Bassey, Archibong Edem, 19, A First Class Hons Graduate from the University of Calabar in the 2017/2018 academic session with 4.59 CGPA out of the maximum 5.0. He is from the Department Of Public Health, Faculty Of Allied Medical Science!

In this interview with Solutionclass he speaks about his tortuous journey to academic excellence.

1. Tell Us About Yourself

I am Bassey, Archibong Edem. The first child in a loving family of 6 from Calabar South LGA of Crossriver State. Nigeria. I am a Public Health Professional, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Specialist, Child and Youth Advocate, a member of the Youth Cohort at the United Nations Population Fund(UNFPA), Recipient of 2019 Africave Fellowship, 2019 Young Professional Bootcamp Fellowship and an Fellow in Training at the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) in Accra, Ghana.

2. Why did you choose Public Health?

Public Health has proven to be the best course to study if you intend to make monumental impact and leave a legacy on earth. I chose Public Health because it is the course that offers me a rare platform to create the world we want (a world where everyone realises their birth right of health and longevity).

At first when I applied for jamb, I had no idea of why I wanted to study for a degree in public health. Throughout my undergraduate study, I have learned that Public Health is the successive redefining of the unacceptable. It is changing unhealthy behaviors to health seeking behavior, informing the public on issues relating to their health and promoting long life and well-being.

3. What were the things you found interesting about Public Health?

I found out that the work of public health professionals are bringing initiatives changing the world, advocating for children, women and Young persons in underserved communities. Interesting aspects of Public health to me were Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Environmental & Occupational Health, Health Education and Promotion, Quality Assurance in healthcare delivery and Reproductive Health, all of which are constantly evolving in response to the needs of communities and populations around the world

4. Is Public Health really hard?

Public health is no simple course and I wouldn’t say it is difficult. After finishing secondary school, I didn’t know what to actually study at first,but my parents gave me a choice unlike some parents who do not give their children choices. Till tomorrow, I still appreciate my dad on that evening after coming back from work when he told me to consider studying public health and how global it can take me.

5. What CGPA did you graduate with and what were your GPA’s in each level for the five years?

I finished with a 4.59 CGPA
With the exception of my first year, I had a 5.0 GPA in the first semesters of my 200 to 400 level and by His grace, I was the only first class graduate in the 2017/2018 graduating set from my department.

6. Given the volume of work, what was your reading pattern?

Well first of, I wasn’t a night reader so I knew that I had to maximize my day by studying in my little time. I endeavored to collect notes and past questions of the next semester from my senior colleagues so I can get a good idea and understanding of how the courses will be throughout the semester by the holidays.

Most students don’t know that the importance of reading is to recall and remember so they should always try to recall what they have read by repetition, understanding what they read and looking at the holistic concept of learning so they don’t forget the primary reason they want to learn. While in school, I was working with local and International organizations to build my skills set and work experience for when I leave the University.

The goal was to be an all-round graduate not a bookworm.

7. Graduating with a first class CGPA at 19 years couldn’t have come easy, how did you do it?

Well, It wasn’t easy I must say. Especially when you’re the youngest in your class, the pressure and effectively communicating with older persons as colleagues was one area I had to really work upon. Public Health built my leadership skills as I was most times tasked with leading small teams so I learnt to be a leader and not be intimidated by anyone.
So yes, I studied, made friends and had fun. As the Nigerian saying goes “I can not come and kill myself”

8. What advice do you have for other students?

As Socrates said, “Man know thyself”. Every student needs to know what works for you. If you are someone like me who needs to repeat what I read so I can recall and write in exams, you need to strategically placed their time for reading and other activities. You need to look beyond school, look for opportunities for your personal growth and development and develop skills that will build you for the workforce ahead.
Connect with people, gather experience and try to give in your best. I wasn’t born a genius, So you can do anything you want as long as you set your mind to it.

He is currently recieving the training on Civic leadership and management organized by the Young African Leadership Initiative Regional Leadership Centre at Accra, Ghana

Congratulations Archibong Bassey!!!


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