Success Stories

Networking pays off for student

Ferris Jumah

For senior statistics major Ferris Jumah, taking advantage of all the resources Grand Valley has to offer has paid off in many ways.

During his time at Grand Valley, Jumah completed six internships that spanned the arenas of accounting and statistics. His most recent internship was at the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn, helping to make web advertisements more relevant.

Jumah, originally from Chicago, began at Grand Valley as an accounting and finance major but switched to statistics after encouragement from his professors that it was never too late to change. “It might have taken me longer to graduate but it pays off when I wake up every day looking forward to class or work,” he said.

Jumah acquired his most recent internship at LinkedIn through networking on the website. During summer 2011, he served as a data mining analytics intern at the company’s Mountain View, California, headquarters. Upon completion of the internship, he was offered a full-time position with the company as an associate data scientist after graduation in April.

Jumah said he plans to work for LinkedIn for a couple years before pursuing a doctoral degree in statistics.

“He is an outstanding example of a student who has made smart and savvy decisions when it comes to building his career,” said Megan Riksen, assistant director for Career Services at Grand Valley.

Jumah said the most important thing students can do is put themselves out there. “There are a lot of little things you can do that people don’t realize in their efforts to get an internship or job,” he said.

Jumah worked hard to tailor his resume to fit each specific company, utilized his networks, and put himself in the right places. “Grand Valley has a valuable set of resources that students often don’t take advantage of, but when you do it really pays off,” he said.

Jumah is involved in the Grand Valley Social Network research group, as well as Sigma Pi fraternity. “A lot of my speaking and leadership ability has come from my involvement in Sigma Pi,” he said. “I felt more comfortable interviewing and networking. It was a drastic change for me.”

by Jessica Hines

This story was filed with the tags: Chicago, Internships