female First Class Graduate of Mechanical Engineering From University Of Benin Shares her experience

Twenty six year old Chiamaka Mbanusi is the only female among the 10 first class graduates from Mechanical engineering department of University of Benin in the 2015/2016 academic session having finished with a 4.65 CGPA. In this interview, The Anambra State born Wiz tells Kanyi Okeke Blog about her experience in school.



KOB: Some people feel majority of women would naturally not apply to engineering course, what attracted you to it?
What attracted me to mechanical engineering is because I had good foundation in mathematics and other calculation related subjects, I love calculations and the fact that mechanical engineering deals with calculations made me go for it. Again mechanical engineering has to do with practicals and innovations, so am more practical oriented than theory. So, I decided that engineering is the best course for me.

KOB: Why did you choose to study mechanical engineering and not any other field of engineering?
At first, I thought of going for electrical engineering, but on research, I found out that all other engineering departments revolves round mechanical, because life is all about mechanical engineering. So I decided to exploit in it as it is a vast course.

KOB: What decision helped you in your studies did anyone or anything influence such?

Yes I was influenced by another persons testimony. The guy graduated from production engineering when I was in 200L. He came for a program in my church in school (St. Albert catholic church UNIBEN/UBTH) and testified that his result was poor in his 100L but he made a decision to stand up to his feet and guess what? He made a first class honors.
Then I drew my strength from that testimony being that my 100L result was also poor. So I said to myself, "my case is no different". So I stood up on my feet and told God that today I enter a covenant with you today to graduate with nothing less than a first class honour and here I am. I give God the glory.

KOB:  Are you a genius or were you a product of hard work?
I am a product of hard work, because even genius work hard to achieve success.

KOB: How would you rate your performance in your previous schools?

I have always excelled in my previous schools. I had wonderful performances.



KOB: What is your reaction to people's belief about engineering being a very difficult course?
The fact is that Engineering as a course is not that hard as it seems, but lack of basic foundation in calculation courses and bad orientation has poisoned peoples mind that engineering is tough, but the truth is that is not really very difficult.
KOB: When did you start having first class?
I started having first class in my 300L.
KOB: Many engineering classes are usually filled with men, was it the same in your case?

Yes, it was the same in my class. Imagine a class of 99, there were just three of us who were girls.

KOB: What was your typical day like as an undergraduate?

Its always a stressful one. I go to holy mass in the morning, from there to class, back to hostel in the afternoon after classes and practical some days. Then I eat and rest for a while and off to tutorials, returns in the evening, have my meal and off to night class to come back before midnight and then retire for the day.

KOB: How often did you use the library?

I don't often use the library. I have most of my textbooks and access others online.

KOB: What challenges did you face in school?

I didn't really experience much challenges while I was in school. But the few challenges I had was on my academics, some courses were seriously tough for me and that requires much effort for a good grade. 

KOB: How old are you?
I am 26 years old, born on the 29th day of October.

KOB: Considering your age, how did you handle peer pressure from friends?

It was not so easy, but I had to decide on what I want and that is putting aside all distractions and focusing on my studies and God as that is my only aim of being in school.

KOB: What was your happiest moment in school?

My happiest moment in school was when I was given an award of academic excellence by Allied energy plc a member of Camac group of Companies for being the best student in my class in 200level. That was when it truly occurred to me that hard work really pays.

KOB: What are your future plans and aspirations?

By the grace of God, I wish to pursue my masters' degree and PhD, and then I aspire to own a science secondary school for girls to motivate young girls into sciences.

 

KOB: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I see myself as a PhD holder in the next 5 years, putting God first.

KOB: What did you enjoy most about your course and which part did you find challenging?
My courses were mostly calculations so it was enjoying to me. But some courses were really challenging as I have said earlier. Courses like Metallurgy and Material science was a bit challenging to me as it consists more of theory with less calculation.

KOB: What was the greatest sacrifice, commitment or extra effort you made in the course of your studies?
It was indeed a great sacrifice attending private tutorials with 'DYNAMITE CONSULT', which was tedious and costly too but the sacrifice is worth it after all.

KOB: Were you always ahead in your class?

Yes, sometimes I am, but most times I wait for direction from the course lecturers to outline the topics before exploring further to avoid reading off point.

KOB: Did you face any challenges as a fresh student in 100L?

I didn't face much challenge. The few I faced was normal for every fresher which include different fellowships and tutorials asking you to join them popularly known as CTY (catch them young).

KOB: What was your dream as a young child?
As a child I have always wanted to be a Pharmacist but along the line, I saw myself loving engineering because it requires creative thinking and innovation.

KOB: Many people see mechanical engineering as complex and technical course, what is your view on that?

Mechanical engineering is really very complex because of the fact that is so vast, but when you have a very good foundation in calculation related subjects, you put in much effort and hard work, you be able to dissolve it and excel.

KOB: Where would you like to work?

I would like to work in engineering related firm in order to have more practical knowledge of the course, and afterwards I will join academic section to groom and impact the knowledge I have gained to the upcoming engineers/scientists especially female students.




KOB: What would you advice students to do in order to have an excellent result?

Students should know that there are 3 types of scholars; 
i. There are people who are born scholars. 
ii. There are people who are scholars based on challenges they have faced and that brings out the best in them. 
iii. There are people who become scholars by hiring a tutor to guide them.
According to Socrates who stated that "an unexamined life is not worth living, so man know thyself". This makes it clear that you know yourself, your ability and what works for you to excel. Follow what works for you because what works for Mr. A might not work for Mr. B. 
My advice to students is that you attend lectures, follow the course outline, students should respect their lecturers, start reading as the semester begins and not wait for rush hours, feed well and have good rest at least 4 hours night rest to be active the next day, have passion for your courses and be determined, read your books on daily basis and not wait for it to pile up, take each assignment very serious as assignment adds to your knowledge, ask questions when confused, have a good reading mate/group that are focused, attend good tutorial if need be, have a target and try to meet up with it, draft a personal time table and follow it critically, be focused in your studies as that is your primary purpose, other things like social club, student politics are secondary and complementary, above all these have a good relationship with GOD.
Congrats girl!

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