By Minal Abhange
Travelling miles away from home may seem really scary for a lot of us, but not for College of the North Atlantic – Qatar (CNA-Q) alumni Sai Samayam Sandhya, who now calls Newfoundland her new home.
Sai first came to Newfoundland as a Business Case Competition participant along with a team of students from CNA-Q in 2014. The Business Case Competition is a two-day event, where teams are given a business case describing a company facing a specific problem. The teams are given two-and-a-half hours to analyze the problem, recommend a solution, and develop an implementation plan to pitch to a panel of judges.
“As I glanced out through the airplane’s window. I was mesmerized by the beautiful landscape. I have never seen snow in my life, and during my stay in Newfoundland I saw snow for the first time. It was an amazing feeling. I was thrilled with emotions how in minutes the snow painted everything white. That’s when I decided I have to come back,” Sai said.
Many of us realize their passion at an early age. The opposite was true for Sai.
“As a child, I was very ambitious I wanted to become a doctor, and my mother wanted me to pursue medicine as a career too. As an adult, I was more serious towards my career decisions, and more driven to the business and commerce industry.”
Once she finished high school, the immense urge to learn more motivated her to pursue the Business Management (Accounting) program at CNA-Q to further hone her skills.
“I was never afraid to ask questions to my instructors; they were very helpful in addressing all my questions. They always also kept us updated on several industry competitions and networking events. The program was very focused giving me a rounded academic knowledge as well as the working knowledge in the industry,” she says.
Sai’s favourite part of studying at CNA-Q was the close-knit classes and the openness she shared with the instructors.
“I still remember my first day. It’s a beautiful campus; my favourite place was the playground. I was actively involved in a lot of the campus activities as a member of the student union so I spent a lot of time on campus,” she says.
After graduating CNA-Q in 2015, Sai’s learning experience did not stop. “One of the proudest accomplishments of my life was earning my college degree at CNA-Q. After visiting Newfoundland, I just loved the vibe and when I went back to Qatar I told my Dad I have to go back. My Dad’s response was ‘eh… you’re my only daughter?’ But eventually I found out from my counsellor at CNA-Q about the transfer agreement with Memorial University. I took admission and came back,” she recalls.
However, she was ready to return to Newfoundland to make more memories.
“Although I had a lot of options to study anywhere in the world, I chose Newfoundland. My interest of coming back to Newfoundland was certainly influenced by the scenic landscape and the friendly people. I felt like I was home.”
After recently graduating from Memorial University of Newfoundland with the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Sai is actively seeking employment, while also seeking admission at the Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) Atlantic School of Business.
“After graduation I have travelled to other cities like Toronto and Montreal, but I still love living here in Newfoundland. As a student, I feel my success lies in the fact that I approached my studies as if I were a professional. I’m looking forward to continue education from the CPA Atlantic School of Business.”
Her message to international students aspiring to study in Newfoundland?
“Take advantage of the opportunities that come your way. We need to realize that not all opportunities will come again. As the first CNA-Q Alumna, my decision of coming to Newfoundland has changed my life in so many ways. I have discovered so many new professional skills, I feel very accomplished although I’m far away from home to share my memories with my family. I look forward to a great time here in Newfoundland,” she says.
For more information visit www.cna.nl.ca.