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GS Spotlight: Haleema, a Scholar with a Passion for Mathematics

With a steadfast determination to carve her path, Haleema Begum ‘T25, a dedicated Goodnight Scholar and Applied Mathematics major at North Carolina State University, is navigating her own unique path. Born in Quetta, Pakistan, Haleema has discovered her passion for mathematics with the guidance of an inspiring professor.

Read our latest Goodnight Scholars Spotlight to learn more about Haleema’s journey to NC State as we delve into Haleema’s transformative journey and her determination to excel in the world of mathematics and finance.

Can you tell us about yourself, your background, and your interests? 

Of course! I was born in Quetta, Pakistan, and grew up there. I completed my high school education in Quetta before coming to North Carolina. I’m currently a senior majoring in Applied Mathematics with a Finance Concentration and minoring in Business Administration. I absolutely love being in NC State, and I have a passion for exploring new places, especially by taking long drives. I also enjoy traveling the world, although that often requires working and saving up money. Additionally, I’m a Muslim girl, and my faith is an essential part of my identity, giving me purpose and direction in life. 

What inspired you to choose Applied Mathematics with a Finance Concentration as your major? 

That’s an interesting story. I was taking a pre-calculus course during the summer of 2019 at Durham Tech, and my professor there had a unique way of making math fun with her jokes. One day, she told me, “You look smart in math, and I advise you to continue your degree in Mathematics because in the US, we do not have many math majors as compared to other majors.” Initially, when I first came to NC State, I was majoring in computer science. However, I soon realized that coding wasn’t my strong suit. So, I decided to take my professor’s advice and switched to mathematics. It’s been a great decision ever since. 

Could you tell us about your experience with the Goodnight Scholars Program? 

The Goodnight Scholars Program has been an incredible experience for me. It’s more than just a scholarship; it feels like a close-knit community and a second family. The program’s staff is always there to support us with personal matters or academic challenges. I’m truly honored to be a part of this program, and I’m grateful for everything it has offered me. 

Can you share any extracurricular activities you’re currently involved in? 

Currently, I’m taking a class on Predictive Analysis in Special Topics in Data Science. While it’s not part of my degree requirements, I consider it an extracurricular pursuit. This course is teaching me valuable skills in data manipulation and modeling future outcomes, which I find fascinating and relevant to my field of study.

What are your plans and aspirations for your future career? 

As of now, I’m still undecided about my specific career path, given that I changed my major along the way. However, I have a few ideas in mind. I’m considering working in a bank or an insurance company, where I can utilize my mathematical skills. Alternatively, I’ve also thought about becoming a math teacher at a school. My options are open, and I’m excited to explore different opportunities as I progress in my academic journey. 

On a lighter note, what’s your favorite food, and can you tell us more about it? 

I absolutely love Pakistani cuisine, and one of my favorite dishes is biryani. It’s a delightful dish made with rice and meat, and it’s known for its spicy flavors. As someone from a Dari-speaking background in Pakistan, I enjoy meeting with my Afghan friends who share my language. Through these interactions, I had the pleasure of discovering Mantu, which are savory beef and onion-filled dumplings. They are incredibly delicious, and just talking about them makes my mouth water!

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