Cypress College’s appreciation and value for diversity, along with her older sister’s academic success at the college, motivated Sagidah Karakra to pursue higher education at Cypress College. Sagidah has been involved in a number of extra-curricular activities, including the Muslim Student Association and Business Club. She found her niche in accounting after participating in Accounting Career Day and this semester served as a supplemental instruction leader for Accounting 101.
Sagidah is graduating with an associate of science degree in business administration. She is transferring to Cal State Fullerton in the fall to pursue a bachelor’s degree in accounting. She one day hopes to become an accounting professor like the ones she’s had who have motivated her to work hard and never give up on her educational goals.
When asked what she is most passionate about, Sagidah said it’s “inspiring students to excel.”
“I want to make a positive impact on the success of my students,” she added. “I hope that I can continue to support and inspire accounting students to work hard and stay motivated when it comes to achieving their goals.”
Please tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up? What are your interests? What is your story?
I was born in the city of San Bernardino, California. As a young child, I grew up in Palestine. I moved here to Orange County when I was 7 years old. Growing up, I had a very difficult time adjusting to the new life I had in Orange County. English was not my first language. As a result, I struggled tremendously in school. However, I’ve always been hardworking and motivated when it comes to achieving my goals. I enjoy writing and being involved on campus. I especially love creative writing. My goal is to write my own book one day.
Why did you choose Cypress College?
I decided to attend Cypress College because my sister once attended this college as well. I was amazed by how academically successful she was at Cypress College, that is, thanks to the programs she was involved in. Her success at Cypress College made me want to attend and explore my career options. I was also amazed by the long-lasting relationships she built with faculty members at Cypress College. The faculty members at Cypress College showed my sister that they valued diversity. This factor alone made me want to attend Cypress College. Choosing to attend Cypress College has been the best decision I’ve made for myself.
What have you been involved in at Cypress College? How has your path unfolded?
I’ve been heavily involved in the MSA (Muslim Student Association) and the Business Club. In the MSA and Business Club, I took on leadership positions like being the Inter-Club Council (ICC) representative and secretary. I attended weekly ICC meetings to represent both the MSA and Business Club. My main goal in the MSA was to raise awareness about my religion and to provide a support system for Muslim students.
Through the Business club, I was able to network and meet other students who were the same major as me. Being part of the Business Club significantly impacted my college career. I decided to major in accounting because of one crucial event I attended and participated in. Attending and participating in the Accounting Career Day in the Business Club was a life-changing experience. I learned more about the accounting profession and networked with professional accountants as well.
This spring semester, I have worked as an Accounting 101 Supplemental Instruction (SI) leader. I conduct weekly review sessions by utilizing collaborative learning techniques and study group activities. Becoming an Accounting 101 SI leader has been one my biggest accomplishments this semester. As an SI leader, I assist students struggling in financial accounting. I pass on what I’ve learned in Accounting 101 to my students. My favorite thing about my job is knowing that I have an impact on student learning. My students know that I care about their success in Accounting 101, and I know that they appreciate everything that I do for them. Whether it’s conducting an exam review session or clarifying any confusion about lecture material, my students appreciate the guidance and feedback that I provide them in Accounting 101.
What are you most passionate about? Why?
Inspiring students to excel. I want to make a positive impact on the success of my students. This is all due to my current job as an SI leader. Working as an SI leader this semester has been a very rewarding job. I hope that I can continue to support and inspire accounting students to work hard and stay motivated when it comes to achieving their goals.
Who are the faculty and staff that have helped you get where you are today?
The accounting faculty at Cypress College have significantly impacted my college career. Professor Ann Sheridan-Solis has been my biggest support in my time here at Cypress College. She has inspired me to work hard and stay motivated in achieving my educational goals. Professor Sheridan-Solis has taught me the importance of networking and becoming involved on campus. Professor Sheridan-Solis inspired me to become an Accounting 101 SI leader.
Professor Samreen Manjra also impacted my educational career. I got the opportunity to work closely with Professor Manjra as an SI leader. Professor Samreen Manjra motivated me to apply for scholarships this semester. Thanks to Professor Samreen Manjra, I was awarded the Sheron Huston Memorial and Cindy Blume Memorial scholarships. I’m so incredibly thankful to have met and worked with the accounting faculty at Cypress College.
Professor Kathleen Troy has continued to inspire me as well. I’ve enjoyed having her as my management instructor for two semesters now. Professor Troy has given me the best advice in achieving my educational and professional goals. She truly cares about the success of her students. I appreciate everything that she has done for me.
Professor Thomas Reynolds (TJ) II inspired me to explore creative writing. Because of Professor TJ, I’ve realized how much I enjoy writing. He has has continued to support me and has challenged me to grow in my writing capabilities. I’m thankful to have met an individual like him.
What are your immediate plans after completing your studies at Cypress College (at your transfer institution, in the workforce, etc.)?
After Cypress College, I’ll be transferring to Cal State Fullerton. I plan to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business with a concentration in accounting. My goal at CSUF is to expand my network and build more meaningful relationships with business students and faculty members. I plan to become involved in the accounting society and Beta Alpha Psi at CSUF.
What are your long-term goals? What do you aspire to?
My long-term goal is to become an accounting college professor. I have a lot of respect and admiration for my college professors who have always motivated me to work hard and to never give up when it comes to accomplishing my educational goals. As a result, I want to do the same for my students. My current job as an SI leader has significantly impacted my goal of becoming an accounting college professor.
What are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of the progress I’ve made these past couple of years. I’m most proud of graduating high school in two years. With English being second my language, I thought that I could never accomplish my goals. I’m also most proud of becoming an Accounting 101 SI leader. Becoming an SI leader has been the most rewarding job. Lastly, I’m most proud of the relationships that I have developed with my peers and instructors. I’m so incredibly thankful to have met such individuals here at Cypress College.
What one bit of advice would you give to current and future Cypress College students?
Build your network and take advantage of the resources you have on campus. It’s important to form good relationships with your peers and instructors. I think this will open up so many opportunities to progress and succeed. Be proud of your accomplishments and hard work. There are no limits to what you can accomplish, except the limits you place on your thinking. Lastly, step out of your comfort zone and try new things.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I am so thankful to be representing the Business and CIS Division as one of the inaugural Presidential Scholars of Distinction. I’m very grateful for all the opportunities and support the Business and CIS faculty members have provided me with. I’m proud of the contributions I’ve made to the Accounting Department, Business Club, and Business and CIS Division. Attending Cypress College has been the best decision I’ve ever made. Thank you, Cypress College!