How long have you been at CMU? What are your job duties here?
I have been at CMU for 5 years. I've been working here for 2 years and 3 months. I maintain the Office of Institutional Research’s website
and keep online reports well organized and up to date. I also provide support for assessing academic and administrative operations and respond to requests for data and information from the CMU community.
What do you like most about CMU?
It's a very supportive environment. I have super nice and supportive co-workers. I also like living in Mount Pleasant.
What was the transition from student to staff like for you? What advice do you have for future graduates who will make a similar transition from the classroom to their career?
For me, it wasn't a problem. During the last year in graduate school, I knew my life would change soon, so I prepared myself by getting on a schedule -- getting up early in the morning, going to the gym, eating, studying, and going to bed early at the same time every single day. I think that is why I didn't have any problems with the transition.
What do you think helped you succeed as a student? What helps you succeed now that you are working?
Since coming to the U.S., I have learned to understand more what I need and what I want, which helps me figure out what is important and what isn't. Once I know my priorities, I will put them on the top of my list and do them. For example, keeping my body healthy is the first priority for me now, which is why I go to the gym 3 or 4 times a week even though I am super busy with my work. So I plan a lot. By planning, I can try my best to finish whatever it is I need to do.
Did you face any culture shock (Academic, Personal, etc.) when you arrived at CMU or in the United States?
I don't think I had any culture shock because I already knew that people have different ways of living. I had also been in the U.S. for a while before coming to CMU.
What resources did you use here on campus to help you overcome any challenges?
For my classes, I would ask questions of my professors. If they had tutoring available, I would take advantage of it. For finding a job, I went to Career Services
to work on my resume and ask for advice. For living in the U.S., because we are international students, we need to make sure our status is ok. That is the top thing to understand and learn. So I went to OIA a lot to figure out how my documents were getting processed.
Tell us about any hobbies or activities you enjoy.
I go to the gym 3-4 times a week and I like to cook at home. I travel at least two places per year to help open my eyes and explore the world.
What do you miss most about your home country?
My dog and my family.
What advice would you give to international students at CMU?
The most important thing is to try hard with learning English...and not just writing! Speaking should be your top priority because whatever you are doing in the U.S., you must talk! When your English improves, your life in the U.S. will also improve!
Interview conducted by Habeebat Diaw, graduate assistant with the Office of International Affairs, Ronan 330.