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Meet the Grads: Latifah Aldossary

Hailing from Saudi Arabia, Latifah Aldossary came to West Virginia University to study engineering but altered her course to suit her passion and the opportunities back home. Hoping to work for Aramco, a multinational petroleum and natural gas company, she chose to study environmental soil and water science.

“I saw the opportunities back home. They have enough engineers. They need environmental scientists. The projects there all involve knowing the environment because that’s what the projects are based on. Plus, it’s my passion to know more about the environment," she said.

What was your favorite class?
In my environmental impact assessment class (ENVP 460), the professor gave us real companies that have issues and we had to solve them. We had to make a whole presentation about it and talk about the issues and finding alternatives. It was like we were working for the company and working in real life. So I had a really nice experience in that class. I feel like I learned a lot and gained a lot of experience.

What was the best part of your time at WVU?
I feel like making new friends, knowing different cultures and the diversity in our school was a great experience. I like meeting new people and talking with people from other countries. It’s quiet here and good for studying.

What was the most difficult or unexpected?
The most difficult one was being away from my family for this long. Meeting new people and then leaving. That’s the hardest part: saying goodbye. And the most important thing is not getting to have a graduation ceremony. That was unexpected.

What would you do differently?
Probably focus from the beginning and not at the end. At the beginning I was confused and didn’t focus. I was just with my friends. Then, I realized I only had two years left and I started working harder.

What advice do you have for future students?
Enjoy it as much as possible. Learn everything. Try everything. Do everything. Most importantly, meet people from different worlds and different countries. Volunteer. Get into organizations. Learn new things and different skills.

In tackling your degree and coming to WVU, what were you most afraid of? Was your fear realized? How did you overcome it?
That I wasn’t going to make it. I was afraid it would be difficult for me and that I wouldn’t meet anyone and be alone for four years. That was terrifying for me. Not knowing how to handle my classes, but then I managed. It took me a while to know the system and everything. I organized my time and knew when to leave for class and where they were the day before. I tried to socialize with people in my class and at my apartment.