Knowledge Creates Change – Fareena Qamar

Fareena Qamar, ʼ20, gained important job experience and knowledge through internships during her four years at Meredith College. As a business administration major, she will begin her career at Morgan Stanley as an analyst at the company’s global headquarters in New York City.

Fareena wasted no time landing an internship at SAS in Cary, N.C., after her freshman year. She was on the University Recruiting Team speaking at career fairs and university information sessions. At the end of that summer, she was asked to stay on as a year-round intern and was there until the end of her fall semester junior year. In her role, she performed full-cycle recruiting for over 42 internship positions.

“My mother would always say ‘knowledge is your most powerful weapon’ and I have always believed that knowledge creates change, and education and experience are the tools to get there,” said Fareena.

That belief led Fareena to work to find the SAS internship early in her college career. The experience was challenging and empowering because she had to balance an internship with college courses and extracurriculars.

In an effort to learn about a different culture and expand her business knowledge she also studied abroad in Sydney, Australia, for five months at the University of South Wales during her junior year.

“It was an unforgettable, life-changing experience,” said Fareena. “I gained exposure to various facets of Australian business practices through my courses there, I gained a degree of adaptability and critical thinking, and was able to see the world through a new lens as I found myself through travel.”

The adaptability skills she learned in Australia were useful because after returning from Australia she had a week to pack and board a flight to New York for an internship at Morgan Stanley. That summer she was an analyst at the investment bank and learned how the stock market impacts the world. She was also inspired by the hustle and bustle of Manhattan and learning to navigate the city.

That final internship led to a full-time position. Fareena says her business courses have given her the foundation needed to work at a multinational firm and gave her an edge over others.

In particular, classroom experiences prepared her to succeed. Lisa Monahan, assistant professor of marketing, made a positive impact on Fareena’s college career by being engaging, personable, and helping to oversee her thesis research.

“She is exceptionally knowledgeable about marketing literature and has been open to guiding me through the process of researching my thesis topic, which explores how one’s’ self-esteem affects his or her level of receptiveness towards a brand. I always feel comfortable approaching Dr. Monahan for advice regarding my career, classes, or life in general.”

Fareena is not surprised by the opportunities she has had or the willingness of faculty to be so supportive. She felt this support as a junior in high school when she came for a campus visit with her sister who was a high school senior at the time. “I will never forget how welcomed I was by the students, faculty, and staff and I was not even the one trying to determine if Meredith was a good fit for me.”

Today, Fareena can say Meredith was the perfect place for her.

“I learned that I thrive in an environment that fosters open-mindedness and new ways of thought. I am glad Meredith implements this ideology into classes in which students are able to hear various opinions and ideas, and continue to learn and grow. This has prepared me well for the future.”