Advocating for Education Access
Eller MIS ’16
By Eller College
Ebitie Amughan was born in Nigeria and moved to the United States when she was eight years old. “Even as a high school student I was always involved in extracurricular activities,” she said. Her membership in Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) fortified her passion for business. “I had the privilege to be elected as a state officer for FBLA and serve as the vice president of media relations,” she explained. “I travelled all over Arizona talking to high school chapters, networking with professionals, speaking publicly, and most importantly, learning to conduct myself in a professional manner.”
With that experience under her belt, Amughan said there was no doubt in her mind that she wanted to study business in college. “I made my decision to attend the University of Arizona because I wanted to study in an environment that fostered my educational and career goals,” she said. “I chose MIS as my major because I thoroughly enjoyed and exceled in my freshman MIS 111 class. I had an affinity for technology as a result of the class, and MIS is a fusion of my two passions – business and technology.”
That passion kept her engaged when she got into the tougher upper-division courses. “Although I was challenged, I was fascinated by the topics,” she said. “I was also inspired by the passion of my professors, especially Sue Brown, Matthew Hashim, and Faiz Currim.”
As she build her technical skills, Amughan felt ready to apply them in a real-world setting and began applying for internships, ultimately landing one as an operations program manager with Microsoft.
“Ben Malisewski played a pivotal role in helping me secure my internship with Microsoft,” she said. “He had the internship the summer prior and was a full-time employee at Microsoft. He was more than willing to answer any questions regarding the internship, share ways to prepare, as well as offer any helpful hints and advice for success. I was extremely grateful for his guidance and I was pleased to have received support from all across the board in assisting me to achieve my goals.”
She also brought a strong resume to her application to Microsoft. “I could not have received that internship without the valuable experiences from my past leaderships positions and organizations,” she said. Her experience as the Spring Fling business director was especially helpful. “Spring Fling is the nation’s largest student run carnival and I had the pleasure to direct a staff of 25, supervise 200-plus volunteers, and manage monetary operations of approximately half a million dollars,” she said. “I also had the opportunity to serve as a resident assistant, external relations chair for the National Collegiate Leadership Conference, and most recently UA Green Team program lead and president of the Eller African American Honorary.”
The Eller African American Honorary is especially important to her. “It’s an organization that is close to my heart because I view it as my legacy at Eller,” she said. “EAAH strives to advocate and advance African American students through professional development, service, and community.” The club was established by six students, who now serve as executive board members, in August 2015. “Within a semester, EAAH’s member base grew to 28 African American students,” she said. “As a team, the executive board and our advisor, Tremain Ravenell, created an opportunity for members to network, learn from local business professionals, and utilize a strong support system for African American students to achieve their academic and professional goals. I am extremely pleased with the success and growth of the organization and I cannot wait to hear of the many more successes as a future alumna.”
Now Amughan is one semester away from graduation and starting work at her dream job. “I have the privilege to work for a company that is changing the world by empowering every person and every organization on the planet to do more and achieve more,” she said, citing a Nelson Mandela quote: “Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.”
“His words could not be any truer,” Amughan said. “As an immigrant from Nigeria, I am and always will be extremely appreciative of the opportunity to attend a distinguished university. I am an avid advocate for education access and I aspire to build a school in my village and developing areas of Nigeria. If I could provide even just one of the opportunities I have been given to another student in Nigeria, I know it would make a positive impact in their life. This is an initiative I am passionate about and I look forward to developing it more in the near future.”
Top image of Microsoft corporate building courtesy Ken Wolter/ Shutterstock.com.