Exclusive interview with Zainab, Pharmacy graduate with 4.93

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By Kasim Isa Muhammad

In the bustling corridors of the University of Maiduguri, the Faculty of Pharmacy has witnessed a phenomenal achievement during the 2021/2022 academic session. Zainab Mohammed Gadaka emerged as the best-graduating student, leaving behind an indelible mark on the institution’s history. With a remarkable Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 4.93, Zainab’s academic journey and accomplishments have become inspiration for aspiring pharmacists.

In this exclusive interview, Zainab speaks on her incredible achievement.

TCR: Zainab, congratulations on your tremendous academic performance and on becoming the best-graduating student in the Faculty of Pharmacy. How does it feel to achieve such an outstanding feat?

Zainab: Thank you, Kasim. It’s truly a humbling experience and overwhelming, the experience is out of this world. I feel a sense of immense pride and gratitude for the opportunity to excel in my chosen field. This achievement is a testament to the hard work and dedication I put into my studies, fervent prayers as well as the support I got from my family, friends, and mentors.

TCR: Could you share a bit about your academic journey? As in what motivated you to pursue a career in pharmacy?

Zainab : Well, growing up, I always had a dream of becoming a medical doctor. I was fascinated by the human body, and I wanted to contribute to the field of medicine to help others. After finishing my secondary school, I sat for the JAMB examination, hoping to pursue my dream of studying Medicine and Surgery.

However, life, you know, doesn’t always go as planned. When the admission offers came in, I found out that I had been offered a place at the University of Maiduguri to study Biological Sciences instead. Initially, I was disappointed, as it deviated from my dream. But I decided to embrace this new opportunity and make the most of it.

However, when I was admitted to the Biological Sciences program, the university informed me that if I achieve a CGPA of 4.00 or higher in my first year, I would be offered a place to study Pharmacy. It was an opportunity I wanted, so I set my sights on achieving that goal.

And, my journey in pharmacy began with a deep fascination for the medical field and a desire to make a meaningful impact on people’s lives. I was always intrigued by the role of medications in treating diseases and improving health outcomes. This passion drove me to choose pharmacy as my career path.

Throughout my academic journey, I had faced numerous challenges. However, my determination to excel and the unwavering support of my lecturers and mentors propelled me forward. I immersed myself in my studies, seeking to acquire both theoretical knowledge and practical skills. I believe that a holistic approach to education is vital in pharmacy.

TCR: Attaining such an exceptional CGPA is not a small feat. How did you maintain your focus and motivation throughout your academic tenure?

Zainab: Maintaining focus and motivation in a demanding academic environment requires a strong sense of purpose. I have constantly reminded myself of the impact I wanted to make as a pharmacist, and that of course has fueled my drive to excel. I also embraced a disciplined study routine, ensuring that I allocated sufficient time for each subject and topic.

In addition, I have sought guidance and support from my mentors whenever I faced challenges or needed any clarification. Their expertise and encouragement were invaluable in keeping me motivated. Surrounding myself with like-minded peers who shared similar aspirations also played a crucial role in fostering a competitive and supportive academic environment.

TCR: Did you engage in extracurricular activities or take up leadership roles during your stay at the university?

Zainab: I did not engage in any extracurricular activities. This was because I am not a social person. But I was a member of the Pharmacy Students Association, where I contributed in organizing health campaigns and educational seminars. These experiences have developed my organizational and leadership skills, which are essential in the pharmacy profession.

TCR: You have made a significant impact academically and personally. What are your future aspirations in the your field?

Zainab: I have developed a serious passion for research in pharmacy. I believe that becoming a researcher in this field offers tremendous opportunity to make a meaningful impact on the well-being of individuals and society as a whole.

TCR: Now looking back at your journey, what advice would you give to aspiring pharmacists who aim to achieve academic excellence?

Zainab: Absolutely. My advice would be stay extremely focused on your goals, work hard, and never be afraid to seek help when needed. Surround yourself with supportive individuals who believe in your abilities and can guide you along the way. Remember that success is not solely defined by grades rather by the impact you make with your knowledge and skills. Finally, always remain passionate about your chosen field, as it will serve as a driving force to overcome challenges and fulfill your dreams.

Zainab Mohammed Wakil is a talented individual who has achieved remarkable fortune as the best-graduating student in the Pharmacy Department at the University of Maiduguri. She graduated with a CPGA of 4.93. She also received a National award by Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria.

Zainab has been offered automatic employment at the University of Maiduguri at the same time.

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