Abisoye Olaifa, the Obama Foundation Scholar, Reveals the Secrets to His Success
Updated: Jul 11
Abisoye Olaifa is a UK-based medical student. He obtained his Undergraduate Medical Science degree (Immunology & Pharmacology) from the University of Aberdeen and his Postgraduate Genetics degree from the University of Central Lancashire. He hopes to specialise in Family Medicine, Medical Education, and Medical Research. His hobbies include basketball, weightlifting, reading self-help books, research articles, Christian books/music, biographical books and listening to related podcasts and messages.
Abisoye, welcome to the leaders’ show. It is a great honour to have you here. You are a brilliant scientist with extensive research and educational experience. You are also an Obama Foundation Scholar. I would love to know more about Abisoye in real life. How would you describe yourself in your own words? I am a medical student and a STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) teacher. I obtained my Undergraduate Medical Science degree (Immunology & Pharmacology) from the University of Aberdeen and my Postgraduate Genetics degree from the University of Central Lancashire. I hope to specialise in Family Medicine, Medical Education, and Medical Research. My hobbies include basketball, weightlifting, reading self-help books, research articles, Christian books/music, biographical books and listening to related podcasts and messages.
When did you realise that academia and scientific research were the right domains for you to pursue? Has your background and early life shaped those aspirations, perhaps? (It would be great if you could talk here about your life and who inspired you. Perhaps you could talk about your country of origin as well).
The realisation that medicine, academia and scientific medical research were my paths came during my A-levels studies in London. I was inspired by our A-level chemistry and biology curriculum which was saturated with experiments every fortnight. I was determined to understand medical research and drug discovery and this led to me applying to study medical science at the University of Aberdeen. I have since learnt and used different biochemical techniques, worked on several laboratory-based research projects, written/published several manuscripts and posters and gotten admitted into medical school.
What would you describe as your greatest achievement in professional and academic life?
Being admitted into medical school and working in a laboratory on a real research project.
You are a fellow of the Obama Scholars Program. Could you give me some insight into what your time as an Obama Fellow has been like thus far?
It’s been absolutely great. Getting to meet several like-minded fellows from all over the world, making lifelong friends and interacting with men and women of excellence. Specifically, my task within the organisation is to expand access to world-class education.
What advice would you give to many aspiring young people out there who aspire to be leaders and who dare to dream big despite the challenges they may experience in their lives?
“Never give up”.
Based on your experience, what are the main challenges of young academics as they aim to leap into a career of their choice?
Finding, connecting and developing a relationship with the right mentors is the main challenge and hurdle that needs to be overcome.
What are your future plans? Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
In the next 5 years, I see myself graduating from medical school, beginning my medical career and starting a family.
Can you tell me a leadership quote that has inspired you in your life?
“Only Preparation will make something look sweatless”.