Busola Awobode is a senior English major and philosophy minor from Boston, MA.
Describe UMass Dartmouth in one word.
What drew you to your major?
Shortly before applying to UMass Dartmouth, I decided to switch my career goals from law to English because I decided I wanted to work in publishing and eventually publish my own novel. Coming to UMassD, I realized how diverse my field was and the choices I had even within publishing. While my overarching goals remain the same, I have found interests in public relations, marketing, digital communication, and more, which I believe not only better enriches me as a communicator, but positions me as an asset in my chosen field.
How has UMass Dartmouth prepared you for life after graduation?
I have learned how to relate with people and work with them regardless of our differences or relationship. Getting involved on campus has also made me a more confident and assertive person, as well as an adept leader who understands the responsibilities that come with leading. I have been able to juggle multiple responsibilities and maintain boundaries necessary for my success.
What’s your favorite place at UMass Dartmouth?
My favorite place on campus has to be the Fredrick Douglass Unity House because it represents to me what UMass Dartmouth is. At any given time it is lively with club meetings, events, or just students interacting with one another. It is a hub of knowledge where you can find information on almost anything happening on campus. The staff are welcoming to students and genuinely want to work with them.
What was your favorite class at UMassD?
While I have taken many interesting classes over the course of my stay at UMass Dartmouth, perhaps my favorite has been photography. I always wanted to take a photography class and develop my skillset with a camera. UMassD provided me the opportunity to pursue all my interests while completing my requirements even when they were not directly aligned with my major.
What advice would you give to younger UMassD students?
Seek out opportunities and take them. There are a plethora of opportunities available to you at UMassD, and a place for everyone regardless of your interests or personality. Take the initiative and find the places and opportunities for you. No matter where you go, there will always be people that are happy to welcome you.
Can you describe one of your internships?
My latest internship was with a local NewBedford organization called BuyBlackNB. I primarily served as a journalist for the organization, conducting interviews with local Black business owners, writing articles on them and sourcing media for social platforms. My internship brought me closer to a community I had spent 4 years living in, but never really got to experience. It also provided me the opportunity to work with different kinds of people, all passionate about their businesses. I think one of the biggest things my UMassD experience taught me that I was able to translate to my work was having confidence in myself. I found that when I was self-assured and relaxed, I was able to foster conversations that led to interesting articles. The ability to practice this confidence is something I cherish and I hope to continue to build upon it as I prepare for my post-academic career.
Can you describe one of your on-campus jobs?
I have worked as a tutor for 3 years, and in that time I have tutored countless students in writing and other related fields. At times I have also acted as a counselor and guide when students are looking for someone to talk to. I found that helping people with their writing greatly improved mine, as I was able to hone a critical eye and apply that to my own work as well as that of my tutees. I also gained experience in teaching, learning strategic ways to help and encourage student learning. By far the most valuable skill I’ve developed has been the interpersonal skills I’ve acquired along the way. I learned to gauge people in order to approach them in a way that best benefits them, as well as how to work with different kinds of people at different skill levels who require different things. I think this opportunity is one of the most beneficial ones I had at UMassD.
Can you describe leadership experience you’ve gained on-campus?
I am fortunate enough to be a student ambassador for my department, serve on the honors council, and be the Vice President of the Model United Nations Club. Regardless of the position, I have realized the responsibility that comes with leadership. Oftentimes people think of leading as a title, but it is so much more than that. It is a commitment that one makes to whatever they decide to serve. I take leadership opportunities very seriously, and while I hope to keep pursuing them after graduation, I am more aware of the responsibility that comes with it.
“It’s been a privilege getting to know Busola as her professor, her supervisor in her role as a tutor at UMassD’s Writing and Multiltieracy Center, and as her advisor for her Honors Apex project,” said Elisabeth Buck, Assistant Professor of English and Communication and the Director of the Writing and Multiliteracy Center. “I am so impressed by Busola’s initiative. It’s not easy to complete a full Institutional Review Board-approved research project under the best of circumstances; that Busola so ably executed her research on digital multimodality while the university was fully online illustrates both her own proficiency and prowess. Busola is also such a leader in the Writing and Multiliteracy Center and across campus. I cannot wait to see what contributions she’ll undoubtably make when she graduates from UMassD.”
Visit Busola’s personal website, or connect with her on LinkedIn or Handshake. To read about other graduating Corsairs’ stories, visit umassd.edu/commencement/spotlights. For all things Commencement, visit umassd.edu/commencement.