Since 1973, the Chancellor’s Student Service and Leadership Awards (CSSLA) ceremony has recognized outstanding student leaders and student volunteers. The recipients are known to be students who not only maintain a high academic achievement but also demonstrate a commitment towards the UIC community through participation in multiple student organizations, campus activities and community engagement throughout the greater Chicago area. We had the opportunity to learn about the incredible journey of one such student winner, Hareem Khaliq.
Firstly, congratulations on your success in receiving a Chancellor Student Service and Leadership Award (CSSLA). It’s one of UIC’s highest honors to receive for our students. How are you feeling about this award?
It’s been an honor and it feels great to be receiving an award. Being involved since freshman year and being on an executive board since sophomore year in multiple organizations, along with full course loads and working has been challenging, yet the most rewarding part of my college career. I am so grateful to UIC for providing me a platform that not only helped me grow and learn from so many knowledgeable people around me, but also helped me give back to others to the best of my ability, and will continue to do so as I embark on a new journey of my life.
What makes you a student leader?
A leader is someone who listens to their audience, understands them, and makes a reasonable decision. What makes me a student leader is my ability to listen, understand my fellow group members/leaders, and remain calm at times of perplexities. I had the privilege of being on the Accounting Club board for quite a while now. Currently, I am a Director of Corporate Relations and as a team, we have had conflicts but we were able to resolve it with our combined efforts.
How involved are you presently on-campus - with initiatives, student organizations, etc.?I am a Co-President of the Business Student Advisory Board, Director of Corporate Relations of Accounting Club, Becker Campus Ambassador, and Co-Founder & Vice President of Pakistani Students Association. As a senior, I am proud of all the work we have done as a team.
What experiences do you think contributed to you to receive this award? Is there a program or initiative, in particular, that is close to your heart that you are incredibly proud of?
There are numerous experiences that have contributed to me receiving this award. Being involved in organizations is one of the integral parts of my time at UIC. Working with team members and learning together to host events such as the UIC Business Boat Cruise to UIC Accounting Club Banquet. All these experiences have helped me achieve this award and none of this would have been possible without my team and the support faculty members. An initiative that I am super proud of and is very close to my heart is co-founding an ethnic organization on campus, UIC Pakistani Students Association. The purpose of founding this organization was to provide a platform for Pakistani students on campus to come join together and celebrate their roots and culture. I am so proud to say that recently my team and I hosted a Spring Formal and it was a huge success with fun-filled music and scrumptious food.
What is the driving factor to your success?
The driving factor to my success and a great time at UIC is my ability to be consistent. My mentor once told me, “Consistency overcomes resistance” Every time I fail and get a setback, this phrase reminds me of all the struggle and hard work I have done and all that it led me to attain so far. It helps me to get up and work even harder to achieve my goals and that has been the driving force towards my success. In my opinion, I am not even close to achieving my goals, but I definitely believe I have made progress and will keep continuing to do so as I move on further into the next step of my life. I would like to mention, as I graduate, my heart is filled with gratitude for the opportunities and experiences UIC has provided me. Whether it is being involved in organizations I care about, being able to build close relationships with UIC Business professors and faculty members, obtaining internship experiences, securing a full-time job, and lastly making friends who are like family now. None of this could have been possible without the support of each and every one I met throughout my college life, my beautiful parents/family, and most importantly the blessings of my lord.
What does your legacy look like?
My legacy looks like an individual with passion, encouraging and helpful. For instance, co-founding an organization was a passion to leave something on campus that will facilitate a stronger connection for Pakistani/Indian students on campus to rejoice and get together to make long-lasting friendships and help each other out along the way. I have definitely made friends along the way and I hope this legacy serves for what it was founded for.
Lastly, what advice would you give for other students looking to receive a CSSLA?
If I were to give advice to students looking to receive a CSSLA award, my biggest advice would be to network. I cannot emphasize enough how crucial it is to be open-minded and network whether it is by being involved in organizations, building connections with professors, or going to networking opportunities that UIC provides. It not only opens doors for success, but it broadens horizons and makes you a better individual. If I didn’t step out of my comfort zone, networked with people, observed others, and learned from knowledgeable professionals, I wouldn’t be leaving UIC successfully double majoring in Accounting & Information Decision Sciences, along with a minor in International Business, completing seven internships, and securing a full-time job offer at PwC.
Thank you Hareem for sharing your journey at UIC Business with us and we hope you keep inspiring the rest of the students with your sheer dedication for success. To stay connected with Hareem, you can send an email to her or connect on LinkedIn.