“Don’t just aspire to make a living, aspire to make a difference,” said Tomiwa Aroyehun. The program and project management master’s candidate is applying his passion for planning to help students through an otherwise confusing process — moving to a new country. After securing an on-campus job at the Office of International Affairs, Tomiwa got involved with several other projects. As a student success facilitator for Model (T)ransitions, he helps students by providing academic, personal and professional support while connecting students to the university’s resources and services. If you ask what his plans are post-graduation, he wants to earn a doctoral degree and continue his passion of service. In fact, Aroyehun plans to fulfill his life-long dream of starting a non-profit in his home country, Nigeria.
Tomiwa, in his own words
On why he’s given back. “One of my favorite quotes by Gandhi is ‘Be the change you want to see in the world,’ and that's basically what I try to implement on myself and on others because I feel like if change starts from yourself, you know, you need to be able to change yourself before you can be able to change people. Being a resource, because of the experience, because of the challenges I went through, I understand what most International students go through in terms of employment opportunities. I may not be able to solve all of your problems but having someone there for you, to let you know what to do, what you shouldn’t do, and the do’s and don’ts gives me great joy. To see the joy in people’s faces when you do things like this keeps me going. It has been a massive success for me and everyone else as well.”
On why it’s important to be involved on campus. “Being involved on campus for me has been a great deal because when I first started getting involved on campus, my second semester, I got a job in the Office of International Affairs and decided to join the Graduate Student International Organization where I became an active member. Through the process, I got promoted to being mentorship chair. Based on my experience coming to America, it was a very eye-opening experience for me because I actually didn't know anyone, so I went through challenges of not knowing anyone. Finding someone to pull me through was really difficult and I figured, ‘What is a way to help other people coming [to the United States] like me that had no idea on what to do,’ and from that, we started the International Student Mentorship Program, where we connect mentors with current students. It is an initiative I’m actually heading right now and we've been doing great. Aside from that, we also do professional workshops such as LinkedIn sessions, helping people with their CVs and resumes; this is in partnership with Graduate Studies and the Office of International Affairs.”
On why he was selected to be a UM-Dearborn Difference Maker. “I think I was selected to be a Difference Maker because of my experience and journey to the University of Michigan-Dearborn — which has been an inspiring one from the beginning, right from the growth stage, to the maturity stage and moving on to the final stage. I think I've been able to develop myself and make an impact in myself as well as the life of others and the community around me to adjust.”