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OUT OF AFRICA: STUDENT WORKER SUPERSTARS IN BUSINESS SERVICES OFFICE


It’s a big world out there, but here at the University of Houston, we attract the best and the brightest. Although Samuel Holmes and Abraham Tadesse had both made their way from Africa to the University of Houston, their paths had never crossed until they entered the doors of the Business Services offices. The two began their positions as student workers in February 2011 and have since gained high praises from the staff for their hard work and great attitudes.

“When we first interviewed Abe and Sam, we were almost sure we found the right work study students for our department..and we were right beyond all expectations!” said Peggy Levy, UH Policies and Procedures Coordinator. “If Abe and Sam do not know about a subject or process, they find out quickly and perform it flawlessly.”

Tadesse, an accounting junior, was born in Ethiopa and came to Houston in 2004, attending middle and high school here. Holmes, a supply chain and logistic technology senior, joined the Houston population several years later in 2007 as an international student from Liberia. Both applied for the jobs after discovering the positions online.

“It’s a good opportunity that I got this job because it relates to my major,” said Tadesse. “It’s showing me what I can expect in a job.”

Tadesse and Holmes are responsible for office coordinator duties in the Business Services department. Their duties range from placing orders, creating vouchers and shipping contracts to purchasing office supplies and scanning documents. Holmes said this position has shown him a different side of business and has also given him valuable shipping and distribution experience.

“I’m not only learning in class, but I’m coming to work and applying what has been taught to me. It’s preparing us for the work force,” Holmes said.

The Business Services department is located on the Energy Research Park campus in Building 2 a few blocks away from the main campus, where Tadesse said they have had the opportunity to meet many people that are “behind the scenes” at the university.

“It’s good to be over here and meet the people that are important and kind of running the university. It’s cool to see them and meet them and know their background,” Tadesse said.

Outside of his position, Tadesse is also a member of the Houston Students of Ethiopians and Eritreans. He is currently campaigning to become treasurer of the group. He said this year is going to be a busy year for their organization because they will be hosting the national convention for students from all over North America. He also loves to play soccer and hopes to make the intramural team at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center this year.

Holmes came to UH from Lone Star College where he received a two-year degree. He is currently holding the office of vice president for Supply Chain Industrial Distribution Organization-SIDO based out of the College of Technology, and is also a member of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals. He is sponsored this year by the Houston CSCMP Roundtable Chapter and will be the only student from Houston to attend the CSCMP 2011 Global Conference in Philadelphia. He is also one of the first graduates of the Cougar Leadership Institute.

Holmes is the former Lone Star College men’s number one ranked tennis player and former five time Liberia national junior tennis champion. He is working on starting his own organization for at-risk children in Liberia called the Holmes Tennis and Education Foundation (www.holmestennisfoundation.org).

“I wanted to give back to kids that I grew up with in the community and help them by providing after school programs to teach them leadership. I want to use my experiences from over here in the U.S. to help them become leaders in their community,” Holmes said.

Holmes and Tadesse have been welcome additions to the Administration and Finance family as well as strong examples of Cougar excellence at the University of Houston. The staff in Business Services appreciates the great contributions the two student workers have made in their department.

“Abe and Sam have been with Business Services for seven months, and they have been hard workers since day one,” said Diane Lyons-Sylvester, Financial Coordinator for Business Services. “They are always lending a hand, giving support, are very helpful and always sharing knowledgeable information. These are two great guys who are very intelligent, excelling in school and work. A&F’s Business Services has been graced with two of the best student workers here at the university and we are proud to call them ours. Abe and Sam – Keep up the good work and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being a part of our team!”