CSE senior takes on leadership roles and cultivates positive impact in student groups

Biomedical engineering student makes both professional and personal connections  

Finding success in college is about balance. Being able to balance an integrated dual degree program, involvement in multiple student groups, and summer internships takes dedication and focus—University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering (CSE) senior Olasubomi Omoyeni has plenty of both. 

In the last four years, she has been a part of several organizations on the Twin Cities campus, including the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and the Nigerian Student Association. She has also worked as a research and development intern at Medtronic, as well as a manufacturing intern at Boston Scientific for two summers. 

Omoyeni, who is enrolled in the biomedical engineering integrated bachelor’s/master's program on the Twin Cities campus, looks back—in both the Q&A and video below — on her time as a CSE student.

How did you pick your major? 

I always knew I wanted to be an engineer. From a young age, I would help around the house, building things like TV stands and computer desks, and my family basically called me the engineer of the family. I didn't decide to be a biomedical engineering major until my junior or senior year of high school when I had to do college applications. 

I took an honors biology course in my sophomore year of high school, and it was undoubtedly one of the most challenging courses — yet I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the biological processes within the body. That class, in particular, influenced my decision to pursue biomedical engineering.

Tell us about your student groups. 

I've been a part of NSBE since my freshman year. I remember joining the first meeting on Zoom and right away I met someone else who was in biomedical engineering. That made me want to keep coming to meetings because it was so great to find people in the same program as me. I started off as a general member, then I served on the board last year, and I'm currently the president of the club. 

It has been an amazing four years with the organization. As the president, I have been able to lead our board toward our mission, which is "to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community." We provide career and professional development opportunities and organize de-stress events because having fun is also an important aspect of your college experience.

I'm also on the board of the Nigerian Student Association (NSA), and it's been a rewarding experience. 

"While NSBE focuses more on career and academic development, being part of NSA has added a cultural dimension to my college experience." 

NSA launched in fall 2022, and it has been fulfilling to contribute to the growth of this new organization on campus and to develop strong bonds with fellow members as we navigate this journey together. Being involved with NSA has given me the opportunity to connect with other Nigerians on campus, fostering a sense of community.

What skills have you gained from your experience with student groups?

I've definitely gained a lot of leadership skills. I have had good experience working with teams from internship experiences and even group projects in class. But being outward facing, especially on a university campus, is something that I haven't done before. Also, I’ve learned how to communicate more effectively. The NSBE board has 18 members, and then we have a big general membership as well. I’ve developed my interpersonal skills and made some great connections through that. 

"In addition to developing interpersonal and leadership skills, I also learned effective time management."

Balancing my role as president of NSBE, serving on the NSA board, participating in the integrated master's program—where I concurrently take graduate and undergraduate courses—and working on my senior design project has been demanding. 

There have certainly been times when scheduling overlaps occurred. However, with experience, I'm gradually mastering the art of time management. Additionally, problem solving and adaptability are other skills I gained as things don't always go to plan. 

Out of all of your experiences at CSE, what is something that you're really proud of? 

One achievement I take pride in is the growth of NSBE during the past academic year. When I became president, I had a vision for implementing various initiatives and strengthening our presence on campus. This required a lot of effort behind the scenes. Through our events and collaborations within and outside of CSE, we were able to increase our impact. This is evidenced by the three CSE student group awards NSBE received, including the Most Improved Student Group award. 
One of my initiatives was the 'CSE Career Fair Prep' series. This week-long program aimed to prepare students for the spring CSE Career Fair. Events included a LinkedIn and headshot event, networking sessions with recruiters, a resume review workshop with the NSBE Twin Cities Professional Chapter, an elevator pitch workshop, and a technical mock interview prep session with SPS Commerce. Witnessing the idea materialize and the turnout for the events was immensely gratifying. 
"Furthermore, receiving the Outstanding Student Group Program award for this series was a milestone for our organization." 
This is the first time our organization has won these awards, and achieving them during my tenure as president has been a source of immense pride.

So, what comes next? 

After graduation, I'll be pursuing a Master's of Science in Biomedical Engineering as part of the integrated degree program. I will return to the U in the fall to complete my remaining courses and anticipate graduating in spring 2025.

How has your time at CSE helped you prepare for your next year and beyond? 

My experiences at CSE have definitely given me a very strong foundation. I've gained technical skills as well as practical knowledge. I also like the fact that my major offers different sub plans, like the medical device plan that I’m doing. This has helped me immensely because I'm able to tailor my classes towards my interests. 

I’ve had summer internships at both Medtronic and Boston Scientific, and CSE helped me with getting them—as well as preparing me for any challenges that I came across while I was doing them. I know that these experiences will help me a lot once I go into the medical device industry after graduation.

Interview and photo by Katelyn Mayne