Navigating Walden: An International Student’s Perspective


Michael Mba is a PhD in Public Policy and Administration student who lives in Nigeria and works as a policy analyst for the Central Bank.  As an international student with a passion for statistics, Michael also tutors Walden students as a Graduate Assistant in the Academic Skills Center.

How did Michael join the Walden community, engage in networking efforts, tap into career resources, and pay it forward by helping others achieve academic success?

When Michael became interested in pursuing a doctoral degree, he began researching online programs in public policy.  When he came across Walden, he requested information and was invited to attend a networking event in Lagos, Nigeria, where he met four current students who shared their experiences. He was impressed with Walden’s PhD in Public Policy and Administration program and decided to enroll.

Michael admitted that, when he first started his program, his main focus was on the rigorous coursework, challenging assignments, and time-sensitive deadlines.  Eventually, he began exploring resources and offerings beyond the classroom.  When he received an invitation to attend an International Networking Hour event, hosted by Career Services as part of the International Student Success Conference, he accepted.  Through this virtual networking event, he connected with other international students, including a Public Policy and Administration student from Ghana with similar interests in networking with fellow students in Africa and beyond.  He also learned about Walden’s Academic Skills Center (ASC) and met ASC staff members who were attending the event.

Chatting with others, Michael uncovered potential opportunities where he could apply his statistical skills. He visited the Career Services Center website and used the CV Guide to enhance and update his CV with current knowledge and experience.  He also explored the Careers at Walden page to research available openings.  When he came across a Graduate Assistant position in Statistics, he applied and was selected for an interview. During the interview, he impressed the interviewers with his extensive knowledge of statistics and use of SPSS, and was offered the position.

As a Graduate Assistant, Michael enjoys the challenge of explaining complex statistical concepts in simple terms.  Michael commented, “My duty is to make statistics look easy.”  So far, he has mentored over 60 students within the last three months from a wide range of programs and backgrounds including health sciences, psychology, management, education, business administration, and public policy and administration.

Michael’s journey from a prospective student researching Walden in Nigeria, to an active online learner exploring Walden’s many resources, to a Graduate Assistant dedicated to mentoring and tutoring others; has helped him “pay it forward” and share his vast statistical knowledge within a global learning community.  Through active engagement, he continues to forge connections and gain new perspectives for his own career success.

Are you seeking new ways to share your knowledge and skills with others?

Watch Social Change Series webinars for ideas on how to leave your mark and make a difference.
Watch Statistics in the Workplace to learn how to apply your statistical knowledge in multiple work settings.

Written by Dina Bergren, Associate Director of Career Services