‘The University Has Given Me More Than I Could Ever Ask For’
As I prepare for Commencement, I reflect on the connections I’ve made at the University and the rewarding experiences I’ve had. I’m looking forward to working full-time for the company I joined as an intern over the summer.
May 4, 2023
By Amna Jalali ’23 M.S.
As I reflect on my University of New Haven journey, I am struck by the incredible ride it has been since I arrived in the United States to pursue my master's degree in finance. From a young age, I was fascinated by how a piece of paper holds such importance in functioning from a household to across the world. This led me to develop a keen interest in finance, attracting me to the financial hub of the world, irrespective of my circumstances, which felt like a dream.
However, my graduate journey was far from smooth sailing. It was a series of highs and lows, from sometimes feeling like a foreigner, despite being fluent in the language, to loving the case studies and real-work projects in my classes and having great professors. The first semester was particularly challenging, with a rush of storm winds that left me feeling homesick, struggling with independent-living skills, time management, and understanding a new country, while juggling assignments.
But as they say, “After a hurricane, comes a rainbow. And trust me, there is always a rainbow.”
‘I am a very proud Charger’
Though learning never stops, my last two semesters went by like a warm spring breeze, and I loved every second of it. I landed a summer internship at Terex Corporation. I managed the University’s inaugural ESG Investment Fund - The GAIA Initiative. This involved research, long discussions, many meetings, trial and error, to finally outline the fund structure and present it to potential investors. I experienced the happiness of submitting my master's Equity & Research Project and accepting a full-time position in the same company I interned.
Being a part of the Women in Business Club was a dear and near experience to me, as I was able to work with an amazing team of women who strive to empower students, enabling them to discover their goals and unlock their potential. I also had a great time serving as president of the Indian Student Council, enabling me to connect with international students across the University, help solve problems, and organize major events such as Diwali, Holi, and Garbha, creating an inclusive environment that made students feel at home away from home.
The University has given me more than I could ever ask for: a strong, close-knit community, and opportunities to grow and flourish. I am so grateful to have built some very meaningful relationships with the most heartwarming people. I am a very proud Charger and now a proud alum.
I imagined myself where I am today and attracted it, as per the finance theory "higher risk, higher return.” Well, I have no regrets taking my first-ever one-way flight to New York and making my parents proud. I believe that "what you think, you become; what you feel, you attract; and what you imagine, you create." And my Univeristy of New Haven journey is a testament to that.
Amna Jalali ’23 M.S., a candidate in the University’s graduate program in finance, president of the Indian Student Council, and vice president of the Women in Business Club, was a finalist to serve as a student speaker at Commencement. The content above is based on the speech she delivered as part of the competitive process to select the student Commencement speakers.