The OISS Internship and Student Employment Program is not like any other student employment program. As Sahar, our H1b intern said, “I’ve never met a greater group of people that I love and adore so much. It breaks my heart to have to leave them.” Coming from Afghanistan, Sahar moved to USA at the age of seven. She has been with OISS for four years, throughout her entire college life.
Sahar is not the only intern who builds strong attachment with OISS. Linda Umulisa, the front desk staff, said “The people you meet through this job are going to make an incredible impact on your life.” Kelly Quaine, our Programming & Orientation Intern, said, “The office really views their interns as their equals. I was a part of a lot of really cool projects that I feel most students don’t get the opportunity to be a part of”. This was what she found most unique about her internship.
Kelly, Linda and Sahar are three of the 12 interns and student workers that will be graduating in May 2015 who we will miss dearly. They have learned the field of international education, built connections with students from all around the world, received structured training and have gained hands-on experience. We asked them to share their experiences working at OISS with us before they set off into the real world and here’s what they had to say:
What tips do you have for future interns and student workers at OISS?
- Be a self starter
- Create your own independent projects
- Engage with international students
- Know the services that OISS provides
- Create priorities for yourself
- Join professional organizations and conferences
- Get to know your co-workers
What is the most memorable experience you had while working here?
- Learning about the holidays with international students and acting out demonstrations with John from OISS.
- Hanging out with Kyra, Joy and Mara from OISS at Coffee Hour every Friday.
- The week of orientation in the summer is super busy, hectic and chaotic but it’s a good bonding experience with everyone in the office.
- The celebrations that OISS does because they really know how to make you feel special. Had they not reciprocated the love I have for them I wouldn’t have been here for 4 years
- Everyday is memorable to me. I’m not working to get paid I’m working to make a difference and my job makes me happy.
- My African scholarly chit chats with Ismail and my other student workers. I love our “Daily Dose of Africa” talks.
- It’s amazing to see friendships and relationship grow and expand throughout the week at orientation.
What is unique about working at OISS?
- Exposure to different people and cultures fosters your creativity and helps you decide what kind of graphic design work you want to do in the future
- The staffs genuine interest in you
- This internship will mold you into the type of experiences you’re seeking
- Unique and rewarding opportunity to work closely with students from all over the world
- Amount of hands on experience you get
- Doing meaningful work
- Support from everyone working at OISS
- OISS is one of the most friendliest environments
- Staff is very willing to collaborate and work with you
- Access to international community opens up a lot of doors for opportunity
- Interact with people from all over the world
- Hearing about 10 different languages spoken in a single day
- You become more diverse
- Understand that diversity is the most important component in the workplace
- The population of students we get to work with
- How much responsibility is entrusted in interns
What would you like to say to OISS staff before you leave?
- “Thanks for creating such a warm office environment and letting the interns feel like they’re not inferior to full time staff and making us feel like we’re part of a team.” -Kyra Stephenson
- “Thank you for being so supportive not only in the work that we do here but also in our passions and talents outside the office. Not only me but the other interns in our goals and journeys as students. They’re all really supportive and kind. OISS created an environment where we can develop as professionals and people.” -Kyra Stephenson
- “The staff came to see my band play and attended my Ted talk which made me feel like I was a part of the community and family in the office. They made me feel like my time and talents are valued at OISS.” -John Nowak
- “Thank you for an incredible 4 years and making me a part of your family. I know that this has been the best pat of my college experience. If it hadn’t been for OISS, I probably wouldn’t have been as successful at MSU because they’re my friends, family and support system.” -Sahar Mahmood
- If it wasn’t for the internship at OISS I don’t think that my graduate program would have meant as much. I think its through all the guidance and support through Brooke and Jess that I was able to accomplish some really great things.” -Katherine Burdick
- “I feel really close to everyone at OISS. Despite my internship coming to a close I want to remain close with everyone that is here.” -Katherine Burdick
- “To Stephanie, my supervisor, THANK YOU! You have not only been a great supervisor, but also a dear friend. To the staff, all of you have contributed something useful to my last year of college that I needed to learn. Whether it be perseverance, patience, or the useful tool of ‘turning the other cheek,’ I have learned something from each of you. To the student workers, you’re all awesome. I have seen most of you blossom into great workers, but also hardworking and driven students as well. I will miss you all.” -Courtney Holts
- “I have met some of the most bright, beautiful, and inspiring people through OISS and I am forever grateful for the relationships that have come from working here.” -Kelly Quaine
- “Working at OISS has given me a completely different outlook on the world for so many reasons and I’m a better person for working here. I want to thank OISS for giving me the opportunity to shine as an employee and as a person!” -Kelly Quaine
We appreciate the work our interns and student workers do at OISS and wish them luck as they continue their success in their next chapter in life!