Nour Althauwaini: "Be comfortable in your own skin. Being different is a blessing. Cherish it."
Senior, Petroleum Engineering
Missouri University of Science & Technology
From — Kuwait City, Kuwait
Interesting things about Nour —
Nour “just wants to be successful”
Loves to solve problems and so wanted to go into engineering
Wanted to get into medicine initiallyStarted her bachelor’s in Architectural Engineering
Did not like Architectural Engineering
Feels there are too many preconceived notions about the field of Architectural Engineering
Moved to Petroleum Engineering, which she loves!
What did you not like with Architectural Engineering?
I did not like the math side of it
There were not a lot of International Students
I did not see myself doing this as a career in my lifeThe field of petroleum engineering is dominated by men and I wanted to make a difference
What gave you the idea to come to the US?
My grandfather has a Master’s and PhD from the US
I grew up hearing his stories about his hard work and how he built his way up
He went to the US without knowing english and still became successful
That inspired me to come to the US and my grandfather is my role model
How did you perception change about the US once you came to the US?
I started by getting into an English Program at UCLA
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do this but my brother was absolutely sure that he wanted to study in the US
So, I just followed my brother because he was so persistence
I wasn’t sure if everyone here would accept me or not
But I want to say that “don’t overthink it”….. “untie yourself”
There are a lot of people who would like you and if there are people who don’t understand then there are others who will like you
Don’t be reserved. Go out, talk to others. Be comfortable within your own skin
Make the most of the opportunity of coming this far, go meet as many different people as you can
Personally, the first year was very hard for me because all I would do is go to school and come back home because no one looked like me
But with International Students Club (ISC), I was able to open up to other students because we had one thing in common, we were all foreigners
You should come and explore others who don’t look or talk like you. And tell them about your own country.
Being different is a blessing, you should cherish it
Once you had decided to come to the US, what was the process like?
I could have either taken IELTS or join an English Program
I decided to go into the English Program and test the waters
I stayed at UCLA for the English program for a quarter
I applied to multiple schools and then came to the first school that I got accepted into
I was very excited to hear that it snows in Rolla
Do you think having a good fit with a university is more important than just the rank of the university?
When you go to a small university you’d be able to find a lot more opportunities
I started a club for Kuwaiti students, and I don’t think I could have done this at a bigger campus
I was a factor in creating this club and I am proud of what I could achieve
If I had gone to a bigger campus, I think I would not have been able to get these opportunities.
What recommendations would you have for aspiring students?
Do your research
It can be overwhelming but it’s very important
Don’t just read about the school, read about the city as well
Reach out and ask students who are already in the school
Know the numbers and know if it safe or not, know about the rent, facilities etc.
The best way to get the information about the school is to have a list of the most basic questions. It’s very important to know about the things that you might just assume wrongly.
Looking back, what is the one thing that you’d change?
I would take more time in the English language center
So, don’t rush. Take your time
I would also read about other schools and not just jump at the first opportunity
Where are you heading after graduation?
I’d be done by Fall, 2020
I want to go back to Kuwait and apply for a job
Petroleum Engineering jobs are very competitive and so I want to focus on my grades and get a good job back home
Have more questions for Nour. She'd love to answer those for you. Please post them in the comment section below👇.