Student Community Spotlight: MCIT Online Student Association
Getting involved in student life is an important part of graduate school. But when your fellow students live all over the world and connections are fully remote, it can be tricky to figure out how to engage.
That’s where the MCIT Online Student Association (MOSA) comes in. Created by students in 2019 shortly after MCIT Online launched, the student-led group builds a strong online community through a variety of academic, professional, and social programs and events.
This year, for example, the organization led a series of coding challenges on LeetCode, giving students an opportunity to tackle common problems in computer science. In collaboration with MCIT Online faculty, MOSA also hosted two live events focused on current and future challenges posed by AI advances in technology. In the past, the group has presented hackathons, podcasts about technical and career issues, and a mental health series.
As one of MOSA’s leaders put it, “We work tirelessly to bridge the geographical gaps between students all over the world with the help of the MCIT admin team.”
For students who participate in MOSA-led events and programs, the benefits include an enhanced sense of community, stronger technical skills, and a broader understanding of the CS field. For students who get involved as group leaders and committee members, the benefits go even further.
“MCIT Online is a melting pot of cultures and nationalities, and getting involved in a student association is the right way to engage with it,” said one MOSA leader. “I was able to network professionally, make friends, take part in events and make contributions to the student community.”
As another MOSA leader put it, “I started working for MOSA my first semester, and I plan to keep working until I graduate. All of my friends are from MOSA. MOSA basically defined my graduate school experience.”
MOSA has several committees devoted to various aspects of the student experience. For example, the Entrepreneurship and Jobs Committee offers career-focused workshops and programs, while the Fellowship Committee promotes social events and mentoring opportunities. Several other committees focus on specific issues in the tech world, such as Bridging the Ethnic Divide in Tech and Gender Diversity in Computation.
“MOSA members develop organizational skills and learn how to negotiate with different stakeholders, including professors,” a group leader said. “In addition, creating events for our peers means being able to listen to the needs of a community and plan initiatives tailored for a specific public.”
In addition to hosting programs and events, MOSA advocates for students by serving as a liaison with the Penn Engineering faculty and administration.For more information about the MCIT Online Student Association, visit MOSA’s website.