My R4i Experience: TAIBAT AJIBOYE

From the University of Abuja

My first day at Innov8 Hub started with so much excitement until a certain teacher would constantly pick on me, I would constantly ask myself “Why me again?” “what have I done this time?” little did I realize he had a lot of knowledge to give and was really particular about wanting me to consume as much as I could; which I eventually did because we, the youths, are indeed the future of innovation research.

Throughout R4i, I gained a deeper and interesting understanding of the fundamentals of 3D design, and I must say I had never seen a 3D machine. I also gained hands-on experience on what a 3D design looks like and I must say it was a very intruiging time learning it. The 3D session was an invaluable experience that not only enhanced my technical skills but also sparked my creativity skills in order to create and develop things that I would never had thought about.

My experience with the emotional intelligence class also sharpened my narrative towards life and collaboration with people; towards achieving a successful innovative idea. I can understand better how to relate and handle both senior collegues and students in the academic environment with the knowledge acquired from the Research for Impact initiative.

The 10 days at R4i was an intense one that took me out of my comfort zone and created a healthy space for me to learn, unlearn, and relearn, in order to become a better person and an innovative researcher. I now understand the zeal and willpower to identifying a problem and providing a solution that is innovative, for the betterment of my institution, University of Abuja, Nigeria and of course, showcasing the good in Nigeria on a global scale.

One of the most valuable aspects of R4i was the opportunity to collaborate and meet with other participants who are senior collegues in the academia. As a young Lecturer who is new in the academic system, it is indeed a great honor and privilege to have attended this laudible and life-changing research for impact initiative. At this very beginning of my career, I am certain that I have learnt a lot and what is needed to not make already existing mistakes in the academic world. I am indeed privileged and certain that R4i has set my feet on the right track. I am more than grateful and privileged indeed. I plan to incorporate the insights and guidance during R4i, with Professors and PhD holders, into my own work by integrating better research methodologies with critical innovative ideas. I will also seek to apply the knowledge shared by the staff of Innov8 Hub, and other lecturers from various universities, into my research career and also my students, so as to inspire them to pursue their academic interest and goals with the right mindset because the future is now and we the youths, are the future of the innovation ecosystem that we so desire to see.

I am leaving the Research for Impact initiative feeling really inspired, motivated, hungry and ready to do things differently and innovatively. I am sure going back a different person.

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