Engaged Learning: Campus Job

Tobi working with a fellow Resident Assistant on a hallway banner

Tobi Adebisi, Computer Science

Tobi is an international student from Nigeria and a senior in the Honors Program studying computer science. As a resident advisor (RA) in the First Street Residence Hall, he spends most of his time on campus, and is very involved with several student organizations at UM-Flint. Upon graduation, he hopes to work with a technology start-up.

Tobi got a good sense of what working in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment would be like while working in UM-Flint’s Office of University Relations. Tobi was a key member of the team charged with implementing a new content management system for all UM-Flint websites. It was a big job for front-end content developers and back-end technology wizards alike, requiring a skill-set like Tobi's to bring the two ends together.

Being an international student added other dimension to the way Tobi approached this work. He said, "I was privileged to meet and discuss UM-Flint with some students and faculty when they visited Nigeria. UM-Flint came across to me as more than a school; it was a community small enough to know me and big enough to help me fully develop my potential. Now that I am here, I realize how true that is.”

As a member of UM-Flint's website redesign team, Tobi stressed the vital role university websites play in the decision-making process of potential international students. “Not everyone who lives overseas will have that opportunity to meet with university representatives face to face,” he said. “The best way for them to discover what UM-Flint offers is online."

Tobi's internship at Detroit Labs turned into a full-time position with the tech start-up.

Last summer, Tobi interned at a mobile application development company called Detroit Labs

He said, “One of the highlights of my summer was competing in the Detroit Public Library’s Hackathon. Business and technology association Automation Alley offered computer programmers and mobile application developers $5,000 to develop an app for the Detroit Public Library. So two other interns at Detroit Labs and I decided to form a team and sign up.”

Tobi said the team spent twenty-four hours writing code, designing, eating snacks, and drinking 5-Hour Energy.

“In the end, we were able to come up with a very good Andriod app," said Tobi. "It allows users to scan the barcode of any book, get info on that book, and place a hold on it. The app also gives users up-to-date news about the Detroit Public Library, important events, and general library information. Another feature is 'Ask the Librarian,' which allows users to send questions directly to a librarian. Our app placed second!”

Tobi's internship with Detroit Labs lead to a full-time position with the start-up, which he will begin after graduation.

Working through content strategy and data-organizing challenges within today's multi-device environment requires creative problem solving, teamwork, and technical aptitude. Tobi has all these traits. But it is his ability to keep the bigger picture in mind—bringing the world's people and ideas together—that makes his contributions so valuable and future so bright.

Results:
  • became familiair with how communications offices utilize techonology
  • gained confidence by working alongside established web professionals
  • fused knowledge of technical concepts and human behavior to create commonsense web solutions
  • learned what it takes to be a good hackathon teammate
  • offered and accepted a full-time position