Moyosoore Kemi-Rotimi, a graduate student in the Business Information Systems program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, will get hands-on professional experience this summer interning as a project analyst at Visa, Inc.’s corporate headquarters in California.
Since August 2017, Kemi-Rotimi has worked as a graduate assistant in the Office of eLearning and Scholarly Technology and Resources.
“This is a great accomplishment for her, and she had to compete with other students from across the United States,” said Dr. David Montague, director of eLearning and Scholarly Technology and Resources and professor of criminal justice.
Kemi-Rotimi says the internship will help her develop the skills she needs to effect change in the areas of social access and equity.
“I recognized that despite my qualitative understanding of social systems, and how I thought it had positioned me for the kind of job I wanted in non-profit/social sector consulting and development organizations, there was a quantitative/analytics skill gap that stood between me and those jobs,” she said. “This was more so because data insights and analytics have now become more relevant than ever in social development and public policy.”
Kemi-Rotimi, who is also an international student, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies in Nigeria.
“I started out with an interest in educational access and equity because the more educational opportunities open up to me, the more I am mindful that these achievements inadvertently place me in a ‘privileged’ position,” she said. “The same cannot be said for the average kid in rural (and some urban) parts of Nigeria or a refugee/displaced kid just trying to get through the day.”
Kemi-Rotimi continued her exploration of the intersection of religion, society, and development at Wake Forest University, earning a Master of Arts in Religious Studies. While living in North Carolina, she volunteered with World Relief, teaching English to new refugees arriving in Winston-Salem and assisting with their resettlement efforts.
Her studies and experiences “opened me up to understanding how power systems in society are just as powerful, and in some instances more powerful, as individual choices in determining who ends up on the margins of society and how they get out of the margins back to a place of inclusion.”
After moving to Little Rock in August 2017, Kemi-Rotimi became involved with the UA Little Rock Community Based Prison Reentry Initiative, which provides pre-release programming to inmates in order to reduce recidivism. She got involved with the program through Dr. Montague, who teaches some of the classes and is Kemi-Rotimi’s graduate assistant supervisor.
“I guess it is safe to say the more mindful I get, the more my areas of interest broaden,” she said. “Irrespective of the road I take eventually, the goal remains the same, and I see myself making social impact nonetheless. However, my most immediate goal is to learn and sharpen my analytics and management skills, which is one of the many takeaways I look forward to in my internship.”
UA Little Rock student Moyosoore Kemi-Rotimi will intern at Visa’s corporate headquarters this summer. Photo by Ben Krain.