Intern of the Year
In April, supervisors nominate an intern from their area that exhibited outstanding growth, initiative, leadership and impact during the year. Office leadership reviews the nominations and chooses the Intern of the Year, which is announced at our end-of-year program. Read more about the latest recipient below and view past recipients.
Michael Eze, 2020-21
The University of Idaho provides many opportunities for students from across the globe. Michael Eze came to U of I at the age of sixteen seeking that Vandal Pride and has continuously demonstrated his ability to face any challenge head on.
Michael is currently a third-year double majoring in Management Information Systems and Operations Management and has actively involved himself in various clubs and programs across campus. He is currently part of the Student Alumni Relations Board, works as a Campus Tour Guide, and was part of the 2020 Homecoming Committee as Alumni Chair. He is also part of the African Students Association (ASA), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and a Vandal Wellbeing Ambassador.
His current supervisor, Rachel Otto, and Michael first crossed paths through the Dinner in a U.S. Home program that was available through the University at that time. Michael, originally from Abuja, Nigeria, participated in the program that allows for international students to engage with the Moscow community via a dinner. Rachel and her husband also chose to partake in the opportunity and were impressed by Michael’s politeness by the time the dinner ended.
“If I got the chance to meet his parents, I would thank them for raising him so well,” said Rachel with such amazement.
During his sophomore year Michael had worked as a Resident Assistant for housing before applying for an internship that he found on LinkedIn. After going through the interview process Michael accepted the position to be the Co-op Program Intern at Career Services.
The Co-op Program, otherwise known as Cooperative Education, is an education model where students get the opportunity to alternate from school to full-time employment and take on real projects scaled for their level of skill. Michael has tackled an array of difficult projects such as processing data from Handshake to show insightful trends and help grow the program. He has repeatedly demonstrated his capability and work ethic by being adaptable to any project thrown at him such as having to transition a big showcase event into a virtual event. His efforts do not go unnoticed and contribute immensely to the office.
“He is one of the most motivated and focused and involved students,” said Rachel. “I very much appreciated his professionalism.”
Throughout his time at U of I, Michael has been awarded multiple awards including the Commitment to Success Award, the African Student Association Award, the Anjum Sadiq Memorial Scholarship Endowment, and the Outstanding Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior student of the year. Aside from the many awards he has collected, Michael has also managed to make a huge impression throughout campus as he continues to stay involved.
“He’s always the first one to volunteer for something, to provide feedback, to help our team grow.” Assistant Director of Campus Visits, Danae Nagle, spoke on the experience of watching Michael represent the University as a Campus Tour Guide. “He’s just a really great asset to the University as a student worker.”
Michael contributes his successes heavily to his family who continuously support him even from such a far distance. Michael especially highlights how his mom plays a huge impact in his life.
“Without her I don’t think I would be here today,” Michael simply said. “She always gives me a lot of good advice…I always go back to her every time for good advice.”
Michael has plans to return in Fall 2021 and has a summer internship with Micron Technology at their Boise Headquarters as an Audit Analytics Intern with the Risks Advisory Services Team. Advice that Michael could provide for future students is to remember that it’s important to put yourself out there.
In his own words Michael advised, “Putting yourself in a different environment, trying to get the most out of your experience, and take a step back if it is not for you. Always ask questions and never hold back on your goals.”