From Student to Staff: Ebi Olodiama Shares Her Passion for Marist with Prospective Students
When a Marist College Admissions Counselor came to Ebi Olodiama’s high school school in Nigeria, she was impressed by his eloquent pitch about the college’s academic offerings and internship opportunities but especially by the pictures he showed her of the campus.
Olodiama felt confident that Marist would be her school and she was accepted. The first time she stepped foot on campus would be on her first day of school in Aug. 2014. Driving in with her friends, she saw the wonder in their eyes as they all saw the campus for the first time. Despite her own excitement, she felt scared as she approached this new experience.
Five years later, Olodiama remains a part of the Marist community and works as a graduate assistant in the Admission Office.
What was your favorite part of your student experience at Marist?
I loved the dining. That, to me, was like a getaway point. Me and my friends would always go to the dining hall. We could spend three hours in the dining hall. That’s where we would relax, talk about how much our classes are fun or annoying or whatever.
The classes were really nice. I loved my classes and I loved my professors. They were very nice people. I can’t say I had one professor that was annoying. My classes were interactive–I’m not trying to be a person who is selling Marist now. This is really true.
What made you want to stay involved in the Marist community after graduation?
I’ve always been involved on this campus. I used to brag as an [undergraduate] that almost everybody knows me on campus. I would usually be the first person in the library and the last person out of the library, even though I didn’t work there. I was on the board of Mon Afrique, a show that showcases African students on campus. I was always their host for the four years I was here. I was a tour guide, a peer mentor.
I was always involved on campus because I loved it so much and then when I graduated, I got a job, but I missed Marist so much...it felt like home. I got a job in the city, but it didn’t feel good the way Marist did. Marist was home. Marist was peaceful. I was away from my family and my friends. Marist was the next closest thing to family to me. I had to think of a way to come back on campus, so I got a job at Admissions and started going to [graduate] school here.
So I asked you what your favorite part about being a student was. What is your favorite part of this role?
Just meeting prospective students and seeing them. Every time I tell them about my experience or why they should come to Marist, I see their faces light up. It’s something I could never trade because I remember having that same expression when somebody told me about Marist College...watching students have that feeling is to die for.
What are the next steps of your career, or where would you see yourself in five years?
In the next five years, I have two things...one, I am thinking about going for my Ph.D. in political science because I love politics and I just studied African politics, so maybe I will be doing that. Or, I could decide by January to go back home. It’s time to go back home, and I’m planning on starting my own business. Like I said, I’ve always loved politics. I went home this past time and I saw how much the political system is really evolving, so I really want to get my hand into politics.