At UAT, we are proud of our exceptional students. Every year our graduates impress the world as they go on to become respected innovators in their fields. One such person is Yasmin Nejad, a UAT alumni who graduated with not just one, but three degrees! Yasmin share her experience and insight with us, as she gets ready to continue her education in a master's degree program.
Tell us more about you… where are you from, what are your interests?
My name is Yasmin Moftakharikhalilinejad (Yasmin Nejad). I was born in Tehran, Iran. I earned my first degree in Software Engineering in 2013. I immigrated to San Jose, CA, one week after I graduated. I recently became a U.S. citizen in August 2019. I graduated from UAT with 2 other degrees in ACS – Advancing Computer Science and BT – Business Technology, in December 2019.
As I always love to keep myself updated when it comes to technology. I am actively attending tech-related events and have joined professional campaigns including Girls in Tech and mobile developing contests. My most favorite habit is building mobile applications and watching technological and motivational Ted Talks presenting successful world leaders. I am passionate and committed to ongoing success and never stop exploring.
What made you decide to attend UAT? What did you study and UAT and why did you choose that field?
As California is known as Innovation Land and contains thousands of tech companies including Facebook and Google, I mainly immigrated to the USA to pursue a master’s degree and apply for a professional career in the software engineering industry.
However, it required me to either have the U.S. education or sufficient hands-on experience in the programming field to move on. I looked for schools for a while, until a great friend suggested me to consider UAT as my next tech destination. So, I moved out of CA after receiving the acceptance from UAT.
As UAT is a hands-on tech school and offers accelerated programs, it was the best candidate school for my case. I was looking forward to refreshing my knowledge from my first bachelor's from overseas to move on for my passion. So, as a junior software engineer, I decided to study Advancing Computer Science at UAT to gain real-life experience in coding.
Over time, I became interested in finance, accounting, and business classes, and discovered that UAT offers multiple degree programs for its students with no extension on the graduation date. In addition, during my internship as a Developer and Agile Coach at Arizona Public Service Co. (APS), I learned the business is in high demand and it's a very hot topic when it comes to technology. With the golden advice of the Business Technology Program Chair, Dr. Mark Smith, and Professor Nathan Eskue, and the influence of my amazing leadership team at APS, I was able to confidently add the Business Technology major as the second official degree to my curriculum.
It was the greatest decision I have ever made because now I am an engineer with 3 degrees in Software Engineering, Computer Science, and Business Technology, who has sufficient experience in Computer Science, Developing Web/Mobile/Desktop Applications, Agile Methodology, Project Management, Pitching and Presenting new ideas, Sales Skills, Accounting, and Business. At this point, I basically just need to hire some artists and start my own Tech Software company as an entrepreneur in a few years once I have the budget.
What were some of your proudest moments as a student?
The proudest moments as an honored student at UAT were showcasing my ideas and demonstrating my innovative thoughts in the Mobile/Desktop application scheme. UAT’s supportive faculty and staff taught me how to professionally face the challenges and blockers, and strategically set plans to solve problems while considering the legal issues in Technology to master the victory and accomplish our technological goals.
I am proud to share that I am the 2nd place winner in the Delos Coding Contest for West World in the entire Arizona state in Oct 2019. My idea was designing, building, demonstrating and implementing the usage of Artificial Intelligence in Android Mobile Application. I remember I was debating to join the competition or not for the whole week. I joined the very last 48 hours and worked on my mobile app; spending 48 hours nonstop behind the monitor with absolutely no sleep, and I showed up to the session a few minutes after the faculties started to review the projects... and I had the pleasure to be the 2nd place winner among the competitors in the entire state.
What have you been doing since graduation?
Before graduation, for the last 2 semesters at UAT, I was an IT intern at Arizona Public Service Corporate (APS Co.) as a Microsoft Power Bi Developer and Agile coach for my internship Project (May 2019 - Dec 2019). A few days before graduation, I accepted full-time employment as a Data Integration Analyst at APS. A month after graduation, I got promoted to be an IT Solution Engineer.
Would you recommend UAT to other students, and if yes, why?
I recommend UAT to other students because of the advantages of the accelerated tech degree programs that it offers. Plus, you can't go wrong with the amazing and supportive staff and educated faculty who go above and beyond and invest as much effort as needed for each student to successfully accomplish the projects or technical papers.
What advice do you have for current students?
Work hard in silence, let your success be your noise.
Is there anything you want to add?
Last but foremost, I’m recognized as an individual today, but I would have not reached this level of success without the help of God, my marvelous family and the significant professors' and friends' encouragement. Thanks to God who always supported me in difficult times. Mentally you have to be very strong to achieve something. There were many ups and downs, but with the grace of God every time I was able to choose the right path.
I would like to take a minute and thank my amazing family, especially my remarkable parents, and my wonderful sister Negin, supportive mentor/faculties, fabulous leaders, and great friends for their support and encouragement throughout the years.
There are no better words to use today than "thank you," Mom and Dad. You have given me the greatest gift of all: an education, the best legacy that parents can pass on to their child. Thank you so much for believing in me. You are the best parents in the world, and I owe my success to you. Words alone are not enough capable to express how fortunate and grateful I am for such supportive parents. I couldn't have made it without your support to this point. Please know how much I appreciate everything you have done for me! It's just the beginning though, I am sure I will have years of success ahead of me with your love and inspiration to celebrate.
Dear Mom and Dad, I feel so honored and blessed to have you as my parents and want to express my gratitude for your care and support over the years. Thank you for instilling me with a strong passion for learning and for doing everything possible to put me on the path to greatness. I will never forget the important values you have passed down to me —particularly perseverance and honesty. Words cannot describe how important you are to me.
Seeing what a great impact Yasmin's parents have had on her and her quest for knowledge, we asked them how they felt about her education. They said:
Nowadays, education and enhancing the knowledge level is essential for our lives. Basically, higher education is the key to the success bridge. The impact of higher education is absolutely perceptible and would provide guaranteed peace and wealthy life in the future for the younger generation as they work hard to pursue their proficiency.
It's such an honor and recognition when you reach a certain point of proficiency in your career to serve your country as a doctor, lawyer or engineer. Education is important enough to shape and figure our personalities.
I am proud of my self-motivated daughter, Yasmin, because she dedicated her effort towards her success and passion to earn 3 bachelor's degrees in the highest demand majors and never would stop learning and exploring. She just got accepted for graduate school in Information Technology Management while working full time as an IT Engineer. I wish my beloved daughter the best because she is my wish that came true.
Written by Lisha Dunlap
Sr. PR Assoc., Media & Influencer Relations at University of Advancing Technology