The Big Picture
As the Student Government Association (SGA) president on the New York City campus, Zoya Haq has her eye on the big picture. “College is a very important chapter in our book of life, and it should be memorable for good reasons, not something that we look back on and regret,” she says. A problem solver by nature, Haq is planning on pursuing a career in either information technology (IT) management or data science after she graduates. Meanwhile, she is using her skills to improve the lives of her fellow New York Tech students.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your background. How did you come to choose New York Tech?
I am the eldest of four siblings. My parents are from Pakistan, but I was born and raised in New York. My parents always said that I could do whatever I chose, but I would need to put in 100 percent, and no less. When looking for the right college, diversity was very important to me. New York Tech’s New York City campus is in the heart of Manhattan and the student population is very colorful; you meet people from other countries and all walks of life. They also had a 4+1 program in information technology that appealed to me, because I knew I wanted to get my master’s degree.
How did you come to study IT?
From the age of seven, I wanted to be a pharmacist. But when I was in eighth grade, my teacher told me that was a “dying field.” So, I switched to medicine and focused on becoming a doctor. I volunteered in hospitals during my first two years of high school and then enrolled in the International Baccalaureate program. That was when I was introduced to biology and realized I did not enjoy it enough to pursue medicine. When the time came to apply for college and choose a career path, it hit me: people in my family were always asking me to help them fix their technical issues. I enjoyed helping them, problem-solving, and the overall process. Because of that, I looked into studying IT and never looked back.
What inspired you to get involved with the SGA?
As a freshman, I got involved with the South Asian Student Association (SASA). I started as vice president and then became president. I held that position until the end of my junior year, when I decided to run for SGA president. I felt that SASA had come a long way, and it was time to influence SGA on a larger scale. Now, I am SGA president for the New York City campus and excited to see where the SGA goes from here.
Being in any leadership position allows for personal and professional growth in any career path. I wanted to be involved with student government to ensure that campus life is enjoyable for ALL students and to make sure students’ voices are heard. As SGA president, I am excited to provide clubs and organizations with everything they need to promote student engagement on campus. I am also interested in bridging the communication gap between the administration and the students.
What advice do you have for first-year students?
Be patient and know what is available to you. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people for help. Utilize the resources. You can even reach out to the SGA. If we do not know the answer, we can connect you to someone who does.
This interview was edited and condensed.