Graduating Senior Spotlight: Q&A with Yasmeen Iman Junaidi Jaafar

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What brought you to the University of Minnesota and how did you end up choosing your major(s) and minor(s)?

I am an international student from Malaysia and I received a scholarship from Petronas, a Malaysian global energy company, to pursue my bachelor's degree in the US. I chose the University of Minnesota for its prestige, vibrant campus, and most importantly top-tier economics research programs. I have always been interested in economics-related fields, which is why I majored in economics. I know I want to be involved in the financial realm of economics. I took a bunch of financial economics courses throughout my four years at the U and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to learn from great professors that have helped me develop relevant skills and grow professionally. I also had the opportunity to conduct University-sponsored research at the U's Heller-Hurwicz Economics Institute and presented my paper at the 2024 Midwest Economics Association's conference.

Which CLA class or professor has had the biggest impact on you? Why?

I would choose the internship class I took in the fall of 2023. I took a fall internship offer and decided to join the class in hopes to prepare and be equipped with relevant skills for my internship. I'm glad I did so because the class has taught me work skills and etiquette that helped me remain composed and ready for the internship. It also taught me the roles and expectations as an employee and what I should do when faced with a challenging situation. I'm also grateful to receive the CLA internship scholarship that made my internship experience a lot more enriching and smooth sailing.

What course would you recommend for other students in your major? And for students outside of your major, what course would be a good introduction to what you study?

For those majoring in economics, I highly recommend taking courses outside of the major that are aligned with your interests or hobbies. Throughout my four years at the U, I have taken a lot of classes that have allowed me to be connected to people from various majors and also gain experience I wouldn't have if I only stuck to economics-related courses, such as karate, Korean language, and the Japanese novel courses.

A good introductory course for students outside my major would be the classic Introduction to Microeconomics. This course is required for all economics majors and will teach you all the basics about economics, which includes supply and demand, the different market structures, etc. It is a fun course to take so I highly recommend it!

Is there an app you hate but use anyway?

Wolfram Alpha. I don't actually hate it but I think the layout is not that convenient to use. But, I use it anyway because it helps me a lot for my calculus and statistics classes. It also helps me with producing graphs more than 3-dimensional. The U provides Wolfram Alpha Pro for every student so make sure to make the most of it!

What's next for you? What are your post-graduation plans?

After graduation, I am returning to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as I have accepted a job offer from Petronas to work as an executive in the strategy and business development division of the company’s gas sector. I am so excited to start working, and I hope to make a difference and grow professionally within the company.

Originally posted by the College of Liberal Arts