Syed Muneeb Ahmed took a 22-hour flight from United Arab Emirates to come to the U.S. without family or friends. He was 17, shy and culture-shocked. He would take the stairs in his dorm, up and down seven floors just to avoid elevator chit-chat. All that has changed.
Over the past four years, he has worked as a door-to-door salesman, an actor and a leader of international students. He founded and captained the Raging Bulls soccer team, presented mobile apps to business experts, joined a choir and has done everything an introvert would never do. Personal and professional development, he says, comes through adversity and overcoming fear.
As the first person in his family to go to college in the U.S., Ahmed will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in business analytics and information systems, with a concentration in cybersecurity. He already has a job offer from Apple and is involved in Product Management at Rentersbay.com. He received a scholarship to attend the Make School’s summer coding academy in San Francisco last year, and he was selected as one of the 10 students from USF to attend the Florida International Leadership Conference this year.
Last year, Ahmed won the Elevator Pitch Competition for the first time, beating 150 other business students. Since then, he has gone on to compete and win in two other pitch competitions. In competitions alone, Ahmed has won over $5,000. He has also been awarded the H. Wayne Huizenga Endowed scholarship in entrepreneurship. Ahmed sees himself on a never-ending journey, solving problems through tech and innovation and having a positive impact on people’s lives.