Born in Uyo, Nigeria, Mbuotidem Ime Isaac ’15 spent most of his life growing up in the country’s capital, Abuja. His decision to pursue higher education came only after a nomination from the United States Achievement Program. Before Isaac came to the Hill, he had never left his home country; up until this past June, he had gone nearly two years without visiting home. A communication major and possible French minor, Isaac will spend his junior year in Paris with Hamilton’s program in France. During the summer he worked in the College’s Information Technology Services (ITS).
“My family had some financial problems, so I paused [my schooling]. My brother worked [at an information technology company], so he put me in a minor position there as a messenger. In my spare time I would play with the computers. Basically I learned how to use operating systems like Linux.”
“I came to Hamilton because I just got the feeling that the community is caring. I applied to several colleges. I would email students whose names were on their websites — maybe students who were heads of clubs, organizations or just students that the colleges suggested.
There was a student [at Hamilton] called Jessica Brown, who was head of the Capoeira Club on campus. Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art form and I really wanted to learn that so I was emailing her and we just hit it off. I felt comfortable with her, and she answered all of my other questions about Hamilton. I didn’t get that from any other college.”
“[Leaving Nigeria] was something that I had kind of prepared for, because nowadays the world is so globalized that you can pretty much have a good idea of how things are in other countries. It was still a huge change leaving home. It was difficult the first few months. What really helped was that I was in a dorm with a lot of other international students. We were all sharing the awkwardness and the new life together.”
“I cannot envision doing anything else with my life apart from working in the information technology sector. It’s just become my thing. Whenever my friends have computer trouble, they come to me, and they ask for advice and I sort them through. I think it’s the fact that there’s always something new to learn.”
“I think home is where you make your living. It’s also where you have a reasonable number of friends that you feel comfortable with and you can confide in, and also home is where you miss if you’re away for a little while. I’m pretty sure I will miss Hamilton [when I leave].”