When Ailohi Izirein was a child, he had a passion for designing cars and would routinely tell his parents that he was going to be an architect of car design when he got older. Now, over a decade later, just having completed his first year at MSU, he’s one step closer to that dream. Transferring from Eastern Michigan University to MSU, Ailohi quickly immersed himself in Spartan culture by maintaining a 3.85 GPA and seeking membership in a number of organizations and programs, namely The Summer Research Opportunities Program or SROP.
“Being in the SROP program has helped me out with so much as it relates to professionalism. This program has taught me a great deal about networking, the benefits of graduate school, and how to present my research in front of audiences, big or small.” Ailohi said. “There were a lot of things that I did not know before joining this program and learning all of it is making me a more competitive candidate for graduate school and other opportunities.”
SROP is an initiative of The Graduate School at MSU that aims to expand the number of students from underrepresented backgrounds that pursue graduate studies and research careers. Through intensive research experiences and opportunities for close interaction with MSU faculty mentors, students in the program will be prepared for the rigor that they will face in graduate school and beyond.
Before becoming a member of SROP, Ailohi had admitted that he did have some reservations about applying. “I’m not the most confident guy in the world, so I did have reservations, but I felt like I had to be a part of SROP,” Ailohi said. “I knew that this program would benefit me in the future and provide me with skills that will assist me in my professional journey.”
Ailohi studies Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Biomedical Engineering and plans to work in the automotive industry or the biomedical field creating prosthetics. He wants to help improve the standard of living by creating more electrical vehicles and eliminating pollution. Additionally, Ailohi would like to return to his hometown of Ypsilanti and assist his community. “I want to be able to do something to help my community,” Ailohi said. “Whether that’s going back to my hometown to start a STEM program for underrepresented students when I’m financially able or something else, I want to be able to contribute in some way.”
For students considering applying for SROP, Ailohi has the following advice: “Don’t be afraid to do it, no matter what your GPA is. This program is proactive in making sure that you’re a viable candidate for any graduate program while making sure that you’re on track to be the greatest professional that you can be.”