All students at the University of Tennessee at Martin come from different backgrounds, but Samba Diop's background is particularly unique. Samba was born in Carbondale, Ill., and when he was only a few months old, his family moved back to Senegal, Africa. Having spent most of his life in Senegal, Samba decided to venture to the United States to further pursue his education. At age 16, Samba moved to Memphis where he lived with some family friends and attended Houston High School in Germantown.
Upon graduating from high school, Samba began to explore his options for college. He took both UT Martin and the University of Memphis into consideration, but discovered that UT Martin was the better fit because of its small size and the quieter rural setting. Of the university, Samba said, "Anything you need, people are there to help you. I really liked that. And the campus is really nice, and everything is in walking distance."
In between studying and classes, Samba participated in intramural soccer and the Phi Chi Theta business fraternity. Samba was also an originator of the Muslim Students Association, which, as of fall 2011, is an official student organization. The Muslim Students Association performs service projects, eats together and prays together. Currently, the organization is planning a field trip. Since several of the members are not originally from the United States, the field trip will give the participating students an opportunity to see more of the country.
Having earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from UT Martin, Samba has started his first semester in the Master of Business Administration program. "I think it will give me an edge," Samba says. "Like if I want to be a business analyst, I have to know some about computers, but I will also need to understand business and how it works."
While working on his undergraduate degree, he focused his attention on information systems. In particular, his computer science courses were his favorite UT Martin classes. When he finishes school, Samba said he would like to, "work in America for a few years to get experience and then go back home [to Senegal]." Samba misses his six siblings and would eventually like to be closer to his family. Currently, the business market in Senegal is beginning to grow with more international companies opening branches in the area, including Google. Samba believes that his business degrees and experience here will make him more competitive when he is ready to find a job in Senegal.
As for now, Samba can be found working for UT Martin's Instructional Technology Center. He really enjoys his job at ITC where he works to help keep Blackboard and the university's website up-to-date.