Mariam Barghash may be far from home, but she brought her culture and characteristics with her to Plattsburgh.
A senior accounting and business administration major, Barghash loves to lend a helping hand to her fellow peers. She is a community advocate for Adirondack Hall, accounting student representative in the School of Business and Economics Voices, a Teacher’s Assistant for mathematical modeling in business and a tutor for this course along with intermediate accounting.
Barghash transferred to SUNY Plattsburgh from Alexandria University in Egypt in her junior year. She was looking for a SUNY school with an excellent business program and a friend recommended she look into SUNY Plattsburgh.
She was born in El Centro, California, but was raised in Alexandria, Egypt. With family in California and New Jersey, Barghash says she grew up close to American culture. While in Egypt, she studied at Alexandria University and took introductory business courses. Barghash explained that education in Plattsburgh compared to Egypt is very different. In SUNY Plattsburgh, she made personal connections with her professors.
Mohamed Gaber in particular helped make her adjustment to Plattsburgh a little more bearable Barghash said. He is a professor and the chair of the accounting department and like Barghash, originally from Egypt.
“Being an international student myself gives me plenty of reasons to do more to help all students achieve their dreams and realize their aspirations,” Gaber said.
Barghash thanks Gaber for a lot of her growth within the major and looks for his guidance in a lot of areas.
“He comes to us with all these opportunities. He really wants the best for us. It’s great,” Barghash said.
Gaber described Barghash as a forward-thinker and commends her for taking on challenging and advanced courses within a short period of time.
She describes herself as multifaceted because she knows different languages including Arabic, French and English. Her friends say she has an Arabic expression for everything.
When she was three years old, she attended the French Embassy Pre-school and continued in the schooling system until her freshman year of high school.
Since second grade, Barghash has been active in Girl Scouts. She was a Girl Scout’s leader and mentor while she was in Egypt. She would go on camping trips and learn women’s character building. She says her CA team reminds her of past girl scout leaders.
“I think that me enjoying the CA experience is partially because of what I was used to growing up,” Barghash said. “We would help younger girls in the sense that we want them to be phenomenal, we want them to be better.”
Barghash is the youngest of three sisters.
“It was rough growing up, my sisters would breathe excellency,” Barghash said.
She describes her two elder sisters as being good at everything, especially in their education and careers.
Her career choice is very different than her sisters. She explained that what they do is very appealing to Egyptian culture, and business doesn’t have the same weight. Her oldest sister is a dentist and her middle sister is a doctor.
Barghash is very passionate about learning. Her mother is one of the most influential people in her life. Her mother is currently working on getting her Ph. D.
“She has done studies in a lot of realms,” Barghash said. “That showed me it’s not about the grade, it’s about the learning experience that matters most.”
Barghash said in Egyptian culture, it’s common for the father to live somewhere else other than with the family, Barghash’s parents are not separated and she explained that her father was very included and tried to be present in everything when she was growing up. He would often come home on the weekends to spend time with Barghash and her sisters.
Barghash has struggled with not having her parents and friends from home, here to support her. Her first year at Plattsburgh was a challenging transition because of online courses and her being too shy to ask questions, but she quickly figured out what she had to do to succeed.
“It’s been a situationship, Plattsburgh and I,” Barghash said.
She adjusted as fast as she could because she wanted to prove something to herself and to others. She realized how well she did in school her first year and thought she could top that.
Barghash said she is very self-reflective. Sometimes she thinks to herself, “What could I have done better?” She said it gives her a chance to look at how her brain has grown. “It’s rewarding to see how far you’ve come,” Barghash said.
She enjoys self-care and is very passionate about genuineness. Barghash holds an event called Self Care Sunday for her residents where they make pancakes, hair masks, face masks and stress balls.
“I come from a culture that’s very open and loving, sometimes people get nosey but in dealing with them, that’s the price I pay,” Barghash said.
She said her friends from home describe her as perky and positive. Barghash said the thing she is most passionate about in life is hugs.
“I always tell my teammates, a hug a day attempts to keep depression away,” Barghash said. “The human contact of being there for someone, that is beautiful. I like that repoire.”
She plans to join the master’s program in data analytics after graduation. She will also be taking the Certified Public Accountant Exam. She recently won a raffle for a free CPA review course.
“I think I have proven myself, and I like when I do that. I earn my slack, and I cash in on it later on in life,” Barghash said.