Less than one year after graduating from Covenant University, Seunla Osinowo has transformed his final year project – a web app that provides students seeking admission into Nigerian universities with information and resources – into a business.
Osinowo, who studied Computer Science, had in a recent interview with an online medium, Outrepreneurs.com, said that his web app named ‘UniversityCompass.NG’, was inspired by a charge from one of his former lecturers, Dr. (Mrs.) Senanu Okuboyejo.
Dr. Okuboyejo, he stated, had urged the then 300 Level students, including himself, going for their Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme, to look at how they could solve challenges in the society and use that as their final year project.
Osinowo imbibed the idea and getting to the 400 Level, even though he contemplated coming up with a multi-modal biometric system for security as his final year project, fate would ensure he settled for University Compass, which will help aspiring university students to make the right decisions about their choice of schools and courses.
He revealed that watching tutorial videos and making use of a website, ‘Stack Overflow’, where programmers can check for errors and learn from others, had helped him to build the web app. Funding for the app, he added, was sourced from his pocket money, while unrestricted access to WIFI Internet and uninterrupted power supply at Covenant University were also helpful.
The 20-year-old explained the specific challenges UniversityCompass.NG will help to solve in the society: “First is the University selection process. I attended a private secondary school, Faith Academy. The year I graduated from secondary school, a number of my classmates didn’t do well at their UTME (Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations). Most of them wanted to get admitted into Covenant University and the admission process was very competitive. With the low UTME scores, some were already crying [that] they would not be able to get admitted that year.
“So, someone told them to apply to Landmark, a university which had just been founded two years before then and almost all of them were admitted. When I say low UTME scores, I mean they scored like between 200 and 210 points. The problem is many people just know about a few universities. An average person knows about 20 and these universities have different criteria. People need to know what to search for when seeking admission.”
UniversityCompass.NG, according to Osinowo, is currently the only university search and course selection system in Nigeria and has had about 7000 visits since it was launched.
Speaking of his plan for expansion, he said that what is on the ground is the first phase of a four-year plan. “I am trying not to release every plan, but the goal is to guide people through their career path. Career development has series of phases. The first phase is picking the right course to study and the right university to go study it, while the next phase is how to get a job,” he said.
Osinowo, who attributed his desire for innovation to a quote by Mahatma Ghandi: “Be the change you want to see in the world”, said that he would forever be grateful to his alma mater, Covenant University. An average student at the University, he said, is not interested in being an employee but how to become an entrepreneur, because the Chancellor and Chairman, Board of Regents, Dr. David O. Oyedepo and members of the university’s management would always tell the students that there were challenges in the society and they were meant to solve them.
“They put you through a process of spirituality, inspiration and hard work. Dr. Oyedepo would say ‘if there is falling standard of education in Nigeria, I want to see the students of Covenant University solving it. If there is a problem of corruption in Nigeria, I want to see the students of Covenant University solving it’,” said Osinowo.