Discover the Inspiring Journeys of International Undergraduate Students at Rowan University

Izar stands for a portrait in the student center.

This story is one within a multi-part series highlighting the aspirations, hopes and dreams of a few of Rowan University’s international students. Read the other stories

Meet seniors Izhar Ali from Sakhakot, Pakistan and Meena Govindarajan from Singapore, who share their experiences as international students here at Rowan University.

Are you involved in internships, clubs, networking, etc. here at Rowan? 

“I work as a Natural Language Processing (NLP) Student Researcher with Rowan-BMS (Bristol Myers Squibb) research team, focusing on text analysis and natural language understanding. I’m currently writing a research paper with the computer science department that focuses on the efficient extraction of acronym-expansion pairs from digital documents using modern NLP techniques. Additionally, I serve as the President of Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE), an honor society recognizing academic excellence in computer science.” – Izhar Ali, a senior computer science and mathematics double major from Sakhakot, Pakistan

What is your long-term professional goal or dream career?

“I am enrolled in the 4+1 Data Science program at Rowan and aspire to build a career as a Machine Learning Engineer.” – Izhar Ali

“Advancing the field of biomedical science  to discover new and improved treatments.” – Meena Govindarajan, a senior biological sciences major from Singapore

Izhar standing at a railing overlooking the Chamberlain Student Center
Izhar Ali, in the Rowan University Student Center

What Rowan professors or Rowan classes have been most helpful and enlightening to you, and how?

“Three standout classes for me have been:

  1. Data Structures and Algorithms (DSA) with Dr. Hristescu: Enhanced my algorithmic design and logical thinking skills.
  2. Probability and Random Variables (PRV) with Dr. Nasrine: Gave me a solid understanding of real-world probability distributions.
  3. Database Systems with Professor Myers: Strengthened my database management and design skills.” 

– Izhar Ali

“Many of my biology classes have introduced me to a wide variety of applications in biology, including those that increase our understanding of various medical conditions to help treat, prevent, and manage them. For example, evolution and genetics can be applied to predict how the flu virus would evolve so we could make vaccines before they strike. Such applications have introduced me to a wide variety of career opportunities and gave me a feel of what it is like to pursue a career in biology.”  – Meena Govindarajan

How will this degree support your dreams and goals?

“This degree will be a stepping stone toward my professional goals. I chose such a broad field to open my mind to a variety of careers in the field of biology which this major has introduced me to. I am not only introduced to the principles of the various courses I take here but also how the knowledge obtained is applied by various professionals in the field. Therefore I can not only know the theoretical part of biology but also how it is applied. This helps me understand the necessary soft skills I need to have a successful career in the field and work towards improving them.”  – Meena Govindarajan

A biological sciences major works in the lab, looking down at a lab bench with empty glass beakers in front of her.
A biological sciences major works in the lab

Could you share your thoughts on the international student community here at Rowan? Were you able to connect with people from home? Meet new friends? How?

“Rowan has a diverse international community. While I haven’t connected with students from Pakistan, my friend circle includes individuals from various Asian and Middle Eastern countries.” – Izhar Ali

“The diversity at Rowan allows me to collaborate with and understand the views of people from various walks of life. I made many new friends and am lucky to be in such a welcoming, diverse, and vibrant community.”  – Meena Govindarajan

Why did you choose Rowan?

“Rowan’s International Center provided a streamlined application process and invaluable information. Moreover, the affordability and abundant opportunities at Rowan make me grateful for my choice.” – Izhar Ali

“I chose Rowan due to the comprehensive courses offered here. Not only do the classes help you pursue knowledge in the specific field of study, but also soft skills that are important in the workforce.”  – Meena Govindarajan

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Written by: Jordyn Dauter, junior double major in dance & elementary education

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