A ringtone sounds off during an interview with Carlow senior Hannah Tajuddin '17. She's neither irritated nor distracted. "Do you need to get that?" she asks warmly.
Tajuddin can relate to being on call and just plain busy. She will graduate this spring with a triple major in business management, accounting, and forensic accounting. She's an ace in math and tutors at the Center for Academic Achievement.
"A mother once brought two kids with her for a tutoring session in quantitative reasoning. I said, 'it's totally fine!' I can relate," says Tajuddin, whose parents both pursued graduate degrees while raising her and her siblings.
A welcoming community is what drew her to Carlow. Tajuddin said she didn't know how she would be treated on campus because of her faith, which is Islam. It just took one visit to Carlow to feel at home.
"People ask me questions and want to learn about my religion. In the student body, you have people who are very eager to meet others," she says.
Tajuddin is involved in Business Leaders of Carlow (BLOC). The club coordinates seminars with professionals from different fields to speak on campus.
"The speakers offer good insight. They talk about how they got to where they are, sometimes by pursuing one goal, finding out they didn't like it, and making changes. It's reassuring to know that everyone has similar struggles," she says.
Another important learning experience is Mercy Service Day. During freshman year, she went with a group of student volunteers to a food pantry expecting to clean. Instead, they were led to a pile of crates and chicken wire and asked to build a compost area.
"It really challenged us," Tajuddin laughs. "We ended up getting really creative. The compost area is still in use today, four years later. It makes me happy to know it's helping someone out."
Tajuddin is enthusiastic about college. She works for the Admissions Office and serves as a coordinator for student events. She says Carlow is different.
"Carlow has taught me so much about service. When someone is struggling I think, ‘If I were in that situation, how would I want people to react?’ I would want someone to help me. I don’t see much sympathy in the world. But I know I can be the one to make a difference. I will be that change," she says.
Her graduation plans are not defined yet, but Tajuddin says that making an impact doesn't need to be huge or "liked by ten thousand Facebook followers." If only she knows she's somewhere making a difference, she'll be happy. Sounds like a formula for success!
Learn more about programs in Carlow's College of Leadership and Social Change.