My journey to getting selected for 3 Scholarships in 11 months (IDS Sussex Graduate Scholarship, Mastercard and Chevening)

In 2015, after graduating as the best student in my department, I wanted to explore scholarship opportunities outside Nigeria. I tried applying to the University of Michigan and Toronto. All did not pull through because I could not pay for my application fees and the rest. I called some folks then and the response was not great. I am actually glad it did not pull through because I was still finding out an area of focus.

I also applied to my alma mata and the policy for accepting graduate students changed. So that year, you need a year after NYSC to return for your Masters. I am glad this did not work out too.
In 2017, I applied to the University of Lagos, scored 88%, and still did not resume. I just knew it was not the time yet. I was not sure I could keep up, because there is barely anyone who could sponsor. I also knew I had to focus more on my Non-profit.
In 2018, I came to learn more about the fully-funded scholarships, I had more information, I was prepared and I started my applications to several schools, mostly I got admission into all schools. I applied for the Chevening scholarship and I was longlisted but in 2019 I got a strong rejection email. I crumbled. I tried the Commonwealth Scholarship where Federal Scholarship Board nominates. I traveled to Abuja for my interview and it was not just easy. I could recall going through challenges while traveling back to Lagos and our car became faulty, got to Lagos midnight. I slept in the park, it was cold. It was harmattan season and I was terrified. I found water I could not get as hell that night. At the end of the day, I got rejected.
I also explored about 6 commonwealth's shared scholarship and I got rejected in all. It was devastating. I also got a rejection from the Mastercard Scholarship. Think Big University of Bristol Tuition free scholarship rejected me as well. They rejected me in two rounds. I nearly gave up at some point, so I summoned the courage to apply for the IDS Graduate Scholarship. I told my story raw and I was not trying to be perfect. Nearly the same time I applied to become Peace First Fellow-in-Residence. I got the scholarship, £11,000 pounds living expenses, and my tuition was already covered.

I turned it down for the fellowship, because I needed experience and I was excited to work with other young people across the world. I have also already signed up for the fellowship program before the scholarship came through. It was a tough decision but I made it. I am glad I did because signing up to lead Peace First work in Sub-Saharan Africa changed my whole life and I had a great one year.
I also reapplied to Chevening and Mastercard scholarship. They were the only scholarship I put into. I worked on my essays and I asked few of my friends to scan through. I was reluctant to submit because I was not sure if I needed it. I did anyways.
In 2020, I got into the interview of both and the truth is; Hammed always shines through in interviews. It's always an opportunity to share. I also had Peace First backing. Fish Stark wrote the best recommendation letter I have ever received in my lifetime (3 pages)
Mid April, 2020, I got a congratulatory email from Mastercard Foundation Scholarship Board, that I have been selected to study Africa and International Development at the Prestigious University of Edinburgh, Scotland (UK) and it is fully funded. I even got the fund to renew my expired passport (That is how fully funded it was).

I also got the Chevening Scholarship to study Education Policy and International Development at the University of Bristol. I had to pick one, I went for Mastercard and I am excited about building regional expertise around what constitutes social good and true development in Africa.

Guys, it's possible you can dream and it's possible that you deserve greatness. I bagged 3 scholarship in 11 months and it could only be God. Thanks to everyone who supported along the journey!

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