Charlotte, N.C./March 27, 2023 – Growing up in Zimbabwe, Johnson C. Smith University Information Systems Engineering student Tinotenda Musingarimi ’25 had trouble accessing technology.
“I had to travel five to seven miles to an internet café to get a stable internet connection when I was in high school,” he said. “I know how difficult it was for me to access those standard materials. That is why my long-term goal is develop IT solutions for underserved communities to close that technology gap between privileged societies and underserved ones.”
Musingarimi knows that a bright future is built on hard work and determination, which is why he is seeking out opportunities to network and build his skills in the IT field.
To find opportunities in his field of study, Musingarimi stays involved on campus. He has been a member of the Debate Team and serves as the president of Alpha Lambda Delta, a first-year student honor society.
He also interns in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness where he provides IT solutions to faculty, staff and students around campus.
Outside of Johnson C. Smith University, Musingarimi stays active on LinkedIn and Handshake, two professional platforms that help connect potential interns and employees to opportunities that can change their career trajectory.
“I’m constantly receiving emails from recruiters,” he said. “I found most of my opportunities on Handshake and applied. The application process is usually very competitive and selective, so very few applicants are chosen.”
His first recent opportunity came in early March when he attended the Morgan Stanley 2023 Early Insights Program in New York City.
Morgan Stanley is a multinational investment management and financial services company.
During the event, Musingarimi was able to network with students from Ivy League schools like MIT and Harvard as well as a student from Wake Forest University.
But Musingarimi says the most valuable part of his trip was learning more about Morgan Stanley from the people who were already working there.
“They briefed us about their departments, what they do, Morgan Stanley’s culture and their tremendous efforts toward diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Musingarimi. “The main lesson I took from this was the interview techniques. They were able to tell us where we needed to fine tune our technical and behavioral skills.”
After returning, he learned he had been accepted into another program, the Viterbi Graduate STEP Workshop. He will travel to the University of Southern California (USC) campus in Los Angeles in late April to participate in the two-day workshop.
During the program, Musingarimi will have the opportunity to learn more about USC’s master’s and doctoral degree programs while exploring exciting research opportunities and meeting world-class faculty.
Musingarimi said that his college experience hasn’t been easy, and there were times he seriously contemplating dropping out.
He credits Keisha Wilson, registrar at JCSU, and his professors for counseling him through those difficult days and encouraging him to keep his eyes on his goal of bridging the digital divide.
“A wise man once said that life is like a book,” he said. “What message is being drawn from your book? What inspiration, what light is this book conveying in society? Is this book making society a better place as people read through its pages? I would like to thank the James B. Duke Endowment, New Seasons Youth Program and Johnson C. Smith University for the support and for giving me a platform to spread my wings and to write my own story.”