Global Staff Spotlight: Meet Michael Shurer

Michael Shurer is the assistant director for SEVIS Compliance in the Office of International Services (OIS), a unit within the Office of Global Engagement. The assistant director for SEVIS Compliance serves as the functional manager of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) data compliance for NC State. He leads data management and integrity efforts to ensure compliance with federal regulations associated with SEVIS and provides statistical information for the university and related off-campus entities. 

What made you choose this field of work as a career?

I have always been interested in all things international. I began undergrad with a major in Spanish. Not knowing much about what I could do with a degree in Spanish, I added international politics and international relations as additional majors. That added to my hunger for different cultures, so I decided to add another major – French. After graduating, I still was not sure what I wanted to do with those degrees, so I explored other options. That led me to join NC State’s international studies program with a concentration in international higher education. 

What do you like most about working in the Office of International Services?

Good question. It depends on the time of year. Jobs and roles in OIS can vary. What I am doing this week will be different than what I’m doing next week or the week after. However, there are constants. I like working with the students, interacting with my coworkers and generally feeling that I am contributing to NC State. I am an NC State fan, through and through. I believe in what NC State is and what it represents. I enjoy helping people who want to learn to be able to learn at a place that I like and support. 

How would you describe your job to someone who is interested in your field of work?

My job specifically is a little more data-heavy than others in the field or in OIS. A lot of people get into this field to be an international student and scholar advisor and help international students. While I like that and I get a lot from those interactions, my job is a little broader. I am responsible for data reporting and compliance. That responsibility includes a lot of spreadsheets, databases, systems and queries. I don’t think that it detracts from the way that I view myself in the field; it doesn’t mean that I am not helping people because I’m not interacting one-on-one with them. I think that for someone looking to do what I do, they have to have a broader idea of what it means to work in international education. 

It’s not the one-on-one conversation, it is more macro than that. It is making sure that not just one student or one academic department is optimizing their time at NC State, but it is making sure that everyone benefits. This is done by making sure that the advisors in OIS have all of the resources that they need to advise and making sure that students who may have forgotten regulations are reminded of them at times when they need to. I like to measure success in my job, not by the number of people that I see, but in times when I am not really interacting with people. That means that I have done my job. It means that students, advisors and academic departments all have the resources that they need.

Learn more about the Office of International Services.