Profile: Shaz Akram
When Shaz Akram came to MSU in 2002 to pursue an MBA with a minor in finance, she never envisioned being here in 2008. The Nigerian-born Pakistani had earned bachelor's degrees in economics and French and a master's degree in English literature in Pakistan and appeared destined for a career in public service.
After a brief stint in Washington, D.C., however, she soon found herself back in Starkville working in international relations, and when her office was merged with student affairs, she was named assistant director for the Holmes Cultural Diversity Center. There, she discovered a calling far from her education in finance and economics.
Drawing on her experiences as an international student and her fluency in seven languages, Akram helps international students navigate the many logistical and cultural hurdles that come with studying in a foreign country, as well as lending them an ear when they face challenges.
"What I do is totally unrelated to my degree, but I truly enjoy working with students and it gives me so much joy being able to help them," she says. "At the end of the day, to know I helped someone is the greatest feeling in the world."
Next week … Jeremiah Dumas !