Thursday, May 13, 2021

Haji leads by mentoring and involvement

Plattsburgh State senior Saad Haji decided to triple major in accounting, business and management information systems because he wanted to shadow his mentor, Abraham Makkawi, a PSUC alumnus when he first came to Plattsburgh State.

“I’ve taken his footsteps with almost everything college related,” Haji said. “From having three same majors to becoming one of the most involved students on campus.”

Before PSUC, Haji applied to several other schools. However, he decided to choose PSUC because it “gave me the opportunity to explore and polish my character.”

“I have learned so many skills, gained so much experience and built so many connections,” Haji said.

Born in Kurdistan, Iraq, he moved to Binghamton in 2008. Haji said the differences between where he was born and Binghamton are the culture and family vibes.

Since attending PSUC, Haji has been impressed by how the school offers enormous opportunities and how much he can explore in the area.
“During freshman year, I was just a new student trying to shadow a leader,” Haji said. “Now I am a professional student leader where I mentor many students and several clubs.”

Haji also encouraged students to get involved on campus and develop leadership skills.

“I learned how much I was able to grow and learn,” he said. “If I had studied back home in Binghamton, I don’t think I would have become the person that I am today.”

After college, Haji wants to move back to Binghamton and find a job within the field of accounting, auditing, risk management or advising.
He said he also wants to spend more time with his family and focus on himself.

“For my future goals, I would like to move to Nashville, Tennessee, as I have family and relatives who already lived there,” he said. “My life goals are [also] to travel the world.”

Besides college, Haji’s hobbies includes sports, music and travel. He enjoys the outdoors and social interaction.

Senior Ameet Kumar met Haji two and a half years ago in The Accounting and Finance Association. Since then, they have become good friends.

“Saad is a very fun-loving person,” Kumar said. “He is a very good friend, and he always brings a positive vibe into the group and cheers up the people around him.”

Kumar described Haji as involved and caring. He said Haji is also a “clown” because he is always joking, even when he is in a bad mood.
“What I like most about him is that he is always there to help his friends, even when he is busy,” Kumar said. “He is one of the people who will always volunteer first when asked.”

Haji has achieved a lot during his college career.

He has been organizing Arabian nights, an annual event hosted by Club Al Arabia, for three years in a row. The event always turns out successful.

“He [Haji] is super involved on campus as well, and he has organized so many other events through various organizations that he is part of,” Kumar said.

Senior Vrinda Sharma recalled the first time she met Haji through their mutual friends and also because of their working in clubs together.
“He’s one of the kindest and helpful people I have met and would do anything for his friends and loved ones,” Sharma said. “Saad has a way of spreading joy that is unique while also being extremely involved in the community. I’m so happy to call him a great friend and hope that more people get to know him.”

For freshmen to succeed in college, Haji encouraged students to start getting involved on campus as soon as possible.
“Work on enhancing your resume as a freshman, look for internships when you’re a sophomore and build connections,” he said.

Email Hilly Nguyen at

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