A Residential Life
When Anika Farzeen Chowdhury '14 graduated from the College of Saint Benedict, she made plans to move back to her home in Chittagong, Bangladesh. While the move required several changes, one thing stayed consistent: Anika would continue to work at a university.
During her time at CSB, the psychology and communication major from Chittagong, Bangladesh, worked as a residential assistant for over three years.
"Being an RA was the best decision of my college life," she says. "I met some of my best friends, mentors and truly developed a multitude of professional skills. I worked other jobs but none made me happier than being an RA. I was very fortunate to have been a part of CSB Residential Life."
When she returned to her hometown in Bangladesh, Anika worked as a communications executive at a local university in Chittagong. She spent her time developing advertisements, writing non-academic programs and working with other staff and faculty members on several projects.
Six months later, she started a new role with an even more familiar background.
Anika currently oversees the entire Residence Life department at the Asian University for Women (AUW). Of the 600 plus students at AUW, 550 of them are residential.
"My job entails a wide range of duties. I developed a residential curriculum for the RAs to follow in their programming, and I've also developed successful training sessions for RAs so they can be empowered residents. I work with a team which deals with various student residential issues."
As the preeminent liberal arts college for women in South Asia, AUW attracts students from all over.
"We want to empower women from developing countries through a quality education and experience," Anika says. "My favorite part is overseeing programming to ensure a holistic residential experience and getting to meet amazing people and learn their stories."
One of the most intriguing parts of her job is the many similarities that exist between CSB and AUW.
"At AUW, there are small class sizes, close teacher/student relations and a close-knit community," she says.
As Anika takes on more responsibilities in her new role, she feels well prepared for her new adventure.
"When I was an RA at Saint Ben's, we had to go through long training sessions each fall and spring, which are crucial in my current role," she says. "During the academic years, I had fantastic supervisors and mentors who guided me to ask the important questions and to make tangible plans to achieve what I wanted to achieve."