Alumna Spotlight - Temi Obaisi DRC'15
Each day, Temi Obaisi DRC’15 uses her interdisciplinary skills, talents, and interests to keep people connected.
Obaisi is a product developer at Xfinity Mobile, a division of Comcast, where she works on managing the end-to-end delivery of new wireless service functionality for cell phones. Obaisi works on all phases of the production launch, from design and user experience to marketing.
“Access to communication and technology is so important these days,” said Obaisi. “So managing the whole process, especially on a product that can really help impact people’s lives, is amazing.”
At Douglass, Obaisi was a business analytics and information technology major, a unique discipline that studies the intersection of computer science, statistics, and finance. A large part of Obaisi’s work at Xfinity Mobile implements these skills to expand access to wireless services.
“I specifically work on products and features that expand eligibility, meaning that people who have difficulty obtaining or affording wireless service for a variety of reasons can still access what has become a really vital service,” she said. “There are lot of ways we can get people connected.”
While her work at Xfinity focuses on connecting people through technology, Obaisi forged valuable inter-community social connections between Douglass women of all backgrounds. A dual citizen of Nigeria and Britain, Obaisi became involved in the international student community during her time at the College. In fact, when touring colleges, the strength of this multicultural community prompted her to choose the University.
“On the bus during an orientation, I heard at least four or five languages being spoken,” Obaisi recalled. “After moving to America, I had grown up in an area with little diversity. So when I looked around on the bus that day, I knew I wanted to be in such an inclusive environment.”
Throughout her time at the College, her passion for connecting students from all over the world continued. As the founder of an international student organization, Obaisi helped students across the College find those with similar experiences. Some of her best Douglass memories are the cooking classes the group would hold at Dean Litt’s residence, where the students would take over the kitchen for the night. Students from across the world would bond, demonstrating culinary techniques from home and gathering to share a meal.
“Initially, I didn’t realize the impact that diversity and inclusion had on my personal development,” she said. “At Douglass, the things that make you different and unique are valued.”
In her spare time, Obaisi volunteers with the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) in Philadelphia, an organization that offers all types of assistance to those arriving in America, including housing, legal services, asylum applications, and more. A mentor to many, Obaisi works with folks seeking employment to build professional development skills. She also goes grocery shopping for new families and cooks first “welcome home” meals.
“When I first moved to Philly, I wanted to be closer to family,” she said. “But I also wanted to get more involved in something that’s passionate for me.”
For Douglass students, Obaisi offers some valuable advice:
“Explore all that’s out there! Douglass does a great job with professional organizations and opportunities, but the College also offers programs to expand your knowledge outside the classroom,” she said. “It’s not just about learning material, it’s about learning how to learn, how to adapt to new situations, and how to be excellent in a diversity of environments. The end goal is not just to get an A in a certain type of content, it’s to gain something even more substantial.”
Obaisi has given back to Douglass in a variety of ways. In addition to speaking at the Christiana Foglio DC’84 Douglass Career Conference, she and a fellow alumna recently launched a new scholarship fund with the goal of supporting underrepresented Douglass students in the business school. The College is grateful for the many alumnae like Obaisi who know the value of making meaningful connections both inside and outside the College.