From International Student to Outstanding Grad, Alumna Lands Job at PwC

Qurat Syeda

Qurat Syeda

Qurat Syeda, ’19 Accounting, moved solo to the United States to study business four years ago. This spring, she was named one of SJSU’s Outstanding Graduating Seniors for her strong academic record, her spirit of service to supporting other students and leadership.

“I have always been passionate about learning,” she said. “But I wanted to do more than just learn about the world from books. I wanted to experience it. So I made the bold decision to move out to the U.S. on my own for my undergraduate degree, the first in my family to do so.”

Syeda was born in Pakistan, but was raised in Riyadh, Saudi Arabi.

“I grew up in a blend of two cultures, but they both share a strong sense of hospitality and warmth for their guests,” she said. “As a traveler, you will always be greeted with the utmost love and respect…receiving people with kindness and generosity has always been part of my upbringing.”

When she first arrived at SJSU, she had supportive faculty who checked in on her regularly before and after class to see how she was doing.

“My biggest support was from my supervisors at Peer Connections,” she said. “They were instrumental in both my personal and professional growth at SJSU and if I hadn’t found them or my job as a Peer Educator, I don’t know how I would have made it through college.”

Syeda celebrated her stellar academic record last month at the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business commencement ceremony. She maintained a stellar of a 4.0 grade point average 4.0 grade point average while tutoring and mentoring more than 500 students as peer educator with SJSU Peer Connections and the Jack Holland Student Success Center

“Qurat is not only focusing on her academics, but trying to help others as well,” said Michael Williams, an accounting lecturer. “She is competitive and wants to be the best, but not at the expense of other people.”

She counts among her top achievements receiving the Financial Women of San Francisco scholarship award in 2018.

“I was among four undergraduate female students from the greater Bay Area chosen for this academic and personal achievement,” she said. “As one of the oldest and largest women-only organizations in the Valley, it was an honor to be interviewed and to speak to a crowd of powerful and amazing women from all over the area and to be shown tremendous support and encouragement for the goals that I have chosen to pursue and the personal hurdles that I have overcome.”

A member of Lucas College and Graduate School of Business’ Sbona Honors program, Syeda also earned second place at the 2016 PwC Case Competition and the 2016 ISACA Research Case Competition.

While she is looking forward to winding down a bit after four rigorous years of studying and working toward her degree, she will be starting a full-time position with one of the big four accounting firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). She is also planning to study for CPA licensure soon.