Iyanu Lamina ’25 | Ogun State, Nigeria
Major: Computer Science with concentrations in Computing and Data Analytics

Please tell us about yourself.

I am from Ogun State, Nigeria, and grew up in a very supportive community. My parents have been especially supportive throughout my education. While growing up, my career goals changed. When I was in elementary school, I wanted to be a teacher because I loved the way they taught. Then I wanted to be a lawyer because I like how they advocate for people and I’m just kind of the person that wants to speak on behalf of people. Yet again, my career goals changed, and I wanted to be a nurse and study medicine because the medical system in Nigeria isn’t great. With the support of my parents, I began a program called SOS-HGIC, which stands for Hermann Gmeiner International College, in Tema, Ghana. The school helps provide students with world-class education and connection and educates students across Africa and beyond. The exams are very rigorous and, after taking the exams multiple times, I decided this is a sign and that God is telling me to do something else. I continued my studies and was preparing for my last year and exams when my family had me apply for a scholarship program for United World College (UWC). I went through the interview and exam process and expressed my love for helping people, and I think that played a huge role in getting accepted into UWC Red Cross Nordic in Norway. While at UWC Red Cross Nordic, my career plans changed once more, and I told myself I wanted to study computer science. When I am not focusing on academics, I enjoy cooking, listening to podcasts, playing basketball, and just trying new things to build my skills.

How did you hear about Concordia College and why did you choose to attend college here?

I heard about Concordia during my time at UWC from an academic advisor when discussing career plans. I applied to many different schools, and Concordia was one of them. I chose Concordia because it has a computer science program. During the application process, I talked with Steve Schaefer and got the feeling that this is what I wanted out of a school. What’s great about Concordia is that any religion can be practiced, it has a strong community, and the class sizes are small so the professors know who you are.

Why did you choose computer science and data analytics as your areas of study?

I decided I was going to study computer science without even knowing what it was really like. My first time taking a computer science course was at Concordia and this allowed me to get a glimpse of what I was going to do for a living after college. I enjoy the visualization piece of data analytics and working with Tableau. As a data analyst, I can now take a spreadsheet of data and turn it into proper visualizations where people can view and work with the data. What drew me to these programs was how they challenge your ability and I love challenges.

What do you enjoy most about the Fargo-Moorhead community?

I am more of a homebody but when I get out into the community, I see many things that I enjoy. I try to get out of my comfort zone and try new things. I really like how the people are so welcoming.

Are you involved with any student organizations on campus? If yes, tell us about them.

When I came to Concordia as a freshman, I wanted to be involved in all the things that would add value. I speak a little French, so I wanted to keep that going and develop my skills, but it has been hard to stay involved because of my academics. I am involved in computer science and recently joined the Women in Business Club. I am also involved in programs around interfaith, specifically the Interfaith Incubator Program and Better Together. Both of these programs allow you to openly share your opinions in a safe space and have discussions around topics on how to make an impact.

What is your favorite Cobber tradition and why?

I love the Corn Feed! So many people come to campus and enjoy it. My first time at the Corn Feed was with Residence Life and we had a major part in the day from getting the corn ready to volunteering at the event, and my favorite was eating the corn.

Tell us more about studying computer science and data analytics at Concordia.

There are so many things in computer science that can challenge your ability and that’s what I love about the program. In the data analytics program, I really like creating visuals with Tableau, using data to make insightful decisions, and looking at the raw data and drawing conclusions. Right now, computer science and analytics are a big part of my life and I love the challenge.

What do you enjoy most about taking classes in the Offutt School of Business?

There are so many ways to answer this question. Recently, I noticed I was not using the space of the business school because most of my classes were in Grose and Academy. I have started to realize the value of the space and the people in the business school. I really like taking my computer science classes here, and one class I have learned a lot from is my data analytics course. I really enjoy the topic and everything the class offers. I love web design, and I love my software engineering class because of the different methodologies and the project management components. I am also taking programming languages where I get to learn about each program more in depth and how they came about. I love to talk about artificial intelligence. I'm not an expert in the field, but since taking this class I have gained more insight and understanding of AI.

Do you have a favorite professor, class, or study spot?

I really enjoy studying in the business school. I love the building and the value the space brings. My favorite place to focus is the seminar room. Some of my favorite courses have been principles of programming languages, web design and development, software engineering, and artificial intelligence. Lastly, I love all my professors. They all are willing to listen, are great at getting to know me, and are great resources to have here on campus.

Have you had any internships?

I haven’t had an internship yet, but I am currently applying for internships and it’s been a challenging process. I am currently reaching out, networking on LinkedIn, and not giving up on applying for roles that interest me. My advice if you are looking for an internship is to keep applying, apply to multiple places, and don’t feel pressured by other people because a lot of people are in the same boat as you.

What are your career goals and how is Concordia preparing you?

I am striving for a career that I would enjoy where I can be a great leader, develop networking skills, and advance my computer science skills. Concordia has prepared me for my career goals by having resources on campus. The Career Center, Center for Student Success, and Writing Center have all helped me during my time as a student. The Career Center has helped me prepare for interviews and reviewed my resume. Another way Concordia is helping me is by giving me advice when it comes to talking about my career goals and what steps to take to get there. Concordia is very supportive.

Concordia has prepared me for my career goals by having resources on campus such as the Career Center, Center for Student Success, and Writing Center.”

What has been a highlight of your time as a Cobber?

I don’t know if I have a specific one yet, but I love working in the Anderson Office of Career Success in the Offutt School of Business and at Cobber Kids. Even though it's not in my career path, I enjoy helping and watching the kids grow at Cobber Kids.

What advice would you give to an international student who is considering attending Concordia College?

Ask questions. While in the application and interview process, ask questions about the college, do your research, ask more questions, and reach out to students attending the school. Develop friendships among your classmates to avoid feeling lost and to have a support system you can always turn to.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Don’t feel pressure about coming to college undecided. Just because your friends may be studying a different major than you doesn’t mean you have to study the same major. Do what makes you happy. Find your passion and an area that brings you joy and fulfillment.

Read more international student spotlights

Published January 2024