While I had been studying at the University of Arkansas in Spring 2018, my friends from Kazakhstan invited me to participate in “Student Energy Challenge – 2018” sponsored by Shell within the framework of the World Petroleum Meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan on October 2-3, 2018. Our aim was to scientifically and economically develop the solution to current ecological problems of Kazakhstan. Already in the USA, I had started researching and because of time-zones, I woke up very early to attend online meetings. However, all my efforts paid off, we got the second place and won $5000! But, our real valuable prize was that we have met new friends all around Kazakhstan and have established new network links with international professionals.
In my view, the experience I had in the United States and especially in Arkansas enhanced my abilities in terms of research skills, since my coursework at the University of Arkansas was full of engineering research assignments. My personal advice to other alumni is to always say “YES” to opportunities.
Written by Askarbek Pazylbekov, 2017-2018 Global UGRAD student from Kazakhstan at University of Arkansas