Mohammed Potrik Recognized as Spring 2009 Outstanding Undergrad Student
Accounting and finance senior Mohammed Potrik was honored at the UH Bauer College of Business Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony on May 16, 2009, as the Outstanding Undergraduate for Spring 2009.
Potrik successfully balanced his class work, student organization involvement and an internship as a financial research analyst at Johnson Bender & Co. during his undergraduate career. He served as the VP of Corporate Relations for Beta Alpha Psi and was also a member in the Finance Association and the Accounting Society.
Potrik will be graduating with an internship with Deloitte and will continue to work at completing his hours to take the CPA exam. Here, he discusses his experience at UH Bauer and his plans for the future.
What made you choose UH Bauer for your undergraduate degree?
Several reasons drew me to Bauer College for my undergraduate studies. Prominent among them is the diversity of the school, which helps us develop an appreciation for all different kinds of cultures and prepares us for a globalized future. Plus, located in a big city, Bauer provides a lot more networking opportunities and face time with firms that are looking for graduating students.
What was the most challenging or difficult aspect of your time at Bauer? How did you overcome this?
The biggest obstacle I had to overcome was balancing my academic, work, and social life. Prioritizing my responsibilities was the key to my success here. Like many other students that attend UH, I financed my own education through working and taking full time classes at the same time. At first, it was easier to just attend classes day in and day out while working, but I realized that I had to take the initiative and get involved in different Bauer Student Organizations to have a successful career.
Was there a particular professor or person at Bauer who impacted you during your undergraduate studies?
I have very fond memories of the University of Houston. Said more accurately, those memories are of the friends I made, of people who invested in my growth and development, and of professors who took the time to care. There really isn’t one specific person as the whole experience has contributed to my success. The professors here are really helpful and interested in seeing their students succeed. They were always available to help me work through problems or give advice.
What do you think sets the Bauer student a part from other business students?
The one thing that sets Bauer students apart from business students from other leading universities is their work ethics. Most of the students here work to finance their own education while taking full time classes. They know how to balance work-life and their education at the college complements their work experience. Firms recruit at Bauer because they know that the student population here is well rounded and are prepared for dealing with new workplace challenges.
What advice would you give to incoming freshman or transfer students at Bauer?
Involvement in college activities and student support services available at Bauer is the best way to have a fulfilling college experience. Join any student organization your first semester. For me, Beta Alpha Psi opened doors and provided opportunities to network with a lot of firms around town. Plus, I learned about the recruiting process and interviewing techniques from students that had gone through the process before me. Further, utilize Rockwell Career Center to secure an internship. This is the single most important resume builder tool.
How does it feel to be ending this chapter of your life?
After all my hard work, I am definitely looking forward to attending the commencement ceremony. Somehow the feeling of walking on the stage makes the whole graduation process seem more real. In some ways it is sad that I will soon have to leave Bauer and pursue other career objectives. But nonetheless, I am excited to see what the next chapter of my life will bring. Bauer College has provided me with the tools needed to build upon my success and make an impact in my future endeavors.
What do you plan to do after graduation?
With the education and experience I garnered at Bauer College of Business, I feel like I am prepared to take the next step and launch my career after graduation. I am looking forward to working with Deloitte starting Fall 2009. At the same time I will be working towards getting my 150 hours to sit for the CPA exam. In conjunction with my Finance degree, I want to pursue a career in Corporate Finance. One of my long term goals is to return to UH and get my MBA within the next 5 years.