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Obi sets his sights higher

Obi Iwenofu graduates with a 2:1 in Economics at the University of Sussex's opening ceremony on Wednesday (22 July). It is, by his own admission, quite an achievement.

Obi, 32, left school with GCSEs and spent most of his early adult life working in shops before tackling the challenges of academia. After applying to Universities, he realised he needed to show evidence of some recent studying to get accepted on to any course.

He took a short maths course, which secured him a place at the University of Kingston. After a year he decided to transfer to Sussex to complete his degree because he felt it was a highly regarded university, and living in an exciting city with both the sea and countryside close by appealed to him greatly.

"I enjoyed being at Sussex so much that, to be honest, I became complacent," he admits. "I didn't' do so well initially because I was busy socialising, making music and playing computer games. And I hadn't really built up the skills I needed to write essays or deal with questions in exam conditions. But I really got to work in my last year, spurred on by the great deal of encouragement and support I received from family, friends and members of staff in the economics department."

Now Obi is hoping to take a postgraduate course in finance. "I feel there is there is so much more I could do," he says. "Getting the degree has made me feel much more confident. I have more faith in myself and my horizons are so much broader now."

One of his Economics tutors, Dr Peter Holmes, says: "It's always great when a mature student like Obi does well in his finals. I wish him all the best for his career."

By: Jacqui Bealing
Last updated: Monday, 20 July 2009