By Karen Kelly

Amal Syed

Amal Syed

When Amal Syed came to Carleton as an international student to enroll in Communication and Media Studies, she veered from the typical path taken by others in her community.

“My family is from the city of Kashmir in India,” says Syed, who was born and raised in Saudi Arabia. “I was one of the only people in my family who studied something outside of medicine and engineering. There were questions, but my parents said, ‘Just do it, but promise us you are going to do it well.’”

Not only was Syed studying an unconventional degree, but she was the first woman in the family to attend university outside of India. Syed’s parents encouraged her to go to a country where she could succeed.

“It was a dream for them to be able to send their kid abroad, to Canada. They wanted me to go to a country where I could use my skills,” she explains.

While at Carleton, Syed took advantage of every opportunity that came her way. She enrolled in the co-op program and completed co-ops with the Carleton administration, as an events and communications associate at a bank, and as a communications specialist for a software company.

She also had the chance to do an honours research essay comparing Covid-19 digital contract tracing platforms in Canada and South Korea. Meanwhile, she accomplished most of this while living in a Carleton residence building during the pandemic.

“To be honest, I loved the quiet that came with the pandemic. I became very academically focused,” she says.

Following convocation, Syed will return to the software company where she did her co-op placement. She’s been offered a full-time job in communications and is living in the Toronto area. Going forward, she is considering a master’s degree.

“I want to work in a corporate job and then eventually pursue a master’s degree to advance my career, perhaps something in business administration or management.”

Monday, June 20, 2022 in
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