Faiza Mah

Intern at Medtronic, Columbia Heights High School, class of 2019

STUDENT STORIES

Faiza Mah is no stranger to life transitions – to their uncertainties, to their opportunities, to their lessons. Four years ago, Faiza emigrated from Yemen to Minnesota with her family. She spoke Somali and Arabic, but not English. Bright and determined, Faiza taught herself English through summer school and online videos. Fast forward to her junior year of high school, Faiza learned about Genesys Works, and knowing she was well-equipped for the challenge, she jumped at the opportunity to continue growing and learning.

At Medtronic, Faiza is a member of the Implementation Team. In this role, she’s excelled on a number of different projects including the critical and arduous job of moving information from a legacy system to a new server, as well as verifying site contacts and address information.

Faiza, though, is more than an all-star Medtronic intern and team member. She’s a Genesys Works Student Ambassador, which means she’s tasked – trusted – with helping to recruit students from her school community, with sharing about her experiences with her classmates, and with embodying the Genesys Works’ essential values.

Faiza graciously set aside some time from her jam-packed schedule to reflect on this exciting and busy past year – how she’s grown personally and professionally, what she has enjoyed most, and, importantly, what’s next for her. Without further ado, here’s Faiza.

What first motivated you to be a part of Genesys Works?

When I was a junior in high school, I saw so many seniors come back from the summer training as totally different people. They become so confident and they had the characteristics of successful people They were really ahead of most people in my school in thinking about their future and where they wanted to be in ten years. At the moment, I know that I wanted to become just like them.

What has been your most memorable moment in Genesys Works?

The most memorable moment in Genesys work was when my program coordinator told me that public speaking is one of my strengths. When she said that, I just looked at her in confusion. I always thought that I never had the potential to stand in front of people, but Genesys Works has changed that. Since summer training, I have been volunteering at many public speaking events, because I realize it truly is a strength of mine now.

Can you describe the internship project you’ve most enjoyed working on and why you’re proud of that accomplishment?

I have been doing a variety of projects, but I really enjoyed working on verifying site contacts and address information, because I was able to reduce the amount of empty locations from 3011 to 1719. I remember when I saw the amount of empty location for the first time I thought I would never finish them, but with strong determination I reduced them in a small amount of time.

Why is it special/important for you to be an intern at Genesys Works? Why are you proud to be a Genesys Works intern?

Genesys Works helps you feel supported. Imagine having people other than your family and friends supporting you and wanting you to succeed in your life! And, not many people can say that they had their own office at age of 16, but Genesys Works made that possible. I am very proud to be a Genesys Works intern because I feel like I am five steps ahead of people of my age, especially with the experience that I have.

What are some of the most valuable lessons you learned through Genesys Works? 

Genesys Works taught to be proud of who I am. I always struggled to know myself and I never knew what my strengths and weaknesses were until I started Genesys Works. I became more open to accepting who I am and began developing myself.

So, we have to ask, what are your plans for the future?

As a first step, I want to get my bachelor’s degree in computer science and business. After that, I’m hoping to get my Ph.D.  in Computer Science or IT, because it has always been my goal since I was a child. I grew up in a family that valued education so much, and for that reason, education has become the second most important thing I value in life, after my family.

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Thank you, Faiza, for sharing your story with us and for all of your hard work. We can’t wait to watch you grow and succeed (even more than you already have)!