Here, we ask Bodunrin all about his life at the University of Sussex and how he came to study here:
Tell us about your background.
My name is Bodunrin Olaseni Ottu. I am from Ondo State, Nigeria and I attended the University of Lagos, Nigeria, where I studied Cell Biology and Genetics.
I then studied at the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme at the National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology, Nigeria.
I saw that the expertise and technical know-how on how to produce genetically modified crops that are disease resistant and have better yield are insufficient in Nigeria.
“I felt the need to attend Sussex, an internationally-recognised university with a deepened genetic manipulation knowledge.”
This was so that I could be well-equipped and oriented about genetic manipulation and gain more knowledge that I could use when applying for a PhD.
I then choose to study the Genetic Manipulation and Molecular Cell Biology MSc in 2015. Sussex was the right choice.
What influenced your decision to study at the University of Sussex?
I was invited to an education fair in Lagos by Esther Igwe, a staff member of the student placement agency I registered with (PFL).
At that fair I saw the Sussex stand, where Ify Udofia, Regional Officer at the Sussex Regional Office who told me about the Genetic Manipulation and Molecular Cell Biology MSc at Sussex, the Sussex campus and Brighton.
She also told me about:
- the research excellence at Sussex
- the UK and world university rankings position
- the Chancellor’s International Scholarship (CIS).
I then submitted a CIS scholarship application.
“The Chancellor’s International Scholarship fee waiver influenced my decision to study at Sussex as it reduced the financial burden on my sponsors. “
What has studying at Sussex been like?
Studying at Sussex has been a mixture of hard work and fun.
My lecturers are experts in their fields. They were very approachable and lectures were recorded and available to us after the lecture.
This allowed for better understanding of the subjects and easy assimilation.
The library has a wealth of resources such as journal articles, dissertations and e-books. I enjoyed surfing the internet and streaming academic videos because everywhere on campus had an internet connection.
I also improved on my IT skills by attending several free workshops and training.
What was student life like at Sussex?
There was never a dull moment at Sussex or in Brighton – from the colourful One World Week to the Student Union and Sussex Nigerian Society events. It was fun to the fullest.
I could view nature in all its beauty in the National Park close to Sussex or go to the sports centre. It wasn’t difficult to get some cheap and good food from the cafes or some chilled drinks from the bars on campus.
What have you most enjoyed about studying at Sussex?
I enjoyed meeting new friends from many countries and working as an International Student Ambassador. I learnt from people of diverse ethnic backgrounds and tried different delicacies.
I also carried out an active Master’s research project for eight months in a lab without power failure!
What are your plans after graduation?
I wish to be part of teaming research projects and pursue an academic career. As such, I will have to do a PhD degree after graduation.
What advice would you give to anyone who is looking to study in the UK and at Sussex?
“Studying in the UK provides the student with a high-quality education, learning the British culture and becoming highly employable.”
My advice to prospective students is to:
- start your application early. Some of my colleagues missed out on admission opportunities because of the difficulties with degree transcripts
- consider a placement agency. They have recruitment officers who can help with the admission process and visa applications.
- look into scholarship options and visit the Sussex website to find out details of the Sussex representative in your country.
These representatives have up-to-date information about current admission requirements at Sussex.
Deadlines are very important in Sussex so submit your application well before the given deadline.
Do you have any advice for applying for funding?
If you apply for funding, have a well-structured essay that is clear, concise and coherent. This may be your only voice with the scholarship selection committee.
Because most scholarships are very competitive, you need to present why you believe you are most suitable for the scholarship.
Don’t leave the reader confused or assume they understand what you are trying to say. Ask someone else to proof read your essays and personal statement.
Good luck with your application!