Heralding from Yellowknife N.W.T., Dhillon School of Business graduate Mariam Ullah came all the way to Lethbridge A.B. to pursue a Bachelor of Management in Accounting. We asked her five questions about her experience at uLethridge.
What was your most memorable uLethbridge experience?
I have so many unforgettable memories during my years at uLethbridge that have made for a spectacular experience. I transferred here from a small college in my hometown of Yellowknife after getting my Accounting diploma. It was an enthralling experience joining a much larger institution that submerges you in new ideologies, cultures, challenges amongst thousands of students striving towards similar dreams. It was nerve wracking having to adjust to a university setting going into third year. I felt shy and overwhelmed at first, but I was lucky to make the most incredible friends who made the transition easy and became my family away from home. The countless hours with them is what I'll remember most.
Academically, my most memorable experiences are the Indigenous Studies and World History courses I had the opportunity to take as electives. They were captivating and enriching in ways I never expected and they left me with a changed view of the world. The liberal education philosophy at uLethbridge really does make you a more well-rounded individual.
Is there someone specific who influenced your uLethbridge experience?
I was fortunate to have been taught by several Professors who influenced me and whom I can’t thank enough. Professors Sonya von Heyking, Deborah Jarvie, Stuart Thomas and Weiming Liu are incredible educators who not only have an evident passion and mastery in their fields, but are also incredibly kind, compassionate and dedicated individuals. They were helpful and approachable outside of class during office hours and would often stop to have a conversation or check-in when passing by around campus.
Specifically, Professor Sonya von Heyking has influenced me the most during my time at uLethbridge. Her mentorship and feedback during a final semester course gave me the self-confidence and motivation to pursue a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation after graduating. She’s a huge role model of mine.
What is the most important lesson you learned?
The most important lesson I learned was to have more confidence in myself and my capabilities. I wish I had realized that sooner. By failing to embrace vulnerability, take risks and step out of your comfort zone, you are only hindering yourself.
What are your hopes and plans for the future?
I hope to begin my journey towards earning my CPA designation this year and my long-term plan is to eventually pursue an MBA. Covid-19 has delayed those plans for a short while because, much like other graduates, I am wanting to focus on gaining steady employment first. I have returned home to the north with the goal of gaining an internship in accounting with the Government of Northwest Territories. I am excited to start a new phase of life and seeing where the future takes me!
What advice would you give to students who are about to begin their post-secondary journeys?
Your post-secondary experience will be what you make of it. It goes by in a flash and yet in the most gruelling and stressful weeks it will feel like a never-ending journey. Know yourself, know your learning styles and exhaust every resource and opportunity the university offers to help you succeed. Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun and take care of your mental health. Find a good balance between your personal and academic life. Create a positive support system of people you can rely on, have a laugh with and who encourage you in the tough times. The connections and memories you make with people here is what you will remember the most when it’s all over.