Many people find it overwhelming to find internships, jobs or mentors that can guide them through those tasks. Luckily, there are resources available to international students that aim to help with these processes, such as Global Detroit’s Cultural Ambassadors program. OISS Intern Melissa Linden had the chance to speak with one of the many students who have benefitted from this program, Arjun Venugopal, a graduate from Wayne State University with a master’s degree in Manufacturing Engineering.

The Cultural Ambassadors Program connects professionals with international students in order to give them a link to a community and career resources. In the past three yearsIMG_20170510_203205 the program has forged 180 professional connections, one of which was between Arjun and his mentor Gracie Xavier.

Arjun learned about the Cultural Ambassadors program through a workshop he attended where he met Gracie, the Director of Corporate and Economic Development Strategy. Gracie helped him with many things such as creating and sending resumes and training for his first job. Being a part of the program had numerous benefits for Arjun; helping him build his network and learning how to file taxes, to name a few. To Arjun, one of the best parts about the program is the willingness of others to help you get on your feet and adapt to the area.

Arjun encourages all international students to join the Cultural Ambassadors program, stating that there’s nothing better than a community filled with people who want to help you. He has become more involved in the community after joining and learned the culture and its norms, like how people in Michigan love to complain about the weather together! Beyond getting a job, it is important to feel at home when you are halfway across the world from your hometown.

If you are interested in finding more information on Global Detroit’s Cultural Ambassadors program you can visit their website or email Shaffwan Ahmed, the Program Director. If you are an international and/or immigrant student looking for employment and want to join the program, sign up here!



Melissa Linden is a senior majoring in Communication with a concentration in intercultural communication and minoring in Public Relations. She currently works at OISS as the Communications Intern and is PR Chair for the Korean Student Association on campus. When not hard at work or school you can find her attending cultural events around campus or spending time with her dog. You can contact Melissa at

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