Summa cum laude graduate Abeer Fahim from American University of Sharjah

Abeer Fahim wants to become a professor one day. She came one step closer to making her dream come true last Thursday when she graduated in English literature, with a minor in international studies, from the American University of Sharjah.

Abeer graduated summa cum laude with a GPA of 3.98. She gave the valedictory address at the ceremony.

How do you feel now that you have finished your undergraduate degree?
I feel good [laughs]. It feels great that I actually have a bachelor's degree, even though I am going for my graduate studies. I can say that I have achieved my academic goals as an undergraduate.

What are you going to study next?
I am actually aiming to get my PhD in English literary studies. I am going to Durham University in the UK.

Why do you think getting a masters degree is important in this day and age?
I am going for my PhD to become a professor. This is my goal. Generally, I believe getting a master's degree is important. Knowledge does not stop at getting a bachelor's only.

Do you think the education students receive today prepares them for the workplace?
I believe it is all about how dedicated you are in building your own career. Anyone can get a degree, but not many can make significant contributions in the real world.

What extracurricular activities did you take part in?
I am on the executive committee of Realms, which is a student campus literary magazine, and I have participated in the annual Global Day event on campus.

However, most of my work is academic related. I presented my senior project research paper at Texas Tech University and I have also won the student research award given by Sharjah Islamic Bank.

How important are extracurricular activities in building student character?
Extracurricular activities are important. In my case, most of what I've done was related to my field of study. However, I believe there should always be a balance between academic work and extracurricular activities.

If you have so many things to work on, it would be really hard to maintain a good GPA.

Any advice for students about to enter college?
Don't be discouraged when you first enter and see that things are not exactly like what you've been expecting. And take academic life seriously so you can feel good and proud when you graduate.