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Senior Spotlight: Zarafsha Ahmed

English major Zarafsha Ahmed has loved learning the power of words through literature and hopes to one day work in the publishing industry.

Why did you decide to become an English major?

Reading stories and books has always been an integral part of my life, growing up I was an avid reader always fascinated by the power of words. Discussions in English classes prior to college and even now as my college experience is coming to an end, has always delighted and excited me in a way that other courses simply could not. So, even though I entered UMD as a Letters & Sciences major, technically undecided, it was kind of inevitable that I would end up here studying and exploring literature as I have always in a way done on my own.

What clubs, campus groups, internships, outside of class projects have you been involved with?

On campus have taken part in Team Rugby, America Reads as a mentor, She's The First Org. member, Bangladeshi Student Association (Secretary during the 2018/19 year), Writing Center Internship/Tutoring (Fall 2019), Lexington Internship (Fall 2018),  826DC Internship (Summer 2019), and currently the Treasurer for Sigma Tau Delta.

What is something you read during class that impacted your worldview? 

I have read many books, just this semester A Mercy by Toni Morrison, that changed how I viewed morality and character flaws. It was eye-opening even through paper to see how complex people and circumstances are, and especially in terms of enjoying literature how important it is for people, situations, stories, the whole world really to have nuance.

What skills (professional, creative or other) do you think you’ve gotten from the major?

In the past four years I have learned invaluable skills that will help me in the long run forever, but the most important thing I've gained from the major is simplicity and clarity. I have always struggled with flowery, rambling, nearly nonsensical writing, but throughout the semesters I have really learned to tighten up and focus my words, both on text and in person. I have learned it is not the quantity of words or ideas, but rather the unique quality that an individual can give it.

What is your dream job or career?

I aspire to work in the publishing industry, most preferably as in the Editorial Department

What are you passionate about (or even curious about)?

Other than reading, I have always been very interested in astronomy!