Thursday, January 25, 2018

Leadership lived: International student becomes a leader at UIS

Oluseyi Elliott calls the University of Illinois Springfield “a beautiful place for international students to feel at home.” As the elected international student senator on the Student Government Association, it’s his mission to make fellow international students feel welcome and listen to their concerns.

He routinely speaks to incoming international students, sharing advice about what he’s learned from his time studying in a foreign country.

“I let them know that UIS loves international students, the Springfield community loves international students,” he said. “I encourage them to explore, to explore leaving their comfort zone and to maximize the resources here.”

On campus, Elliott is a graduate student majoring in Management Information Systems. He is the treasurer and a live group leader for the University Bible Fellowship and is a member of the African Student Association and the Christian Student Fellowship.

Elliott, who grew up in Lagos State, Nigeria, discovered UIS online and decided to apply for admission. He says the more he learned about the school, the more he wanted to attend.

“I always tell people that (UIS) replied to me immediately and gave me my application, so I just kept on going with them and they gave me my admission first. I checked out the school and I was like okay, ‘I think I love this school.”

Elliott says one of the best things about UIS is the diverse community. He calls it a “perfect-sized” community that allows for collaboration and learning.

“UIS is diversity, so you don’t feel alone,” said Elliott. “There are Nigerians, there are Chinese, there are Indian and there are Saudi Arabians. UIS has given me the opportunity to learn new cultures, learn new languages.”

Following graduation from UIS, Elliott says he plans to start a career as an IT or business consultant. He eventually wants to start his own consulting company. Elliott says he’ll always remember his time at UIS and what he’s learned from the people he’s met in Springfield.

“My experience has been beautiful. It’s been an exciting and an adventurous one,” he said. “I’ve met new people, I’ve tried new things, I’ve learned, I’ve grown, I’ve developed. I can say at UIS I’ve grown in every area of my life and it’s been a fun time at UIS.”

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