Student feature: Meet Maryam Zonaira

Program: The Master of Taxation

Graduation Year: 2021

Program Schedule: Started part time and later switched to full time

Please briefly describe your career path and what led you to choose The School of Business at Portland State.

I have an honors degree in commerce and accounting from India and did three internships in different areas of accounting during college. After graduation, my first full-time job was with Franklin Templeton Investments in the Mutual Fund Operations department that served the The New York Stock Exchange which meant I worked in night shifts! While dealing with the fund redemptions, I came across U.S. taxation concepts and got intrigued by how different it was from the Indian tax system. I started reading more and more about it, even after work, and that is when I decided to pursue a master’s degree in taxation. I enrolled in PSU’s MT program within two months of moving to the U.S.

What do you intend to do with your graduate business degree?

I interned with Deloitte this winter and will start full time with them after I graduate. I am also planning to sit for the CPA exam. The School of Business provided me with several scholarship opportunities throughout my program and made it possible to pursue my education. One day, I want to use my business degree to contribute to scholarship funds and help the community.

What skills gained at PSU have you found most valuable and why?

As an international student, I needed a push to get out of my comfort zone, and PSU always made me feel included. Now, I am more confident in communicating and networking.

Adaptability, multi-tasking and critical thinking are also essential skills that I learned through my program.

How do you spend your free time?

I binge watch interior design and decor shows and am into crafting. I like to read and cook, as well. These days, I am attempting to get DIYs right from YouTube tutorials.

What advice do you have for prospective graduate business students who are interested in your field?

Ask questions! It might seem like an obvious thing, but it took me quite some time to realize how easy and simple it is. Make use of all the available resources at school, reach out for help and never be afraid to try new things.

What inspires you?

The idea of being independent has always been my motivation. Appreciating the resources and opportunities I have inspires me to work harder.

What lessons have you learned while working as a graduate business program ambassador?

Interacting with other ambassadors from diverse backgrounds made me open to new ideas, think differently and widen my perspective. Moreover, every team working experience offers something to learn or the chance to introspect!

The position of a student ambassador provided me a platform to connect with prospective students. It was great to get to know them, understand their concerns and help them.

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