Abdulaziz Bin Frayan is a Missouri State alumnus from Saudi Arabia. He joined the English Language Institute in the fall of 2014. His first goal was to improve his English and to become a Bear in the College of Business. In May 2019, Aziz graduated with his B.S. degree in finance with honors. Today, he is a Risk Management Associate Specialist in the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Moving to Springfield, MO all the way from Saudi Arabia!
Aziz chose Missouri State upon his brother’s recommendation. His brother had a Bear friend that advised Aziz and helped him getting the conditional admission from Missouri State. Aziz admits “To be honest, I did not like Springfield and wanted to move to a different city. Thank God I fell in love with it and never left”. He also asserts he misses Springfield now.
The quality of education in Missouri State builds a beautiful educational journey!
“I wish time goes back to live this experience again”
He has many great memories in Missouri State. Yet, his best academic experience was the materials he studied and used. Since Aziz loves to work with numbers, he was enjoying his core courses. He also loved the idea that some of his professors record their lectures and post them on BlackBoard. “It helped me to understand the subjects better” Aziz says.
He loved that his investment professors required him to work on Bloomberg Portal. Aziz says he uses Bloomberg Portal to collect data and analyze them in the Saudi Stock Exchange. He also completed the Bloomberg Market Concepts certificate, which was optional in his FIN487 course.
One of the best courses he liked, away from his core courses, was Computer Applications for Business (CIS201). Aziz explained that finishing that course exposed him to using Microsoft Excel in many ways. “It was my introduction to Excel and I still use the skills I learned from professor Balasundaram”.
Making friendships and connections out of classroom and networking opportunity
Aziz made great friendships as soon as he arrived and started in the ELI. The beginning for him was throughout the picnics his teachers arranged, as well as from his classrooms. He liked that his lifetime friendships started with team projects in classrooms. Then, developed to spend some time together and go out. Finally, they are away 5,000 miles but still in touch. Making lots of friendships out of nowhere is one of the best memories Aziz has in Missouri State.
Also, Aziz was part of the Saudi Students Association’s executive board. He admits it was challenging to balance between his role and studying. Especially when it is finals time, but it taught him time management. He uses time management skills in his workplace every day to rank his tasks.
Missouri State Preparation for the career life
“All my professors were kind and nice, but some, did above and beyond to ensure my success today”
Aziz says he has countless great memories with his professors. Howbeit, some memories he recalls more frequently than others. Professor Isaac Balasundaram influenced his life positively and he still recalls his words. He used to motivate him and tell him he was one of the best students in his class. Aziz was fascinated by how professor Balasundaram used to ask him about his plans and advise him accordingly. “He told me I am a good person and I still remember all his motivational words”.
Another professor Aziz cannot forget is Dr. Seth Hoelscher, who taught him Investment I (FIN485). Aziz asserts that he never gave his students the impression that he is a professor and they are students “The relationship between us and Dr. Hoelscher was more of a friendship”. Aziz loved how open the professor was and how many times he asks if everybody understands. Dr. Hoelscher also had an open-door policy, as Aziz explained. He also stated that the course was not easy, but the professor helped explaining everything very well.
Moving back to Saudi Arabia
“They were the best 5 years of my life”
Aziz thought about the accelerated MBA program to complete his education. Then, he decided to apply for his Optional Practical Training (OPT), so he may gain some experience in the U.S. After that, he decided to add accounting as a minor and goes back home to start his career life.
When he went back to Saudi Arabia, Aziz was hired at EY, which is one of the largest four accounting firms in the world. Nonetheless, he resigned as soon as he received an offer from the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul). He chose to move to Tadawul because it relates directly to his major and interest. Aziz is a Risk Management Associate Specialist in the Saudi Stock Exchange. He believes the best nonacademic skill Missouri State helped him with was breaking the fear of speaking in public. Also, taught him how to be a good team player in any team with different backgrounds. “I know some friends fear public speaking, but I broke that fear since my junior year in Missouri State” Aziz says.
Aziz felt sad leaving the U.S. but he believes he learned priceless lessons. His journey has not yet finished in the U.S. as he plans to come back for his graduate degree sometime in the soon future.
“Develop your plans a head of time and be ready to make your decision before your final semester. Time flies faster than we expect!” - Abdulaziz Bin Frayan