Shaheer Bhangar is part of this December's commencement class of the Technology Division at the University of Houston's Cullen College of Engineering. In advance of graduation, he shares the reasons that went into picking UH for his Computer Information Systems degree, as well as what he'll be doing after graduation.
What made you choose UH for continuing your education?
I chose to continue my education at UH for a combination of reasons that truly spoke to my personal circumstances and aspirations.
Firstly, UH offered an incredible opportunity by offering multiple scholarships stacked on top of individual ones I had received, which covered the total cost of tuition. This financial incentive was instrumental in allowing me to pursue my education without the burden of accumulating debt, which aligned with my goals and enabled me to focus solely on my academic journey.
Secondly, the proximity of UH to my home was crucial. My mother is a widow, and I felt a strong responsibility to remain close and provide her with any support she may have needed. Choosing UH allowed me to strike a balance between pursuing higher education and being present for my family during this important phase of our lives.
These factors – the financial support from UH and the ability to stay close to my family – were pivotal in my decision-making process and have significantly contributed to my academic and personal growth during my time here.
When it comes to your academic success, who are people who have been instrumental?
My academic success has been shaped by a network of incredible individuals who have offered unwavering support, guidance and opportunities for growth. Foremost, my family, especially my mother, has been the bedrock of my journey. Their constant encouragement and belief in my potential have been the driving force behind my accomplishments. Without their unwavering support, I wouldn't have reached the milestones I have achieved.
During my time at UH, a professional student organization, Future Information Technology Professionals (FITP), proved to be a pivotal part of my academic and personal development. Serving in various leadership roles within FITP, such as President, connected me with like-minded peers in my field of study. This organization not only enhanced my understanding of technology but also provided a platform for professional growth and collaboration.
I'd also like to express my gratitude to certain professors at UH whose guidance and mentorship have been invaluable. Professors Jose Martinez, Peggy Lindner and Sajida Faiyaz stand out for their commitment to nurturing not just my academic prowess but also my overall growth. Their dedication in the classroom setting and beyond has been instrumental in shaping my academic journey at UH.
Can you share some of your feelings about graduating?
Graduating holds an immense significance for me on various levels. As a first-generation college student, the prospect of walking across the stage, knowing I'll be graduating debt-free, fills me with an indescribable sense of accomplishment. This milestone isn't just a personal victory; it's a culmination of the collective efforts and sacrifices made by my family, especially my mother, who stood by me every step of this journey.
The anticipation of having my family, including relatives from out of town, present at the commencement ceremony fills me with overwhelming joy. Their support has been unwavering, and having them there to witness this milestone is incredibly meaningful to me. To have them surrounding me as I mark this achievement will make the day even more special.
I'm beyond excited and deeply grateful for this moment. It represents not just the end of a chapter but the beginning of new opportunities, and I couldn't be more ready to embrace what lies ahead.
What are some of your plans post-graduation?
Post-graduation, I'm thrilled to share that I'll be taking the next step in my career journey. Having interned twice with American Express as an Information Security Analyst, I gained invaluable experience and clarity about my career path. It became evident to me that being close to my family, particularly my mother in Houston, is a top priority.
I'm incredibly excited to announce that I'll be joining Chevron full-time as a Cybersecurity Engineer upon graduating. This opportunity not only aligns perfectly with my career aspirations but also allows me to stay rooted in Houston, supporting my family while pursuing a meaningful and challenging career. I'm eager to contribute my skills and expertise to Chevron and continue growing in the field of cybersecurity.
This next chapter represents a perfect fusion of professional growth and personal priorities, and I couldn't be more enthusiastic about what lies ahead.