We had the wonderful opportunity of interviewing Saeed Ahmad (Harvard Law '24) about his College Life
Saeed Ahmad is a rising 2L at Harvard Law School and is currently working as a summer associate at Waymaker LLP in Los Angeles. His involvements at HLS include the Harvard Association for Law and Business, Committee on Sports & Entertainment Law, and Student Government.
Saeed's important words:
One of the biggest advantages to attending top schools such as UCLA and Harvard are the invaluable networks that cannot be found anywhere else in the country. I advise you all to take advantage of them and go to as many social events and cultural galas as possible during your time in these institutions.
Oftentimes, the biggest barrier for us to achieve our goals is that we have not seen people who look like us or come from similar backgrounds achieve their dreams. By immersing myself in the various cultural clubs mentioned above, I strived to both be in harmony with my cultural background and values while also actively promoting these identities.
Q: Going from a community college, to UCLA, to Harvard Law, there must have been many differences between these 3 schools. What are some of the biggest differences (or even unexpected similarities?
A: Going from community college, to UCLA, to Harvard Law has served as a sort of evolution throughout my academic and professional career. Community college was a perfect time for me to get immersed into college culture and truly learn what my passions and interests were. Because I was taking general education classes, I was being taught by highly educated professors (majority had PHDs) in some of the most diverse subjects. I was able to find my passion for law and psychology and went from there. Community College also gave me the tools to network effectively with both peers and faculty and allowed me to get involved with extracurricular activities related to leadership. Community college was also the most affordable and played a part in me graduating with my bachelors degree with absolutely no debt.
I had an amazing time at UCLA to finish off my final two years as an undergrad. Studying at UCLA situated me in the sports and entertainment capital of the world (Los Angeles) and put me in a prime environment for both networking and a world class education. Running the Pre-Law Transfer Society at UCLA was one of the best experiences of my academic career and the relationships and memories that I made there will be cherished for many years to come. I was also able to enjoy non academic activities by joining both affinity groups and a fraternity (Kappa Sigma) where I was able to forge many friendships and engage in fun group activities. The academic rigor at UCLA was definitely a step up from community college and I had to make sure I was on the top of my game in terms of maintaining a high GPA and keeping up to date on assignments and class readings. UCLA is also undoubtedly the most beautiful campus of the ones mentioned in this section and the pleasant California weather and attractions cannot be overstated!
After taking a year-long gap year that encompassed working at Louis Vuitton as a Client Advisor, I started at Harvard Law School this past September. I have had an excellent time at Harvard Law and found it to be a perfect mixture of academic rigor and amazing opportunities to build relationships with some of the most intelligent classmates, faculty, and experts in their respective fields. The campus culture and class structure is also very favorable and there are ample opportunities for spirited debate, interactive events, and of course, cold calls (that are sometimes graded)!
Q: As an American-Pakistani student at UCLA, why was it important for you in terms of your identity, career, and social life to become a part of various cultural clubs including the Middle Eastern Student Association, Muslim Student Association, and Pakistani Student Association
A: I am a big believer that positive representations in the media and broad American culture can be the best ways to promote positive change and inspire the next generation of leaders.
Oftentimes, the biggest barrier for us to achieve our goals is that we have not seen people who look like us or come from similar backgrounds achieve their dreams.
By immersing myself in the various cultural clubs mentioned above, I strived to both be in harmony with my cultural background and values while also actively promoting these identities. It was an added bonus that i was able to meet some of my very best friends and mentors throughout these organizations. One of the biggest advantages to attending top schools such as UCLA and Harvard are the invaluable networks that cannot be found anywhere else in the country. I advise you all to take advantage of them and go to as many social events and cultural galas as possible during your time in these institutions.
Thanks for reading!
While you’re here, connect and learn more about Saeed on his LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/saeedahmad-/
If you were interested in this article, read more about Getting into Top Universities here: https://www.alumnianswers.org/articles/categories/getting-into-top-universities
Click here if you want to learn more from our interviewees about attending a school like Harvard,
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