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Zineb Zirari
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Zineb Zirari

Graduation year: 2018

Majors: Applied mathematics, economics

Minor: Computer science

Activities: Global Engagement Team, Azonto Dance Club, Learning Commons, Mortar Board, Phi Beta Kappa

Internships: Marketing internship at Procter & Gamble in Morocco; summer research at MD Anderson Cancer Center in the Texas Medical Center

Post-grad plans: Financial analyst for Prudential International Insurance in New Jersey 

Why Augustana?

I chose Augustana because I wanted to be at a small liberal arts college. Augustana was perfect because it was not only the kind of close-knit community I was looking for, but it was also close to Chicago, and I wanted to be next to a big city. 

Are you where you thought you’d be when you first came to campus?

Not at all. When I first came, I thought I wanted to be an actuary. After taking a few math classes and most importantly my first computer science class, I realized that I could never be an actuary. Today, thanks to Augustana, computer science and mathematics became my biggest interests, and I am so grateful I was exposed to these two fields. I definitely plan on going to graduate school some day in mathematics or computer science. 

Who helped you get where you are now?

The math and computer science department has definitely been my biggest help on campus. The professors there have helped me not only academically but also in my personal life. I am so grateful for my math professors, especially Dr. Sward and Dr. Clauss, for believing in me, opening my eyes to math and making me realize how much I could achieve. 

Peak experience?

My summer at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston was definitely one of my peak experiences. I interned at Health Services Research doing statistics and data analysis for Dr. Lowenstein. I met and worked every day with the most intelligent and impressive people I have met in my life. I learned so much about working in a big research institute, and I loved spending the summer in such a big city as Houston. 

What surprised you?

I matured so much during these past four years, it’s hard to pinpoint only one or two things that I learned about myself. 

How did you use Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice to go to Ireland for my spring term sophomore year. It was one of the best experiences I had at Augie; I toured Ireland for three months, and learned about Irish literature, music and culture in general. I was with three amazing professors and 20 other Augie students, and we visited eight cities in Ireland. It was definitely the best way I could have spent my Augie Choice. 

What will you miss the most?

The people. I will miss seeing my favorite professors and my international friends every day. I will also miss working for the International Admissions office and seeing Liz Nino every day. 

Advice for the Class of 2022?

You create your own college experience. You can have the most boring, uninteresting four years or you can have the best time of your life filled with great people and memories. You should not be afraid of experiencing new things, new places and new interests. College is the perfect place for you to discover yourself, grow and become who you want to be.

“Zineb is truly one of those students whose presence in the department and, I’m sure, across campus, will be sorely missed. It was always a great pleasure to have Zineb in class, and I was lucky to have her in more than my share! From the first class we had together to the last, she pushed me to give my best; I only hope in some small way I did the same for her.”

– Dr. Jon Clauss, professor, mathematics and computer science

More Than I Imagined

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