In 2010, when I decided to move from Iran to Canada my goal was to graduate with a professional degree from one of the best Canadian universities, and that is why I chose Waterloo! My plan was to close the student chapter of my life after graduation and find a job, however Waterloo had better plans for me. I am currently in my second year of PhD, in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department.
In the winter of 2011, I met one of the most amazing professors in this department, Professor Carl T. Haas. He believed in me and gave me the opportunity to grow and find my true potential, which led to graduating from the Civil and Environmental department with a MASc degree in Spring 2012 followed by pursuing my studies in the PhD program in the same area.
On the path of finding my true potential, I found my interest in becoming a student leader, therefore became involved with the Graduate Student Association in 2011, as an at-large director and after that as the Vice-President Communication and Events. I am currently elected as the President of the Graduate Student Association, which is an association with more than 5000 graduate students, a university Senator and a Governor. Although this path was not easy, with the support of my supervisor and the GSA family it became possible. Over the past four years, this University has offered me so much, which is why I have strong beliefs in this University and am proud to be a University of Waterloo Alumna.
My role as a student leader is to encourage and communicate what has worked for me and many others, and communicate and work on aspects which can be improved. As a small member of this honorable institution, I do encourage our students to find activities that may interest them and get involved, at the end of the day, students play an important role in the direction the University is moving toward. As students, it is our responsibility to help achieve the goals set in the university-wide strategic plan. Students have a large voice in post-graduate institutions, and we need to make this voice be heard!