Batool Alzuabi grew up in Amman, Jordan, where she developed a love of literature and writing from a young age. Her journey to Missouri State will lead her to commencement this May before starting a teaching assistantship this fall for the English department.
Following her father’s steps and finding the perfect place
The decision started with her father since he had the opportunity of studying abroad in the United States at Ohio University. He really liked the American education system because of its focus on individual development. After 30 years he wanted for his children to have the same opportunity. His research criteria included a desire for his children to study in a smaller city where they could experience U.S. culture. When he found Springfield, Missouri and Missouri State University, it was a perfect fit. Not only was in a good location, but it was very affordable for international students compared to other universities in the U.S.
She first joined the Association of International Students (AIS) and participated as a member for three years. She has been very involved with the AIS since the beginning by attending meetings, events, and even hosting the organization’s biggest event which is their International Banquet and Show. Currently, Batool serves as AIS’ secretary and she is running for the organization’s presidency.
Another organization that she is involved in is Bear Breaks. Last year she attended to one of their immersion trips in Chicago focused on helping with homeless and hunger. Her first experience was so impactful that she decided to apply to become a leader of the trip. Batool is currently applying to be part of the executive board in the Community Engagement Center for Bear Breaks.
She worked as a reporter for the university’s newspaper The Standard for two years. She worked mostly in the news section covering events around campus. The biggest interview that she had last year was with the Public Affairs Conference keynote speaker Dr. Robert Ballard –the person who discovered the Titanic-. Batool also started the section “How did I end up here?” which talked about the experiences of international students and their transition to the U.S.
Growing personally and professionally thanks to involvement opportunities
Batool is aware that her experiences at Missouri State have helped her to improve her resume. She has been able to make long lasting friendships thanks to the organizations she’s involved in. Batool also mentions that the involvement in one organization led to being involved in another and expanded her connections. She feels that without all these involvement and learning opportunities that she has experienced, she would not have been able to obtain her graduate assistantship for next fall.
These experiences have impacted her not only in her professional life but also personally. In AIS she learned to be more organized thanks to the nature of the position she currently holds. She mentions that Bear Breaks changed her completely. She learned how to be an active citizen and discovered the importance of volunteering. When she participated as a leader in the trip, she learned how to apply ethical leadership. She learned that being a leader is always about helping and improving others rather than yourself. She believes leaders should share their experiences with others so they can develop their own leadership skills as well.
Achieving her goals
Batool’s biggest accomplishment has been working for The Standard and publishing her first article. She felt that her English skills weren’t up to par before arriving in the U.S. but was an avid reader of international news. She began to look up to journalists for their skills in reporting the news. When she had an opportunity to take journalism courses at Missouri State she felt she was working towards her goals. Publishing her first article in The Standard was a huge achievement.
Discovering her passion at Missouri State
When Batool first applied to Missouri State she was an English Literature major. She loved to write but was not aware of the Creative Writing major because they don’t have it available back in Jordan. After taking her first creative writing class she realized that creative writing was what she really loved so she decided to follow her passion and switch majors. With Journalism she just registered for a class to try it out she realized that she wanted to pursue a minor. She mentions that The Standard helped her to make things easier for her minor because she was learning things beforehand during the job so once teachers taught in class, she had already experienced it some of the topics.
Aiming to create an impact
After graduating from her masters, she would like to work in the academic field and become a professor. Then she would like to apply for a Ph.D. and move back to Jordan to teach creative writing. There are many creative writers in Jordan but there is not a community to support them. so she would like to apply what she has learned in her career and make an impact in her country.
Advice for #InternationalBears
Be active on campus because this is how you are going to get your connections and opportunities. Once you get involved, doors are going to start opening for you. Do what you love because no matter how hard you are going to work in it, you are still going to enjoy it. – Batool Alzuabi