UMES computer science major lands Cisco internship

  • Monday, November 9, 2015

    UMES junior Temi OkulatePRINCESS ANNE, MD- (Nov. 9, 2015) - Temi Okulate has his next summer internship already lined up.

    The junior majoring in computer science won Cisco System Inc.'s "Invitational Sales Competition" organized by the UMES Career and Professional Development Center.

    Okulate's prize is a 10-week internship with the Fortune 500 tech giant.

    Details are still taking shape, but Okulate said he was told he could expect to be assigned to work in the Boston area, North Carolina or California.

    "Where ever it is, it's a relief to know I have this great opportunity," Okulate said. "I feel very fortunate."

    Cisco has participated in past job fairs at UMES, but Dr. Theresa Queenan, the Career and Professional Development Center's director, said the Oct. 28 competition is a first for the university.

    In fact, Queenan said she's been told UMES is among the first historical black institutions to partner with Cisco in sponsoring an on-campus competition.

    Participants drawn from UMES' School of Business and Technology were put through two rounds of role-playing where they were given a scenario by judges and evaluated on how effective they could be convincing a potential customers to become a Cisco client.

    Four juniors vied for the internship, while Oulwafola Akinribade, one of four seniors in the competition, was extended for an invitation to interview for a post-graduation position with the company. Akinribade also received a trophy.  

    Okulate said he had to stretch himself to go from being focused on information technology to convincing judges he could also "sell" the Cisco brand.

    Okulate currently works about 20 hours a week for the university's information technology department as student lab technician, one of people on-call sent to troubleshoot computer woes across campus.

    "Temi has been a terrific addition to the IT department," Karen Earp said. "He's quick, bright, talented. He has been such a huge asset to us that his loss is going to be great when he graduates. He is very deserving of the opportunity he has been offered to intern at Cisco."

    His Cisco internship will pay him roughly 3½ times his hourly wage as a part-time student work.

    Okulate isn't sure what lies ahead after graduation in 2017, so he's hopeful the Cisco opportunity will help bring clarity to that decision heading into his senior year. If he impresses his Cisco supervisors, it could lay the groundwork for a job offer.

    "I really want an intense experience," he said. "There are so many things I have to think about."

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