It Pays Not To Give Up On Your Dream
Owoeye Gbolahan, who is starting the Master's programme in Applied Economics this year, speaks about the importance of perseverence and his experience with applying to HSE Univeristy, which proves that is it important to always take a second chance.
The value of education is something that I have understood since a very young age. I graduated from the University of Benin. Neither of my parents had an opportunity to attend college, and they faced many struggles in their personal and professional lives because of this. They made a commitment early in my life to do everything within their power to instill in me a love for learning and an understanding of the importance of hard work and dedication. My family has made many sacrifices to allow me to focus on education throughout primary and secondary school.
I now have an opportunity to become the first person in my family to attend university.
During my undergraduate studies, where I completed a combined course in Adult Education/Economics and Statistics, I developed strong analytical skills by pursuing a quantitative major and also developed communication skills through my involvement in extracurricular activities. But despite my extracurricular activities I maintained a strong academic record. I also gained leadership experience while serving as our Class Representative for three years and being an active member of various associations. I developed technical skills by taking online courses in basic financial modelling and data analysis. I further expanded my technical skills by enrolling in courses on Coursera.
I plan to pursue a career in Economics. So I need to gain the skills needed to understand complex markets in addition to strong analytical and problem-solving skills and the business acumen necessary to succeed in the professional world. Economics will teach me how organizations and markets behave. In addition, I will gain insight into my own spending habits and values.
An ability to grasp new concepts quickly, a commitment to learning, and a desire to deal with challenging situations are my key strengths. In 2018, I got eight unconditional offers of admission to masters programmes in the UK to study Economics. These offers were with scholarships of up to 3,000 pounds to fund and support my study. However, the remaining tuition that I would have had to pay was beyond my means.
I then continued my search for scholarships in Msc Economics at schools in France, Germany, Cyprus, China, Poland, Qatar, and Turkey before coming across HSE University in Russia. So, I decided to give it a try. The HSE online applicant account system was very easy to use. This made the application process less stressful. I applied for both a Master's in Finance and a Master's in Applied Economics. I was recommended for admission in Applied Economics.
The International Admissions of HSE University have been helpful throughout the application process. The International Office at the Faculty of Economic Sciences advised me to apply for the Open Doors Scholarship Project to secure funding when I inquired about what scholarships were available at the moment. I applied to the Open Doors Scholarship Project. Based on my portfolio, I was shortlisted to take the exam. However I wasn't among the winners. It was really a nice experience though.
I then learnt that I was awarded a scholarship from HSE University based on my academic performance. I was super excited about it. I realized that it pays not to give up on your dream.
You miss 100% of the shots you don't take—Wayne Gretzky
Being admitted to HSE University is a tremendous opportunity for me to learn from a top educational institution and gain specific knowledge that will help me to achieve my professional goals. In the next 5-10 years after graduation, I see myself attaining a more advanced graduate degree and becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst in a top global firm.
Other incoming student stories:
Syeda Ulya Ehsen Kazmi from Pakistan, PrepYear alumna, Economics: Research Programme
Tingxi Tan from China, Strategic Corporate Finance Master's programme
Deborah Oladosu, Open Doors Olympiad winner, Strategic Corporate Finance Master's programme
Open Doors Olympiad official website