The First Class Muslim Foundation has brought together Muslims who graduated with a first-class honours degree to help them develop their potential and transform them to leaders with first-class thoughts and initiatives.
During the training sessions, experts took turns to enlighten the participants on critical thinking process, goal setting, personal developmental plan, core competence, potential development, networking, exploring study opportunities abroad, relationships and marriage, interviews and negotiation.
After the sessions, the participants were asked to present a five-year strategic plan with experts reviewing the plans and giving insights.
Among the industry experts who tutored the participants were Prof. Kamil Omoteso, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the College of Business, Law and Social Sciences, University of Derby; Engr. Faheed Olajide of Avas Technologies Limited; Mr Mutiu Adelu; Mr. Sanusi Ahmed of Globacom; Ibrahim Ganiyu; Dr Nurudeen of LASPOTECH; Dr Saliu Balogun; Dr Ganiyah Tijani-Adenle; Mr Adeoye of Lotus Bank, and Alhaji Nasir Giwa of BUA.
One of the facilitators during the Five-Year Plan Presentation Session, Luqman Obileye, advised the participants to improve on their communication skills.
On his part, Adelu encouraged the participants to get a reliable mentor, urging the government to increase investment in education.
He said, “Develop a mentor-mentee relationship with people in your field. Explore the benefits of an internship. As a fresh graduate, you can have four years of internship experience. The economic benefit would come later. You need skills. Maintain your momentum and stick to your goal.
“Don’t allow opportunities with irresistible benefits to come your way and then drop your goal, especially if you are convinced that’s what you want to do.
“The government should also focus on educational development and building a meaningful society for young people rather than just focusing on entertainment.”
Olajide, who is one of the foundation’s BOT members, disabused the minds of the participants against believing that they needed to travel abroad before excelling.
He said the programme was to help the first-class graduates finetune their short and long-term goals among other purposes.
“Nigeria is a good place to grow. You only need to find a solution that works for your environment. Take the opportunity immediately – when you are determined that this is where you are going. Don’t leave school before looking for practical experience. The goal is to ensure that you do not just graduate with first class but also become a first-class personality that contributes to the growth of the society,” he added.
“Programmes like this are invaluable, the students have done their best in fulfilling their goals and achieving the aims of being a first-class student, but that is not all. They need to have soft skills, be mentored, tutored; it’s not about only the academics, think critically, analyze situations and forge a career path for themselves.”
HOW FIRST CLASS MUSLIM FOUNDATION STARTED
The BOT chairman of the foundation, Dr. Sulaiman Ogunmuyiwa, narrated how FCMF started, saying the goal is to build first-class Muslim graduates.
He said only 30 brilliant first-class graduates could make it to Primal Hotel and Resort, the venue of the event, among 231 applications received for the fifth Muslim First (M-First) series.
He narrated, “It is just like yesterday when I had the instinct and passion to put together a leadership training program for Muslim first-class graduates. This dream was conceptualised at an event organised by the Mssn, Lagos State Area Unit at the old secretariat mosque in 2017 where 36 first-class graduates of UNILAG, LASU and LASPOTECH were celebrated. I was lost in my imagination thinking about where these brilliant brothers and sisters be in a few years.
“Won’t they be wasted by time or lost to other religions in the pursuit of lifelong survival or achievement? This was the motivation then and it is still the motivation today. The goal of this event is to make you the best version of what you desire in life in the light of Islam.
“This annual leadership training programme for Muslim first-class graduates in Nigeria is designed to hone your skills and create inroads for you in the world of great people; so that your prestigious qualifications are not wasted.
“The maiden edition was held with 17 participants and at the end of this year’s edition; I am excited to announce that we would have trained 200 first class graduates at the First Class Muslim Foundation.
“Our goal is to make you a better and high-flying Muslim.”
ACCOLADES FROM PARTICIPANTS
The participants, who were drawn across Nigerian varsities, appreciated the organisers of the programme.
One of them, Balikis Rufai from Lagos State University (LASU), appreciated the organisers for providing the network and getting top-notch mentorship.
Opeyemi, who was UNILORIN’s Best Graduating Student (Medicine and Surgery, class of 2021) said the programme was an eye-opener.
Mariam Jinad, a graduate of the Department of Marine Sciences from the University of Lagos, said, “I give thanks to M-First Series for creating this platform; it was a free programme, which allowed me to meet other first-class graduates from Bauchi, Zamfara, Sokoto and other states.
“Coming for M-First leadership training has really imparted and added value to me. I now have the capacity to thrive in the workplace and I thank M-First for creating this opportunity.”