Class of 2019, one year later: Zeina Darwiche is a hybrid professional, combining computer science and consulting
One year ago, the Class of 2019 graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, a Qatar Foundation partner university. We are catching up with just a few of these young men and women to learn what they have done, and what they will be doing next.
Since graduating with a degree in Computer Science in 2019, Zeina Darwiche has been finding her niche in consulting at one of the largest and most prestigious professional services firms in the country, KPMG Qatar.
With plans to pursue programming, Zeina was initially hesitant about how she would fit in without a business background. But now she sees the distinct advantages to building a hybrid professional identity with skills in both computer science and business.
She is working on several different projects in Digital and Innovation, including cybersecurity and education. Her transition was made easier by the many supportive CMU alumni around her, who have built a good reputation at the firm.
“Aside from our knowledge, the character of a CMU student is important and the people at KPMG notice that. They appreciate how we ask the right questions and try to broaden our perspective. That’s true for any CMU-Q student and its why KPMG wants to hire more of us.”
Looking back on her days as a student, she feels that her busy student life and making lasting relationships with her advisors have helped her stand out in a professional environment.
“I’ve become much more resilient, which is so important because the job can get demanding. You need to have a strong personality, be able to speak your mind when you’re interacting with colleagues and clients, and also get creative on your tasks.”
As she looks forward, Zeina would like to work in learning and development. She sees the next step as a master’s degree in the education technology field. Zeina became interested in this aspect of education after working on a research project with Cecile le Roux, assistant teaching professor of organization and behavior. The project focused on student motivation, engagement, and self-authorship, and she later presented her work at CMU-Q’s Meeting of the Minds research symposium.
“I want to develop tools that can help students with their learning, I want to inspire that rewarding feeling when they understand the concepts you’re teaching them.”
For now, Zeina is learning as much as she can from the opportunities at KPMG. “At the moment, it’s about exploring many different offerings. I’m very grateful to have reached this point right now.”