CAIR partners with International Oasis for leadership summit


Photo courtesy of Oakland University

CAIR, previously the Host Family Program, aims to provide resources to international students who come to OU to continue their studies.

Joe Zerilli, Campus Editor

Oakland University International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) teamed up with International Oasis to host a leadership summit on Sept. 24 as part of OU’s Creating American-International Relationships (CAIR) program.

CAIR, previously the Host Family Program, aims to provide resources to international students who come to OU to continue their studies. International Oasis (IO) shares similar ideals and sees international students at OU as potential world leaders.

“IO is very appreciative of the partnership with OU’s ISSO department,” James Abraham from IO said. “Together, we will positively impact the trajectory of every international student at OU.”

“We see future CEOs, government officials and other leaders of society coming out of this group of international students that attend OU,” he said. “With that in mind, we wanted to help them identify the hidden leadership qualities in them, and that is why we hosted this event.”

Most of the day was centered on leadership training, with general introductions and a small training session on cultural awareness. The summit was led by Tina Black — an author, public speaker and leadership coach.

“She did an outstanding job spending the whole day with the students, explaining seven steps to be a successful leader based on her book ‘Be Amazing,’” Abraham said.

“I think she was an ideal fit for the event — she exhibited a high level of expertise,” student Afeez Abdulrasak added.

Part of the session included breaking down the word success and using each letter as a guide to leadership. Some of the phrases were: ‘understand your value,’ ‘choose your focus’ and ‘stop making excuses.’

For Noor Ahmed, it was ‘change your channel’ and ‘stop making excuses’ which stood out to him.

“If you see you are spending most of your time or part of your time with people who you do not want to become like, then you should change your channel, you should change yourself, you should change your company,” Ahmed said.

Abdulrasak is an early childhood education major and Ahmed is a computer science major, so being a leader is important to both of their majors — but it also applies to practically every profession.

Abdulrasak said the training will help him understand the environment better, as well as with understanding the differences people have and, “owning the process.” This breaks down to not having to wait for certain things to be discussed, but in general making a 20 second effort.

As for Ahmed, he compared his major to people with the same major at home in India, remarking that the societies are different and how you interact with these societies is important. He also mentioned the three best words you should be saying: “help me out.”

Both said they felt the summit helped increase their knowledge on leadership and can see themselves as a leader in the future. Ahmed said he found out what his own strengths and potentials are, and even areas in his personality which were ignored.

“Learning is a continuous thing and you need to start from somewhere,” Abdulrasak said. “With the training, it’s a process that has placed me on the good standard to be a global leader.”

All together, the summit was well-received, and both IO and ISSO put on an important event for those in attendance.