"I just try to be involved on campus and reach out to people."
Emmanuel Tshimoa’s dorm room doubled as his office last semester. The physics and computer science major attended classes, worked as a Resident Advisor, and served on the Student Senate, all while completing an internship with IBM.
Emmanuel came to Illinois College from his native Congo with plans to become an electrical engineer. He discovered an interest in computer science and decided to add a major. While the course work is challenging, it also prepared him to pursue a rigorous internship opportunity with IBM.
Every couple of weeks, Emmanuel received documents full of raw data to analyze.  Emmanuel worked remotely with an IBM team to analyze data and develop improvement plans. During this time, Emmanuel relied on his statistics and probability studies, as well as his experience as a data analyst assistant with on-campus institutional research.
The internship could feel daunting at times, but Emmanuel says that his various experiences on campus helped him “feel comfortable going after everything I want to do in my life.” He experienced culture shock during his first semester, but a caring RA advised Emmanuel to get involved on campus.
Emmanuel followed this advice and soon became a passionate advocate for students. As Chairman of the Senate Student Life Committee, he works closely with the Office of Residential Life to improve quality of life for on campus. Emmanuel is now in his second year as an RA and enjoys creating a community of students in the residence halls. He also makes a special effort to reach out to international students to share his positive experiences, so they can feel confident pursuing their goals in an unfamiliar environment.

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