Learning and preparing to make a difference in the world
“I fell in love with UE and the people. It was my home away from home in every sense of the word.”
Hassan Taki Eddin
Class of 2017
Major: Accounting and Finance
Coming to America
In 2011, Hassan Taki Eddin didn’t know about the University of Evansville. But, in 2012, he flew from Damascus, Syria, where he was born and raised, to Evansville, Indiana, to enroll as a student in the Schroeder Family School of Business administration.
As he was graduating high school, Hassan hadn’t applied to any universities in the US. His plan was to go to the American University of Beirut where his SAT scores would enable him to enter as a sophomore. He had even made a sizeable deposit to secure his spot. But then he learned of an opportunity that would change everything.
His American cousins who live in Chicago told him about a Syrian Scholarship program offered at the University of Evansville. Hassan explained it like this: “Syria is going through a very tough crisis, and there are universities like UE that have identified the need for Syrian students to find other places to go to get their education.”
After his acceptance to UE, Hassan did a little research into UE and the city of Evansville – but there wasn’t much to find, so he wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. His preconception was not great. “Back home,” he explained, “The larger schools are the tough ones to get in to, and the smarter students go there.” So the fact that UE is small left Hassan expecting that he may not be challenged.
“But, that perception completely changed my first semester.” He was surprised by the diversity on campus. “There are just so many different cultures and perspectives represented at UE, even though it is a small campus,” he admitted. “I fell in love with UE and the people. It really was my home away from home in every sense of the word.”
A Faculty Mentor
When asked about a particularly notable professor he had during his time here, Hassan said, “You could probably ask me that question 10 times, and I could give you 10 different answers. There are so many people who helped me so much through the years.” But, he said, there is one professor who stands out among the rest in his mind.
“Rania Mousa was the most passionate, energetic, motivating professor any student can ask for. She was much more than a professor and advisor – she was a mentor, career coach, and life coach. I could go to her office with any issue or challenge that I was going through, and she would help me.”
“Right off the bat, my first year I got involved – and that really made me grow a lot. I learned so many things that I could not have learned in the classroom.”
He served the student body as the president of the International Club; chief financial officer of the Student Government Association; a student ambassador for the Schroeder School of Business; assistant director of LEAD Forward, a fellowship program for leadership building in the business school; a student representative on the Board of Visitors; and vice president for pledge education for the business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi.
These activities were of course in addition to four off-campus internships he undertook, as well as several on-campus extracurricular opportunities, including being a teaching intern for a philosophy course.
Changing the World
The life-changing decision to come to the University of Evansville to study finance and accounting set a clear path for Hassan, who had a high-minded goal.
Hassan graduated in 2017 and moved to New York City to take an advisory associate position with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, a Big Four accounting firm where he previously interned. He wants to learn as much as he can and gain the kind of experience that will help propel him toward his next goal.
“My ultimate goal is to go back to my country.” Hassan’s home country of Syria has been going through a deleterious civil war for many years. The costs of this war on the country’s people and economy is immeasurable, and Hassan sees his place in rebuilding what was lost. With the experiences he’s gained at the University of Evansville and the knowledge he’ll gain as a professional, he hopes to return to Syria and help rebuild the economy.
“I feel like I have a huge amount of responsibility on my shoulders to take all of what I learn here and go give back to my country. That is my lifetime goal.”