The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Growing into her skills at the UI

A graduating international student reflects on her time on campus.
Contributed, Photo by Abu Hurairah

Perched on her seat, University of Iowa senior Nadzreen Syakilah Ahmad Nadzri thoroughly examines the résumé of a prospective student next to her.

As a career peer adviser in the Pomerantz Career Center, Ahmad Nadzri affects the future for many of UI students. In Ahmad Nadzri’s case, she said, many of the students here have affected her future.

Originally from Malaysia, Ahmad Nadzri had the opportunity to study in the United States after receiving a scholarship from her high school. She said she decided to attend the UI based on the business program, calling it “one of the best in the country.”

While transitioning into a new country, she said she learned how to move out of her comfort zone by participating in activities.

She has served as the head of finance for the UI Society for Human Resource Management, a member of the International Student Advisory Board, and the recruitment head for the Mortar Board Staff and Circle.

She said the one organization in particular that helped her adjust to the United States was the Global Engagement Student Advisory Board.

“Before I got into Tippie, I was not having as many friends as I do now. In the Global Engagement Student Advisory Board, we’ve planned numerous events and activities,” Ahmad Nadzri said. “When I was on the board, they’ve already planned what to do. They’ve partnered an international student with the local student, and we learned about each other for the whole semester. That’s where I’ve met some of my friends.”

Ahmad Nadzri said she was very grateful for the experience, especially with cultural barriers standing in the way.

“I was not really good at English. There was also a difference in culture,” she said. “I did not live in a residence hall. It’s really hard to get involved and make friends. I was very shy. After entering Tippie, they’ve created a welcoming environment.”

UI junior Marcus Smith, a fellow adviser at Pomerantz, said he highly enjoys having Ahmad Nadzri around.

“She really cares about [the students] and wants what’s best for them,” Smith said. “I remember in the beginning of the semester, she was the one who trained me on the job. She did a great job helping me learn the ropes of the career center.”

UI junior Brianne Holtkamp, another adviser at the career center, said she admires Ahmad Nadzri’s attitude.

“She’s always the first one to jump up and be like, ‘Don’t worry, I got it,’ with a walk-in student,” she said. “She’s just a great person because she has a huge amount of empathy for everyone and has this caring nature that makes her a good employee.”

After she graduates on Saturday with a bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management, Ahmad Nadzri said she plans to go back to Malaysia. She’s open to any opportunities, though she wants to work her way up to her dream job — being a management consultant.

Ahmad Nadzri urged any incoming international students to take advantage of the opportunities in the United States.

“Focus on your studies, but try to make as many memories as you can,” she said. “You’re going to appreciate how much you’ve grown.”

Although she will leave the country soon, Ahmad Nadzri said she won’t forget the effect Iowa has left on her.

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About the Contributor
Sarah Stortz
Sarah Stortz, Arts Editor
Twitter: @sstortz_
Sarah Stortz is an Arts Editor at The Daily Iowan. She has been on staff since her freshman year, previously as a news reporter, digital producer, and arts reporter. She is a senior at the University of Iowa, studying journalism & mass communication with a certificate in nonprofit management and a minor in theatre arts.