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Featured Students – Adebola Ayoade

Adebola's Inspiring Journey to Valedictorian: Balancing Parenthood While Pursuing Her Degree and Career

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Adebola Ayoade

Honors: Summa Cum Laude, 2023 Valedictorian

Certifications Earned: CompTIA ITF+, CompTIA Security+, CompTIA A+, and CompTIA Network+

CIAT Program: Associate of Applied Science Degree in Computer Information Systems, 2023

Student Spotlight

We sat down with Adebola Ayoade, CIAT valedictorian, Women in STEM scholarship recipient, and graduate of the Associate of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems degree program. 

Read Adebola’s success story below and watch her Student Spotlight video above! 

How did you find out about/first hear about CIAT?

I found out about CIAT when I was searching for the right school to pursue my IT career on google.

What motivated you to start a career in IT?

Well, I needed a change of Career, since all my life has been all about media, I tried pursuing nursing because I love to care for people but after a few clinicals and the event of COVID I knew nursing was not for me. As much as this experience made me appreciate the medical field more, I knew I was not cut out for it, so my search continued. It was during one of my searches, it dawned on me like a light bulb – wait a minute, I can still pursue my foundational career, the world is going digital, I have transferable skills and Information Technology is digital form of communication and that was it!

You passed the CompTIA ITF+, Security+, A+ and Network+ exams, how did CIAT help prepare you for passing your certification exams?

CIAT helped and is still helping in many ways. The curriculum is very accommodating. Starting from phase one to phase now like I say. They have a formidable team, friendly staff who help you with smooth admission and on boarding processes, the orientation, career team, IT, Teachers and students. One of the best parts for me is the Unlimited Vouchers for exams. It gives one hope when an exam is failed, CIAT was always there, provision of Test Prep tools, Availability of endless tutorials, surveys from students, CIAT must have done thorough research because every where you turn to especially as a novice, newbie, you find help with CIAT.

You’re a certification guru. What advice and tips would you give to CIAT students looking to also earn their certifications?

Lol! Don’t give up, failing is not bad, it is a speed bump to teach you something new, find out all the opportunities you have and utilize them, ask questions, restrategize, replan, find a study partner. Cry if you must, let out your frustrations when you have to, take a break until you know you are ready, do it afraid to master your fears. Do all you can and all you have to do but don’t ever give up, especially when you have all that is needed. Never, ever, ever, give up. I failed the A+ pt 2 like four times. I failed part one once especially when it was still 1001 & 1002 but failing the pt 2 took me into the newest edition and I had to start over. But what did I do when I failed? I gave myself a treat for at least attempting, took a break, then, I went back to my drawing board, scheduled tutorials when I needed, reached out to the student services team when I had to went back to the provided materials, I did all I could until I eventually passed! And the victory was sweet.

“Failing is not bad, it is a speed bump to teach you something new.”

The more skills and certifications you add to your resume, the more additional career advancement opportunities will start to open. What are your career goals?

The ultimate goal for me is to be a cybersecurity professional, the best I can be and I’m taking steps towards achieving that. I’m flexible and of course I’m ready to start from the beginning and climb up.

What has your overall experience been like at CIAT so far?

My overall experience at CIAT has been beautiful. There were rough moments; but each time I reached out, all hands go on deck. The team treat you like an only child. Lol! Shower all the love and attention you need at that very period until they are sure you are in a very good place, and they move on to the next.

What has your experience been like as a woman in STEM?

My experience as a woman in STEM has also been beautiful, it unique, it’s a family, no one is left behind.

“Challenges make champions.”

You are CIAT’s valedictorian and honored student speaker at CIAT’s upcoming commencement ceremony, which is a massive accomplishment. What is your key to success and what keeps you motivated?

Yes, first I’d like to thank the institution again for this rare opportunity. It’s a big one, massive as you said. I would say, my personal maxim “challenges make champions” is a constant call for me. My key to success is commitment “what is what doing, is worth doing well” If I fail, let me know I failed giving my very best and using all the resources I knew about then, so I won’t feel guilty. What keeps me motivated, my vision. I have a picture in my heart of my desired end as long as that picture is there every other distraction is irrelevant. I rise above it.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to face this past year (school or personal)?

Biggest challenge: Studying as a parent. I joined when my children were only 2 years old and 6 months old. They are both 3 and 5 years now. Lol! We studied together. It was not easy juggling school, work, raising children. Lol! But guess what? I learnt how to prioritize, how to work with them, how to multitask better, above all, I learnt how to take a break and be very patient with myself. These lessons have helped a great deal and I am still work in progress.

Would you recommend attending CIAT?

Oh yes! I would recommend CIAT any time, any day, even in my sleep. I hope someday CIAT starts other degrees like Masters Ph.D et al.

“I have a picture in my heart of my desired end…”

Summary – Tips any student can walk away with:

  • Don’t give up: Many students tend to feel overwhelmed when balancing their jobs, personal lives, educations, families, hobbies, etc.. It is important to remind yourself of the goals that you are working toward, and the feeling of accomplishment you will have when these goals are reached. Juggling all of these aspects of life can be a challenge, but can result in an exceptional work ethic, multi-tasking skills, commendable patience, and more.
  • Embrace failure: FAIL = First Attempt In Learning. It is important to remember that failure is an important part of the journey. While it may feel discouraging at first, failure is a reminder to stay motivated. When we fail, we grow.
  • Have a vision: When you have an idea of what you want out of your education goals, it makes the journey much more rewarding. Keeping your eye on the prize will motivate you as you reach your destination. 
  •  

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Featured Students – Dylan Paynter

Dylan Successfully Lands His First Cybersecurity Role, Kickstarting His Dream Career Path Dylan Paynter Job Title: Product Security Tester Company: Lightship

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