Graduation year: 2021
High school: El Yassamine High School
Hometown: Casablanca, Morocco
Majors: Business administration (finance and marketing)
Minors: Accounting, Japanese
Activities: Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society
Internships: Audit intern at Deloitte Morocco; marketing and graphic design intern at EDGE Center, Augustana
Post-grad plans: Pass my CFA Level 1 Exam in May, work for a couple of years, then apply for graduate school
With Augustana being a college that values international students a lot, and has small sized classes and a beautiful campus, I knew I would have a great four years here, where I would meet many people from different backgrounds.
Are you where you thought you'd be when you first came to campus?
No, not at all. I never thought I would major in finance, enjoy learning my fourth language, and have so many international friends that are now living all around the world.
Who helped you get to where you are now?
First, I can't thank my family enough for the effort they made to help me get to where I am now. Financially and mentally, they have been supporting me the whole way, and I will be grateful to them my whole life.
Secondly, my girlfriend and friends have shaped my experience at Augustana. It simply wouldn't have been the same without them. We worked hard together, had fun together and, more importantly, supported each other along the way. I am eternally grateful for them as well.
My peak experience is by far taking part in the CFA Institute Research Challenge and winning second place in the Chicago local round with my teammates. That was the longest project I have done during my time at Augustana. I learned a lot of technical skills from my teammates and our supervisor, Dr. Lina Zhou. It was both an educational and extremely fun experience for me.
What surprised you?
I was surprised how being in such a small town was actually all right for me. I live in the biggest city in Morocco, so coming to Rock Island seemed like it would be boring. However, I actually had the best time of my life here in this small town.
How did you use your Augie Choice?
I used my Augie Choice during the summer after my junior year, and it was a great help because of the uncertainties and difficulties during the COVID-19 lockdown. I used it for my marketing internship at Augustana's EDGE Center.
What will you miss the most?
I will miss my friends a lot, but we will still be friends for sure. However, meeting every day and being in each others' lives is something I will miss.
Advice for the Class of 2025?
Opportunities present themselves only for the people who work hard for them. So work hard and consistently while growing your network of friends, and opportunities will come along the way. Don't be afraid of the new experience. Grab it because it will end up being a treasure in the future.
“Houssam was invited to join the CFA Institute Research Challenge team because of his 4.0 GPA in business foundation courses. In competition, Houssam and his teammates demonstrated their exceptional work ethic, strong academic preparation, effective teamwork, unlimited creativity and passionate curiosity. The team won second place in the round hosted by the CFA Society Chicago, only two points short to advance to the North American regional competition. This experience only made Houssam braver in his pursuit of a career in finance. He will take the CFA Level I Exam in May. I will offer my wholehearted support and look forward to seeing his success in the future.”