London Connection Q&A: Oladapo Odunayo Delano

For BSc Economics and Management graduate, Oladapo Odunayo Delano, clear goals and support from his employers were both key to his success
BSc Economics and Management graduate, Oladapo Odunayo Delano
"You should always set the bar very high for yourself": Oladapo Odunayo Delano
The best thing for me is the realisation of a goal that you set for yourself

Why did you choose to study your degree with the University of London?
I chose the University of London because I was looking for an internationally recognised certification which would flow seamlessly with my work. I realised the University of London degree was a perfect fit.

How did you find working and studying at the same time?
I was working as a development manager with Raven Petroleum, a downstream oil and gas company in Dubai. I found it very demanding and also rewarding. In my own case, I enjoyed a commensurable level of support from my company as I had briefed them earlier prior to my commencement of the program. This made a huge difference during the examination period as I was sometimes given a whole week off to read and plan for the examinations. If you're going to work and study, I think it's important that you have some form of support from your superiors at the office – it helps.

Did you enjoy the course?
The course was very challenging and also rewarding. The tools and methodologies picked up during the course can immediately be used to proffer solutions to real life economic problems. When I started ‘Introduction to economics’ it was a rude awakening. It was an introduction to the side of economics I never knew existed. It was tough and difficult initially. A lot of my colleagues and I thought we wouldn’t pass the course, but you just have to work harder. I was determined – failure was not an option.

I dedicated myself to understand the nitty-gritty of the course. By the time we were preparing for the exam I was already tutoring my colleagues. When the results came out, I got a distinction (81%). That was a very remarkable point for me – it was then I realised that with diligence, doggedness and a lot of discipline the sky is just the beginning for any student who cares to pay the price for success. 

What's been the most satisfying part of studying?
The best thing for me is the realisation of a goal that you set for yourself. Before I started, I wanted to finish with a first class degree in Economics and Management. That was my goal. Even though I didn't achieve that, I got a second class upper division. It helped me to realise that if you set a goal for yourself and you work towards it, it is achievable. That’s one key lesson I learned from this programme.

What advice would you give to a new student?
I would say you have to start with a very clear goal of what you want. You should always set the bar very high for yourself. So even if you come a little bit below this target, you are still doing well. The common scenario with my colleagues was that a lot of them just wanted to have the average mark, and that's okay for them, but they found out that when they aim for 50s they always get 40s. So I'd say to a new student to have very good, clearly defined goals. The goals must be smart: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based.

How did it feel to finally graduate?
It’s very, very, rewarding. I felt so relieved and happy to be part of the ceremony in London.