Fisayo Akinwumi '10
Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria
Major: Interdisciplinary Engineering & Management
Q: How did you find Clarkson?
A: It was really easy for me because I have family in the U.S. and I knew I wanted to go to college in the states. My parents and I looked through a college guide, knowing that I wanted an engineering school in New York state or New Jersey. Clarkson fit all my guidelines, even though we didn't know exactly where it was!
Q: Why did you choose Clarkson?
A: Apart from the cold weather that I wasn't used to, Clarkson was persistent in sending me materials. I liked that it was a small school with a dynamite engineering program.
Q: What is it like to be an international student at Clarkson?
A: Whenever you are outside your home, it's always going to be different. It was definitely a little bit of a culture shock because I thought it would be the same as when I was in the states with my family. But now I'm by myself and have to work things out on my own, which can be good sometimes! The customs in the U.S. are not always what I'm used to, like the fact that people wear flip flops to class or to the mall. I was surprised by little things like that.
Q: What is something you wish people would have told you before coming to college in the U.S.?
A: I don't know, I think I was well prepared from a program that I took part in before coming to school in the U.S. I learned how to deal with culture shock and how to relate to people from other cultures. There's lots of diversity here, so it came in handy!
Q: What kinds of opportunities have been available to you while you've been at Clarkson?
A: I've had opportunities to be a part of a lot of organizations on campus. I'm part of the International Students Organization, the Dorm Council, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (it's open to everyone), and the National Society of Black Engineers. Also, I work on campus to earn extra money!
Q: What is your favorite thing about Clarkson?
A: Definitely the one-on-one attention that we get from our professors, who are always so welcoming. Also, I like that I can think of Clarkson as second home when I'm here. There's really something that binds me to Clarkson, and that is a good feeling.
Q: What are your plans for after graduation?
A: I hope to go home to Nigeria and use my degree to work in the industrial engineering field.
Q: Are Clarkson students open to you and your culture?
A: Yes, for the most part. People are careful about little things, like pronouncing my name correctly. It's nice that they're interested in getting it right. I was worried at first, before I came to campus, that people would be racist or treat me differently, but that has never been the case. My favorite is when I cook Nigerian food, people love it and always want to know more about it.
Check out what other Clarkson students are up to here!