Chidera Egbujor from Nigeria graduated from EF Academy Torbay in 2014. Currently, he is studying Engineering at the University of Cambridge in England and is dreaming of becoming a Software Engineer once he graduates. Find out a little bit more about our featured alum:
Why did you choose to go to EF Academy?
I first came in contact with EF Academy through the Founder’s Scholarship, which really grabbed my attention. For me, it was very attractive to study at EF Academy because it offers the unique opportunity to meet people from different places in the world with very different perspectives and experiences. I always liked the UK and knew I wanted to attend university in the UK, so Torbay was a good choice for me. Looking back, it was a great way of getting exposed to the “real world” without my family.
What university did you go to afterwards? What did you study?
I am in my first year of engineering studies at Cambridge University. Even before I left Nigeria, I knew I wanted to go into engineering because it’s what the world needs right now; people solving physical and social problems. I personally enjoy solving problems, particularly in the fields of mathematics and science. I was accepted to Southampton University for Electronics Engineering but Cambridge suits me better since we start with two years of general engineering studies and then specialize in our studies in the third year.
What is your dream job?
If I would graduate tomorrow, I would like to work as a Software Engineer. I did a 12-week internship last summer for a software company, Brady PLC, based in Cambridge. I really liked coding and seeing how it takes form.
Tips to current students that want to study what you study?
Listen and make friends with your teachers. They have a lot of experience and they can really guide you in making decisions. In my experience, all the teachers at EF Academy are keen on helping you because they want to see you succeed in what you do.
Get involved with what you want to do. If you want get involved in software engineering, just start coding. If you want to do something with fashion, start designing your own clothes. For example, I got involved in a couple of math and science competitions and even reached the national finals
Do you keep in touch with your EF Academy classmates?
There is definitely a group that I keep in regular contact with. It is also great with Facebook and LinkedIn because one can always follow and see what people are up to!
What’s your favorite memory from EF Academy?
The teacher pantomime: the staff got dressed up and performed a whole pantomime sketch. It was brilliant – absolutely brilliant. I think I speak for all students when I say that it was great to see all our teachers, who are usually perceived as quite serious, get dressed up and put on a show.
What do you miss the most?
I really miss my host family since we got very close! They got a cat after I left, so I guess that was my replacement. I also miss the very personal atmosphere at the school because I knew all the teachers and they really cared about me. This is very different from university where it is much more impersonal.
What is one thing that you learned from EF Academy that you found valuable for university? For your work life? For your personal life?
The value of relationships: In life, relationships are very important. Whether you do well is very much dependent on who you hang around with. My experience at EF Academy helped me realize this and that is why I put a lot of effort into making new friends with similar interests at university. Especially because we are living in such a diverse environment, it is so valuable to get to know people with different perspectives
Willingness to adapt and change: The world is changing rapidly so it is important to consider different ways and perspectives.
What tips would you give to current students?
Immerse yourself in the culture – don’t be aloof.
Get involved – take advantage of the whole package.
Go for it – there is so much to explore.
Who is the most successful EF Academy Alumni in your opinion?
I think the most successful EF Academy Alumni that I know of is a girl called Joon. She graduated two years ahead of me. She must have graduated from Cambridge by now, where she studied Economics. She graduated with A*s in Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Economics including an A* in her extended project.
For me, she sort of epitomized my vision, as a student, of where I’d like to end up and what I’d like to achieve through A-levels. It was great to get to ask her questions during one of her visits to EF Academy Torbay, where she studied A-levels.
Name: Chidera Egbujor
How many languages do you speak? English and French
EF Academy campus: Torbay
Graduation year: 2014
Program: A-Level (Mathematics, Further mathematics and Physics)
Residence or host family: Brilliant host family, Jane and Matt, who I still visit regularly
Favorite subject: All subjects involving solving problems; I especially enjoy problem-solving in cross-subject settings
Favorite teacher: I really enjoyed and learned something from all my teachers. Special shout outs to:
Hazel Linacre – for making concepts real to me
Hana Skuckova – for inspiring me to be even more hard-working
Oliver Chapman – for teaching me his approach of problem-solving and going the extra mile
Bob East – for being the funniest teacher
Favorite club/society: Football (co-captain for a year)
Which is the next country you want to visit? I want to go to U.S.A. to visit my sister and also to Vietnam to visit my EF Academy roommate.
Shouts outs to:
Maria Long – my guidance counselor at the school