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    Zakia Hmamou

    Class of: 2015
    Degree Program: Associate of Science - Engineering Science

    What factors led you to decide to attend Hudson County Community College?
    When I came to the United States in March 2011, my goal was to have a degree that could help me to find a professional job. I started searching in the internet to understand how the education system works in the United States, because I had no idea and my English language was null. I found the HCCC website; I translated the information into Arabic so I could understand it. First, it was close to home, affordable, its credits transferable, and HCCC had the exact major that I wanted.

    What is your favorite memory of the College, in or out of the classroom?
    One of the best memories in HCCC was Fall 2012, because I gave birth to my son 7 days after the semester started. I did not take a leave of absence from the College, but I worked hard during that time and exited the ESL program by the end of the semester

    How did you become interested in engineering?
    I was interested in the major, because I was working as a laboratory civil engineer technician in Morocco, and I felt that I could do more than a technician. I wanted to become a civil engineer, so when I got the opportunity to come to the USA, my first goal was to go back to school to get the appropriate degree.

    How did your time at HCCC prepare you for your career/life now?
    The time that I spent in HCCC as a student change my whole career, when I was a student. I started working as a work study student with the Center for Online Learning; it was an excellent opportunity. Beside my admiration for civil engineering, my hobby is web designing, and computer programming; therefore, my hobby has become my daily tasks with COL, and thanks to work study opportunity, I achieved double goals in my life, having a B.S. degree in civil engineering from NJIT, and working as Instructional Designer with COL at HCCC.

    What is a typical work day for you?
    I do not have a typical work day; every day is different. I start my work day by checking my emails and phone calls. And based on that the day goes on. For example, I may receive complaints from students or faculty about issues in the online courses; the priority is to solve them, and make sure that there is 100% satisfaction. In the couple of days before the start of a semester, I spend my day working on the content of online courses and update or change them to be ready for the students.

    What has been the most memorable project/ case you have worked on?
    One of the memorable projects was designing a hybrid late start course BIO 107 (Human Biology) on short notice. The design was done in two days, it was a successful course, and we offer it every semester.

    Who are your biggest inspirations that have impacted your work in some way?
    I do not have just one; all the HCCC family inspire me – all the faculty and stuff members inspire me somehow, because everyone is unique.

    What advice would you give to recent HCCC graduates?
    If you did have not transferred yet, this is the time. Find a good four-year university to achieve a higher degree, and start applying for internships related to your major, because it adds a lot to your resume.

    What advice do you have for those students who are just starting their college careers?
    First think of what career suits you, not the major. The domain that you choose will be with you forever; then based on that choose the major. Some students keep changing their major because they are confused and wasting their time and money. The major is just the start point, so think bigger.