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Bangladeshi from U.A.E. Hones Business Skills for a Career in International Management

Omar Azad is originally from Bangladesh, but was born and raised in United Arab Emirates. Being the first in his generation to be in America, he says he is very proud to be studying in the United States. “Well I am studying at University of Nebraska-Lincoln and in our Asian country it is a dream for most parents to send their children abroad to study because in our own country the university degrees are not valued very high so if you get an degree from an America it is valued pretty much,” he says. “But at the same time I had applied to places like Canada and England to study abroad, but England turned out to be very expensive and Canada they replied pretty late so I decided to come to America.”

Initially Omar was majoring in Chemical Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, but he always knew that he would do better as an economics major with a minor in management. So with the help of his sister and blessings of his parents, Omar says changing his major was the right decision. “I came here as a chemical engineering major because in our Asian countries all the parents want to send the children [to study] either in engineering or computer science or doctor or something like that,” he says. “So just to make my parents happy I came here to do chemical engineering, but then my older sister she came here to do her masters after one year and when she saw I was studying and I wasn’t really happy with the major, she asked me what major would I really want to do and I said ‘I would like to do economics or management’ and she somehow tried to talk my parents and convince them,” he says. “Our business college at our university is one of our best colleges and it is pretty popular and so far it has been going pretty good.”

Omar is a junior at the university and with just one more year to go, he works with several campus organizations that are beneficial for him as well as other international students. “Well I work for almost three different organizations. One is the Malaysian student organization though I am not Malaysian, but I have a lot of Malaysian friends and I am apart of another organization call Lincoln Friends of Foreign Students in short LFFS and they are involved in finding for all international students a host family and we do conferences like multi-cultural conferences so people are more aware of different cultures and the last organization is the Muslim student organization.”

Omar Azad says being here in the United States has also allowed him to get more of a multi-cultural experience than he could back in his country. “Back home in my country in UA where my parents reside though it is a multi-cultural country we don’t get to see a lot people from the Southeast Asia countries and usually we don’t get to interact a lot with the Europeans or Americans,” he says. “So when I came over here I got to know a lot more Chinese and Japanese and Malaysians and I got to remove a lot of misconceptions and I got to be with a lot of Americans and shockingly they were very friendly,” he adds. “Also when I came here I have been able to be more focus on using technological stuff like Internet browsing and you know like doing online shopping and everything. Back home we hardly ever do online shopping or anything like that we have to go to a store to buy something. So over here I have a multi-cultural experience which I am very happy to have this opportunity and so far it has been pretty good.”

After graduation Omar says....”I have two goals. Either to find a good job in a human resource department because I have this natural talent of recruiting and then second goal I have is that I can go back to the Middle East country back to U.A.E. because our country has a lot of ties with the western countries but doesn’t seem to have much ties with the Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Japan and China and in America I got the opportunity also to learn Japanese and from my friends Chinese so I thought maybe by using this experience by knowing the culture when I go back I could work for a big company in U.A.E because we have a lot of big companies and private companies investing over there,” he says. “If I could work with one of those companies and get them to reach across to those Southeast Asian countries and maybe have a relationship with them in the business world.”