Student Spotlight: Samim Kohistani
Samim Kohistani knew he wanted to do something in business since the age of 8.
“I was a young entrepreneur, or what others might say a ‘hustler.’ I would do certain things around the house and make a somewhat binding promise with my mom or dad to get me Cheetos from the store, or to buy me Yu-Gi-Oh! cards,” he said. “Later on when I grew older, I would actually buy and sell merchandise on Craigslist and eBay.”
Kohistani selected College of DuPage because of its affordability; its familiarity, as his brother is a graduate; and the fact that he wasn’t ready to leave his parents to attend a university. COD has since made a big impact on his life.
“It has helped me carve a path toward the goals I want to reach,” he said. “I now have an appreciable outlook at all the different degrees and careers out there and what I can achieve.”
There was a time when Kohistani wasn’t sure where his life was headed. When he was 5 years old, he was sick with a rare kidney disease and needed medical attention. His mother brought him and his three sisters to the U.S. while his Dad and brother remained in Pakistan.
“My Mom is my greatest hero because she faced so much adversity and overcame so many obstacles for me to get to where I am today,” he said. “As time passed, I enrolled in school, learned English, got better with respect to my kidneys, and was reunited with the rest of my family.
“Life for me was never conventional. I felt like I had to work a little harder than everyone else just to make it. I’ve learned a lot growing older and still am continuing to learn more. The most important thing I’ve learned thus far is that this life will not be here forever. You always have to give time back to what formed your foundation – family, friends and, most importantly, yourself.”
While at College of DuPage, Kohistani served as president of Alpha Beta Gamma Honors Society and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa and the Business and Entrepreneurship Club.
“Personally, COD gave me a sense of community and belonging,” he said. “A lot of my friends attended COD and I made a lot of new friends there as well. The clubs I joined and the extra hours I spent studying with classmates really enhanced my relationships with people. Also, I was inspired by many professors – by their work ethic, life stories, accomplishments and passion for teaching.”
In 2015, Kohistani was named one of the Outstanding Graduate finalists. After earning his Associate in Arts degree, he transferred to DePaul University, where he is in the Finance honors program studying management information systems with a minor in economics. He is interning at Citadel LLC and will intern in 2017 at RSM US LLP in a valuations role.
His advice to other students is to make the best of their College of DuPage experience.
“Join clubs, use the vast amount of resources offered and don’t forget about free popcorn Wednesday,” he said. “College is a time when a great amount of change and growth mentally occurs. You’d be surprised how much you learn about yourself in these short two years. Always be patient and dream bigger than big.”
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