It was always clear to Double Husky, Yemi Arunsi, CPS’12, BHS’14, that he wanted to give back to his community; Northeastern helped him find his calling. From classes that challenged his limits, to professors who were vested in his future, to lifelong bonds he created through his Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Yemi credits Northeastern for the service-focused trajectory of his career.
How did your Northeastern education impact you professionally?
Northeastern has opened up opportunities for me. My capstone project tied directly to my job, helping me apply my classroom learning to my career. During my undergraduate studies, I also joined the Student Conduct Board, and interacted with university leadership, which built my network across the different schools. Having professors who were industry leaders in their respective fields ensured I was walking into the workplace prepared and ready to hit the ground running. Northeastern gave me the confidence to compete for new positions and promotions, knowing I was competent and prepared.
How do you stay ahead and continue to grow your knowledge and expertise?
The most important question I ask myself every day is what can I offer that no one else can? This drives me to enroll in continuing education and graduate certification courses at Northeastern, many of which are taught by industry leaders. I also raise my hand to take on new challenges. For example, I recently became a member of a task force at work that is researching how Blockchain technology can improve interoperability in healthcare, specifically by creating a single storage location for health data, tracking personalized data in real-time, and applying data access permissions on a base level. The new learning keeps me energized and engaged.
One piece of advice for someone starting at Northeastern.
Find a mentor – it could be a senior in your major or a professor in your college. Maintain and build those relationships while on campus. Apply for leadership positions and programs on campus. I became a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and we volunteered for numerous activities in the Boston area, which improved my experience at Northeastern.
Your favorite professor or class (remote or on-campus) and why?
Taking Professor Shari Robbins’s course on Organizational Behavior and Change Management was the turning point in my professional career. I took the class just as my office was going through an important organizational change, and I was able to leverage the change management techniques she taught to help support my agency. This led to increased visibility within the leadership team, and an eventual promotion.
What’s next for you?
Working as the Special Assistant to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs has been tremendously rewarding. This fall, I was activated by the Air Force Reserves for a one year tour, after which I will return to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Office of Health Informatics to help lead our electronic health record modernization efforts. My Northeastern degrees have provided me with industry leading skills that I have used to support the mission of VA to care of our nation’s Veterans. There is no greater calling than service to others.