Colin Powell School
Opportunities come to those who remain open to them
Born in Bangladesh, Nymul Islam embarked on a transformative journey when arriving in the United States at the age of 11, alongside their parents and two sisters. The complexities of American culture, language, and cuisine initially presented challenges. However, these experiences profoundly shaped Nymul's identity and perspective.
Please share a little about your background — what’s your story?
I was born in a small village in Bangladesh and came to the U.S. when I was 11 years old with my two sisters and parents. America was a confusing place at first — the cultures, the people, the languages, and even the food were all so different.
One of the biggest challenges for me was learning English. But these challenges helped shape who I am today. Living in New York City made me realize that, despite our differences, we're all pretty similar deep down. As immigrants, our stories, dreams, and goals connect us.
For middle school, I went to M.S. 267 in Brooklyn, and for high school, I attended The School for Human Rights, also in Brooklyn. Throughout my schooling, I was lucky to have some really great teachers and mentors who gave me important advice and support at key moments in my life.
What is your passion or purpose behind your studies at CCNY?
When I was applying to colleges, I had my heart set on staying in the city and attending a CUNY college. It made sense financially, and I wanted to stay close to home. Among the CUNY choices, CCNY caught my attention because of its wide range of majors, which made it stand out from the others. This unique feature convinced me that CCNY was the right place for my education. The idea of getting an affordable education, staying near my family, and having access to a diverse range of majors made it the perfect fit for me.
Where are you in your career? How has the Colin Powell School helped you along the way? What are your post-graduation plans?
I initially started at CCNY as a Film Production Major but later explored various other majors. During the Fall semester of 2021, I hit a low point in my college journey and began to question whether college was the right path for me. Feeling overwhelmed and in search of a new career direction, I turned to the Colin Powell School with hopes of switching to Economics. This decision turned out to be the most significant and transformative one in my life.
The Colin Powell School not only introduced me to a new passion for Economics but also provided me with invaluable resources to build the foundations for my future career. Thanks to the school's abundant support, I now aspire to pursue a career in the data/business analytics field.
As I look ahead to my post-graduation plans, I intend to continue exploring the realm of data and business analytics. Additionally, I have aspirations to pursue a master's degree in Business Analytics.
Please share a significant memory and/or accomplishment from your time at CCNY.
During my time at CCNY, one of my most significant accomplishments was co-founding a Financial Literacy & Stock Market Club right here on campus. Taking the initiative to establish this club was a courageous step for me, given my initial fear of public speaking. However, this experience turned out to be incredibly transformative as it helped me overcome my fear and led to tremendous personal growth. Over the course of two semesters, we successfully built a thriving community of nearly 200 students. Our primary focus was on imparting essential personal finance skills while fostering an environment that encouraged open discussions about financial literacy among our peers.
In the summer of 2023, I had the privilege of being selected as a Colin Powell - Bloom Energy Innovation Fellow. This opportunity took me to Silicon Valley, where I spent two enriching months working as a supply chain intern at Bloom Energy, a company at the forefront of revolutionizing the clean-tech industry. This experience stands out as not only a significant highlight of my time at CCNY but also the most profound and rewarding one in my entire life. Throughout the internship, I had the chance to engage in real-life projects that not only bolstered my professional career but also created lasting memories.
Do you have any advice you could give to current or future students?
Opportunities come to those who remain open to them. College presents a vast landscape of possibilities, and it's entirely normal to feel lost and overwhelmed at times. Embrace the journey of exploring diverse interests, connecting with new people, and, most importantly, daring to step out of your comfort zone. Being actively engaged on campus, participating in events and trips, and networking with others through platforms like LinkedIn, can unlock a world of personal growth and discovery.
How would you describe CPS in three words?
Transformative, Supportive, Diverse.