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Alyraj Dhannani

Hometown: Born in Dallas, TX but raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Hobbies: Watching and playing sports, learning about technology, and socializing with my friends.

Major: Undeclared, exploring General Business or Marketing

What made you choose Drexel?

I chose Drexel mainly because of co-ops. When applying, almost all my applications were sent to co-op schools because I believe that co-ops are one of the best things a college student can experience. Additionally, Drexel appealed to me because it is in Philadelphia, right next to center city and since I've been a city kid all my life, I did not want to study and live an area that isn't urban.

What made you choose FYES?

I chose the FYES program because I was never entirely sure on the major I wanted to pursue. I came in with the intention of being in the CCI as an Information Systems major but at the end of the winter term, I decided to switch out to pursuing either Entrepreneurship or a Business major. Finally, I have decided on pursuing a Business major. I don't think I would have been able to do this without being in the FYES program as I've received a ton of support from my academic advisors, FYES course instructor, and the peer mentors. 

What are the academic and professional benefits of exploring your first year?

I think it just gives you a complete overview as to what you can expect in university. You are also provided support in the FYE courses which help you with things like determining your major, pinning down your interests, working on your values, learning about interviews and the process, and additional skills like working with LinkedIn, Handshake, DragonLink, and more.

What has your experience been like with your advisor?

My advisor has been incredible. Ms. Christie is everything a student can ask for in an advisor. No matter how simple or open-ended my questions were, Ms. Christie always had the right answers. She always found a way to help me do what I needed to do in terms of looking at courses, registration, pass/no pass, and more. I'm honestly going to miss her and I wish she could be my advisor for the remaining 4 years I have at Drexel.

Any memorable classes or instructors?

I would have to say that my favorite instructor must be Mr. Abhishek Yeleswarapu from my FYE courses or Mr. Scott Quitel from my ENTP classes. Both of them are amazing instructors who always made classes interesting. I have never been as focused on classes as I was in their classes.

Biggest takeaways from the FYES classes or the whole FYES experience?

My biggest takeaway from being in the FYES program is that it's okay to have uncertainty. There are many ways for you to build yourself up and decide on what you want to do. It is not compulsory for you to have everything determined before you start college. It is good to, sure, but many aren't that way including myself. It took me, essentially my entire freshman year, to decide on what I wanted to pursue and I'm glad I went through this process because it ensures that I wouldn't regret making the wrong decision out of impulse or fear.

What else are you involved in at Drexel? How can students get involved in university groups?

I am currently not involved in any clubs at Drexel, however, I decided to do so because I wanted to be able to know exactly what I would be majoring in before doing so. I do, however, plan on joining some clubs possibly including the Asian Students Association, Drexel Table Tennis Club, Lebow Student Leadership, and Drexel University Model United Nations. Additionally, students can utilize DragonLink to find clubs, fraternities, and associations based on their interests if they want to be a part of extra-curricular activities at Drexel.