How I Bagged First Class In Engineering Despite Financial Challenges – 22-year-old UNN Female Graduate


A 22-year-old lady, Josephine Adah, has bagged First Class in Civil Engineering from the University of Nigeria (UNN), Nsukka, Enugu State.

During an interview, Adah, who hails from Cross River State, told DAILY POST her love for Mathematics as a child propelled her to study engineering, despite being considered a male-dominated discipline.

She said the financial challenges she faced in school (having lost her father at a tender age) didn’t discourage her from targeting a First Class at the prestigious university in Enugu.

She said: “I faced financial challenges where I could not afford some of my learning resources at school. However, I am grateful to senior colleagues and classmates that assisted me with books. I started some petty business and got awarded the National Merit Scholarship from NNPC/Total which assisted in easing the financial burden.

“I also experienced low access to electricity where I stayed at home. I am not usually productive at home compared to when I am at school. When we were sent home from school because of industrial actions by ASUU, my learnings were usually difficult because I couldn’t continue learning as much as I would love to with little or no access to electricity.”

She acknowledged that her academic success was partly due to her membership in professional bodies while at the University.
“When I got to school, I joined communities in school like the Association of Professional Women Engineers in Nigeria (APWEN), Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), and the Association of Catholic Engineering Students (ACES). These communities were the foundation of my growth. They groomed, mentored and taught first-year students how to build character, capacity, the resilience to excel in the tertiary institution.

“As I advanced in my year of study, I joined AIESEC, Student Personal Development Hub (SPDH) and the UNN Scholars Accelerators to build leadership skills and take up civic engagement responsibilities,” she stated.

Speaking about her next big plans, Adah said: “I don’t have a big plan. I consistently take baby steps. I plan to get an entry-level position. I am interested in the Energy, Tech (Artificial Intelligence Research), Construction and Management Consulting industries.

“I am also working towards graduate studies in the interception between Civil Engineering (Infrastructure and Energy) with Artificial Intelligence. I am also committed to supporting youth development organizations to advance quality education, Clean Energy and Sustainable cities.”

She added: “The news (of the first class result) came with a lot of gratitude rather than surprise. Gratitude, because, for me, it was a breaking forth – being the first person in the family with a First Class and studying Engineering. The news was appreciated to encourage females in STEM courses to believe that they can stand out anywhere they find themselves.

“I could also perceive the joy and excitement from family, mentors, and friends that contributed to helping me achieve the goal while they sent congratulatory messages. The win was a win for the community.”

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