Life + Arts

Seniors reflect back on how they (and their wardrobes) have changed from freshmen to senior year

[tabgroup][tab title=”Brian Nguyen”]

Pictured is management of information systems senior Brian Nguyen. As a freshman, Nguyen sported a warrior dash viking helmet, a Houston Dynamo jersey, Adidas shorts and boots borrowed from a friend. Now about to walk the stage, he dresses a little more casually, with a Burton baseball cap, LA Limited Edition Johnny Cupcakes T-shirt, Old Navy cargo shorts and Nike Delta Force high-top shoes.

MIS senior Brian Nguyen as a freshman | Diana Nguyen/The Cougar

MIS senior Brian Nguyen as a freshman | Diana Nguyen/The Cougar

The Cougar: So tell me about yourself. What kind of organizations were you involved with during your time here?

Brian Nguyen: I’m primarily involved in UH FSA at school. And, outside of school, I practice Vovinam, which is a Vietnamese Martial Art.

TC: How do you feel participating in FSA and Vovinam have influenced you?

BN: By being a part of these organizations, I have gained more confidence in myself and was given leadership opportunities. I held an officer position in FSA (during the) 2013-2014 year, and I have been a martial arts instructor for a year now.

TC: That’s awesome! How was your experience at UH throughout the four years? How do you feel you have changed as a person?

BN: I have actually been at UH for three years, initially attending Texas A&M my first year and then at a community college the following year. I have grown as a person and felt more comfortable with myself, especially when I discovered FSA my first year at UH. It allowed me to break out of my shell when I started participating in IM volleyball, flag football and soccer. My first-year experience in FSA made me love the organization and drove me to be an officer the next year.

Brian Nguyen in his senior year| Diana Nguyen/The Cougar

Brian Nguyen in his senior year | Diana Nguyen/The Cougar

TC: How would you describe your style?

BN: I would describe my style to be very casual comfortable or athletic. I usually have sports practices or games so I tend to wear athletic clothes, but, if not, I’d opt with a T-shirt/button-up, khaki shorts and boat shoes.

TC: Did you have any favorite professors during your time here?

BN: One of my favorite professors at UH is Dr. Carl Scott, who teaches Project Management. He is a professor who actively engages students and gives them “real world” experience by giving them the opportunity to work alongside actual companies on projects. By the end of the semester, my group and I created an eCommerce shopping cart for Habitat for Humanity’s official website.

TC: Do you have role models or peers who have influenced you here at UH?

BN: Laureen Llanto and Matthew Gianan, who are respectively the president and vice president of FSA, are two people who I truly admire. I’ve had the rewarding opportunity to work with them my second year and see how much they love FSA and the amount work they put into it. They have made my years at UH memorable and elevated FSA to something absolutely amazing.

TC: What are your plans for the summer and the future?

BN: For the summer, I’ll be visiting Eastern Europe for 10 days. Other than that, I’m just looking for a job.

TC: What kind of advice would you give to other freshmen or college students?

BN: Don’t waste your college years at UH (by) going to school, then going straight home after class. Join an organization. Be part of something bigger.

[/tab] [tab title=”Kinza Saleem”]
Construction management senior Kinza Saleem has moved from casual to dressy in garb over the years. These photos show her giving up the T-shirt for a shalwar kameez, a traditional outfit of Pakistan and the South Asia region consisting of loose trousers covered by a flowing suit.


Kinza Saleem in Cougar Village as a freshman | Diana Nguyen/The Cougar

Kinza Saleem: Between school and having an internship for the past year, I have mainly been involved with AGC (Associated General Contractors) and ABC (Associated Builders and Contractors). Since these organizations are geared towards students in the construction industry, being involved has definitely helped in preparation for my career post graduation. AGC and ABC provide students with networking opportunities that provide an upper hand when competing for job positions with students from other universities.

The Cougar: Sounds like you’ve got it all planned out. How was your experience here at UH? How do you feel you have changed as a person?

KS: When I first started at UH, I was eager to be involved in campus life and attended nearly every football game. Throughout the years, my school pride had definitely grown and I am sad to be leaving. My time here has flown by too quickly. I would say I am more open to trying new things and have learned to get out of my shell a bit. Being at UH and being exposed to so many different types of people has made me more open-minded.

TC: That’s great! Being open-minded is always a good thing. How would you describe your style?

KS: My style is definitely unpredictable. I typically wear Nikes and athletic wear on the weekdays and get dolled up with heels on the weekends.

Kinza Saleem dressed in the shalwar kameez | Diana Nguyen/The Cougar

Kinza Saleem dressed in the shalwar kameez | Diana Nguyen/The Cougar

TC: Who would you say is your biggest influence?

KS: My biggest influence at UH would have to be my older sister. We are really close, unlike any other pairs of sisters. She has always been there for me no matter what and we’ve shared a lot of good memories here on this campus.


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