Wednesday was a big day for graduating Purdue Fort Wayne students as the school held its first ever commencement ceremony since realigning control of the university, but for one student it marked the conclusion of a journey that brought him from a bachelor’s degree in Pakistan to a Master’s degree in Fort Wayne.
Shahab Ali Shah’s educational journey was not expected to become what it has. He did not talk until he was four and did not walk until he was three. Because of that, he said “not much was expected of me by many people.” He said it was his parents who kept him going.
“My parents believed that yes i will do great,” Shahab said. “When I got into school, I excelled pretty fast. Then I got into one of the leading universities in Pakistan which is the University of Engineering and Technology Pershawar in Pakistan.”
Shahab wanted to further pursue education after earning his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering. His cousin put him in touch with the systems engineering program at Purdue Fort Wayne, the connecting program that would help Shahab get his Master’s. That led to a phone interview with the University.
“On top of just admission, he offered me a graduate research assistantship and I was like ‘that’s awesome,'” Shahab said. “He said ‘would you be willing to accept the offer?’ and I said ‘yes’ so that’s how I got admission here.”
Shahab completed his Master of Science degree in Engineering from Purdue Fort Wayne’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in December. In January, he was hired as a systems and manufacturing engineer with Triton Metal Products where he works today.
Shahab’s success at PFW has school administrators excited for more international students.
“We are looking forward to hosting even more international students on our campus,” said PFW Chancellor Ron Elsenbaumer It is so important to bring the world here so that our students can really understand what’s happening around the world. What are other cultures like? and how do we share that information and appreciation of what is happening around the world?”
Shahab said adjusting to culture here wasn’t hard for him.
“When I got here, everything was way more friendly. I’m never afraid if I am out of town,” Shahab said. “That’s how I got my friends. My best friend, I would like to mention, Joseph Smith in my department. He really helped me with several things I needed help with.”
Shahab said he plans to continue to work in Fort Wayne until it comes time to look for something else. Then, he said, the whole world is a possibility.