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The University of Southampton

Ridwan Omotosho  MSc Genomics, Nigeria

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship

Ridwan Omotosho 's Photo

The individuals I've encountered at Southampton, from esteemed lecturers to my supportive program lead and academic mentor, have profoundly influenced my academic journey. Their brilliance, responsiveness, and unwavering assistance have shaped my growth. Additionally, the camaraderie with my intelligent peers has enriched my experience.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Southampton?

I chose the University of Southampton for its specialized focus on cancer within my course, offering tailored training in my field of passion. As a member of the esteemed Russell Group of universities, ranked among the top 100 globally, the University of Southampton offers unparalleled academic excellence. Additionally, the University of Southampton has an inclusive environment and robust support for international students, which makes it an appealing choice, fostering a diverse community that enriches the learning experience.

What do you enjoy the most about living in Southampton?

The city of Southampton thrives as a vibrant, culturally diverse city, embracing all races. Its allure lies in bustling shopping centers, dynamic sports, and leisure amenities. As a big football fan, St Mary’s Stadium, home to Southampton Premier League team, is a place I love to visit.

Have you undertaken any extracurricular activities? How have they enhanced your experience?

I am a member of the Islamic and Nigerian Societies, where I have been able to connect with my faith and fellow Nigerians. Being part of these societies has allowed me to strike a balance between my academic pursuits and my personal growth, giving me a well-rounded university experience.

What do you think you have gained from your degree that you wouldn’t have developed without it?

I have developed various cutting-edge genomic research approaches and skills to analyze, interpret and apply genomic data in cancer research. I have also acquired skills in research writing, data analysis and communication of scientific concepts to drive advancements in oncology in my country, Nigeria, and the world at large.

What are you most proud of from your time at the University of Southampton so far?

I'm most proud of the friends I've made from different countries at the University of Southampton. These friendships have not only enriched my social life but has also greatly expanded my networking opportunities. Through these connections, I've had the chance to learn about diverse cultures, gaining a deeper understanding of the world we live in. Most importantly, these friendships have also significantly contributed to my academic development, as we've shared insights and supported each other's learning journeys.

What has been the hardest aspect of studying in another country? How has the University helped you overcome the challenges?

Adapting to the UK's weather and navigating the city posed significant challenges during my first month as an international student. Fortunately, the university's international student induction offered practical advice on weather adjustments, and the university well-organized bus system greatly facilitated city exploration, easing my transition into British life.

What will you do with your degree after you have finished your studies?

Upon completing my studies, I aim to secure a research-focused role at a Nigerian research institute. I aspire to conduct independent and collaborative research on cancer, employing cutting-edge genomic technologies to advance understanding and treatment. My degree would also prepare me for PhD which I plan to enrol in after working for a few years.

How has the funding enhanced your experience as a student at the University of Southampton?

In addition to the academic enrichment provided by the scholarship for pursuing an MSc degree, there are also valuable opportunities such as the Connect and Collaborate event. This event has provided me with a dynamic platform to actively participate in discussions and foster connections with Commonwealth Scholars in the UK. Through engaging activities like network mapping exercises woven into the event's agenda, I have further enhanced my communication and networking skills while establishing meaningful connections within the Commonwealth scholar’s community.

What advice do you have for future applicants who may wish to apply for this scholarship or bursary?

The Commonwealth Scholarship is highly competitive, attracting numerous qualified candidates. Future applicants should thoroughly research the requirements and tailor their applications accordingly. Highlighting academic excellence, leadership, and community involvement is crucial. They should seek feedback and be aware of the application deadlines. Despite tough competition, they should maintain a positive attitude and persevere. With careful preparation and determination, applicants can increase their chances of securing this prestigious scholarship.

Is there anything else you would like to say?

I applaud the University's student hub services for swiftly addressing student concerns, greatly enriching my time at Southampton. Their remarkable efficiency deserves recognition and has greatly contributed to my experience at the University of Southampton.

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