Alumna Spotlight | Oyinkansola Amusa, M.S. Bioinformatics'19
"I chose Hood College because of the small community atmosphere. You get to have one-on-one relationship with each of your teachers and advisor"
Oyinkansola "Honey" Amusa, M.S. Bioinformatics'19
- Bioinformatics (M.S.)
Honey Amusa is a Hood College Bioinformatics alumna originally from Nigeria who currently works as an AWS Cloud Engineer.
Could you please share your educational and career background?
I studied Nursing as my undergraduate degree and worked for a while before I decided that it was time for a career change. I applied for my master’s degree in Bioinformatics at Hood College as I thought that was really what I needed to further my career opportunities.
While in the Bioinformatics program, I had the opportunity to work at the Frederick regional health system for my Capstone project which exposed me to many career options.
You have just landed an amazing job with as an AWS Cloud Engineer. Could you please tell us more about your position?
I fell in love with the Cloud after graduate school. I believe that even after your school degree, you shouldn't stop learning! I took a lot of courses and pushed myself to become certified in the cloud computing field.
My role as a Cloud/Devops Engineer involves the following:
- Designing and deploying applications on the cloud;
- Identifying and using appropriate cloud services to support applications on the cloud;
- Migrating on-premise applications of the organization to the cloud;
- Maintaining the usage of cloud services and implementing cost-saving strategies
As an international student, how hard was your job search? Do you have any advice for F-1 students who are currently looking for employment?
It was not easy but with persistence and hard work I was able to make my way. I got countless rejections, some due to my F1 student status, others due to lack of expertise in areas I needed to improve upon. I never stopped learning and taking advice from those ahead in the field despite the challenges I encountered.
My advice for F1 students currently looking for a job would be: "Relax, never give up, keep learning, keep creating the right connections, don't look down on yourself.”
I say this because you will get rejected many times. However let that fuel your drive. One day you will look back and see that it is all worth it. A good company will recognize your true skills and not judge you by your visa status. But until then, you have a lot of learning to do!
What is your advice for F-1 students when it comes to the OPT process?
Before your job offer, always let employers know that you are on OPT (optional practical training) and inform them of how much limited time you have so they can start the sponsorship process as early as possible.
If you need to extend your OPT to STEM OPT, I strongly recommend doing that 2-3 months before your OPT status expires and check the USCIS website for the required documentation.
In the end, why did you choose Hood College?
I chose Hood College because of the small community atmosphere. You get to have one-on-one relationship with each of your teachers and advisor. Everyone is friendly and they make time for you. Also, I have learned a great deal about team collaboration and communication which help me to this day.