A young woman is proving that with hard work and determination, there is nothing one cannot achieve. By the age of 20, she not only had completed both a bachelor’s and master’s degree but also owned her own home. Now, at 21, she is on her way to pursue her PhD.
Pakeezah Zubairi, a senior human-resource specialist from Florida, had a keen desire to succeed when she began high school. At just 16 years old, Zubairi was a freshman at Lynn University in 2015, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in science, and took a little over two years to complete it, according to the university’s website.
“I was doing anything I could for extra credit, additional courses, tests and classes, all to give me a good head start when starting university,” Zubairi told Caters News Agency.
She further added: “I carried this on while at university, the standard number of classes people took a week was four and I was taking seven while working full time.”
Her interest in the human psyche and her experience working in the Employee Services, while completing her undergraduate degree in psychology, led her to make a decision to pursue an MBA degree in human-resource management. However, Zubairi admits that the decision to get enrolled in a master’s program didn’t come easily. She only had about US$200 and personal belongings when she began her program, Lynn University’s website states.
But within six months of starting her master’s program, she got a job with Corporate America and managed to work full time and complete her course. Just a few days before she turned 20, the highly dedicated Zubairi graduated as the youngest MBA graduate of her university.
However, the road to success wasn’t easy and was marked with sacrifices and hardships. Zubairi, who wanted to be independent as soon as possible, moved out of her parents’ home after she completed her bachelor’s degree and lived in student accommodation all through her master’s program.
“It was tough moving out. I come from a very religious background and they stopped talking to me when I left […] ” Zubairi told Caters News Agency.
Alluding to her time completing her master’s degree, she said, “I would write papers until five o’clock in the morning and then sleep two hours and get up for work.”
To save up money, Zubairi said, “I never ate out, I didn’t go out drinking, nor did I spend a penny on designer clothes, gadgets or holidays.”
The young woman also shared that without the support of her boyfriend, Steven, all of what she achieved wouldn’t have been possible as they often stayed up studying together. Additionally, they even saved money by eating the cheapest food, which included ready meals and instant noodles. However, by the time Zubairi completed a master’s degree, she and her boyfriend had already saved enough money for the house. “We saved the $7,500 deposit needed to secure our mortgage within a year,” Zubairi said.
Reflecting on her journey, Zubairi shares she is happy about achieving all that she has over the years.
“It was all worth it, I’m independent, working and studying in subjects I love and it’s all thanks to the hard work of my younger years and the support of my amazing boyfriend. We’re just over the moon,” she said. Although Zubairi missed out a lot on her teenage years such as going out and being on girls’ holidays, she doesn’t seem to regret it as she can still do it now in her twenties.
Meanwhile, Zubairi has a piece of advice to share with all those who are looking to save up and invest in buying their own home. “I would advise anyone to try and get onto the property ladder as soon as they can, the two or three years it takes to save up [Expletive], but the payoff is incredible,” she said.
As for what the future holds for the ambitious 21-year-old, her new goal is to begin a PhD in Industrial Organisational Psychology, which she is currently working on getting accepted.
“And after the PhD, well I’m planning on having a lie down,” she concluded.
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