Alumni Update: Saudi Arabia

Hassan AlRashood (Saudi Arabia), SUNY-Cobleskill, 2014-15 NESA UGRAD

If I wanted to put what I learned throughout my time on the Global UGRAD Program to its most basic form, it would be something like, “To do what needs to be done, at the right time, in the right way.” That would be my attitude during the last two years. As soon as I got back home, I registered in three summer courses (the maximum) because I felt warmed up after the effort that I put into my classes in the U.S. I started to write creatively again after I stopped for about 4-5 years, this time I was writing in Arabic and English; although my major is English literature, but Arabic was always fascinating to me. While I was in the U.S., I took a creative writing course that paved the way to start writing in another language. I also started working on a book – I do not know if it is going to see the light of day or not – but I keep working on it whenever I can. I started to tutor fellow students for free to help as many as I can in a field where I was lucky enough to excel, and attempted to revive my university’s English literature club. In the summer, I focused on reading and writing and I went to Egypt and met all the UGRAD-NESA participants there, and we had a wonderful time.

Since I got back from the U.S., I kept close contact with cultural department in the United States Embassy, and in the break between semesters I got an invitation to participate in a Model United Nations organized by the Embassy and a prestigious private university. I was assigned to be the delegate of Afghanistan in the UN High Commission for Refugees committee (UNHCR), and I was awarded the best delegate in the committee.

During my last semester, I interned as a middle school English teacher in order to graduate. Despite the demands on my schedule, I was awarded the Dean List Award for outstanding students, making it onto the College of Arts Honor List, and I finally graduated – the fulfillment of all the hard work that I put in. The best part is that I was awarded in front of my father. When I saw his smile as I was walking to the stage, I knew that was the real award.

Since participating in the Model United Nations, the diplomatic field has attracted me immensely. I was already invested in politics and I follow it closely. Recently, I was approached by a ministry in Saudi Arabia to work for them as an interpreter, and they contacted and interviewed me before I even graduated. I accepted the offer and now my papers are getting processed, and I am looking into other more interesting opportunities that would be a good fit to me.

I am able “To do what needs to be done, at the right time, in the right way.” Now, I stand in a very important crossroad in my life with a cup of coffee in my hand looking for the best way to make this world a better place. I hope to take the road “less traveled by” as Robert Frost puts it and be able to say “that has made all the difference” when it is all over.

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