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Zahra Khuwaja

Karachi, Pakistan
Zahra Khuwaja


Architectural Engineering – May 2021 

Short-Term Goals

My short term goals are evolving and include making a conscious effort towards continuously learning and being open to varying thoughts and perspectives. Academically, I hope to graduate with a co-terminal program in Structural Engineering and also with a minor in Psychology. At a more personal level, I look forward to growing intellectually and physically, which would ultimately equip me for finding my purposes in life. I am grateful and want to make the most out of the opportunity I have to study in a foreign and diverse country like the US, by expanding my comfort zone and leveraging most out of my experiences here. Hence one of my short term goals is to visit all the states in the US and to experience first-hand, as many cultures as I can.

It is by maintaining a perfect balance between my professional and personal life that I plan to accomplish my personal and academic goals. I hope to smoothly transition through the process of personal growth by continuing to be an active part of the organizations I am already involved with. Doing so will allow me to discover new things about myself and make me aware of my capabilities as well as aspects that I need to improve on as far as personal grooming is concerned.

I intend to establish life-long connections with the professionals in my field and work in the top Structural Firms of Chicago, starting by doing internships at several firms during the course of my study at Illinois Tech. Alongside this, I plan to do research in sustainable building materials and energy-efficient design. I strive to work to the best of my abilities and to make a positive difference in the community.

Long-Term Goals

My long-term goals include being a passionate and hardworking Structural Engineer. I plan to gradually move towards engineering entrepreneurship by starting my own company that would take an all rounded approach towards the construction of buildings. This constitutes the designing, building, contracting as well as maintenance processes of aesthetically unique and structurally sound buildings. As far as more personal long term goals are concerned, I intend to return to my country and improve the quality of lives of those forced to live in poverty and without proper shelter by providing them with sustainable infrastructure to live in. This is because I believe that global problem-solving can be achieved when started at a local level. Travelling is something that I love to do and will be something that I look forward to doing for the rest of my life, hopefully with my family. Knowledge and learning is a continuous process and this process will only accelerate once I enter the professional field. My plan of becoming a successful Structural Engineer can be materialized only if I keep myself informed about the new high-end technologies being used in structural systems, as time goes on. Moreover, I want to be able to maintain a perfect balance between my professional and personal lives in order to give equal and undivided attention to both, when time need be. This can be achieved by being present at all times, and not dwelling about the past or worrying about the future. At the end of it all, I want to reach a point where my parents can be proud of the person I become, because a smile on their faces when they hear about the great things I hope to accomplish is all the validation I need to be successful in life.

Leadership Experience

  • Leadership Academy Scholar: April 2018 - Present
  • Treasurer, Society of Women Engineers, Illinois Tech: April 2019 - Present
  • Treasurer, Engineers Without Borders, Illinois Tech: April 2018 - Present
  • Corporate Chair, Society of Women Engineers, Illinois Tech: April 2018 - April 2019
  • Finance Board Advisor, Student Government Association Illinois Tech: February 2018 - May 2019
  • Advancement Ambassador, Office of Institutional Advancement Illinois Tech: March 2018 – Present