Alumni Testimonials

Qasim Khawaja

Master of Civil Engineering
, Class of 2019
Khawaja headshot
I liked the connection between myself and the professors, and I never felt alone or had to self-teach myself anything.
Qasim Khawaja, Class of 2019
Master of Civil Engineering
Structural Engineering

Q: “Tell us about yourself: your job, family, friends, and interests/hobbies.”

A: “I live in Delaware with my family. I enjoy watching and playing sports, traveling, and reading news on current world affairs. In my spare time, I occasionally help my father out with his business while also learning about it simultaneously so that I can have a business of my own in the future.

I currently work as a structural engineer where I help execute in-service surface ship superstructure and below waterline structural integrity assessments, engineering support of remediation efforts, and inspection of remediation effectiveness.”

Q: “What was your motivation for pursuing your degree?”

A: “The motivation behind pursuing my degree at Norwich University was to climb the ladder of success faster, to further my understanding in the field of structural engineering, and to become marketable in the job industries.”

Q: “Why did you choose Norwich?”

A: “When I began looking for a college, I wanted time flexibility so that I could balance my full-time job and personal life. I never intended to look for an online college because I did not have any experience with it. I was looking for an on-campus evening college so that I could attend classes after work. Unfortunately, I could not find a single college with evening classes near my house, and that is where Norwich University came across my search.

I talked to the admission’s advisor, and it gave me confidence that my college search was finally over. The structural engineering concentration stood out because, first, structural engineering is what I wanted to study. Second, I talked to a few of the professors, and they explained how the classes would be structured. Third, classes were recorded so I could watch everything on my own time. And lastly, the program was very economical, so I did not burn through my savings. All these factors made my decision very easy to select Norwich University.”

Q: “Did you have any uncertainties with choosing an online program? If applicable, what was the deciding factor in pursuing an online degree versus a traditional on-campus degree?

A: “I [was hesitant] when choosing an online program due to not being a traditional on-campus experience where you can interact with your professors and other students in person. But, from the very first course, the professors went out of their ways to connect to each and every student. The professors were even available for video calls if a student was having a hard time understanding any concept. I liked the connection between myself and the professors, and I never felt alone or had to self-teach myself anything. Getting a degree online definitely sounds different than your traditional on-campus degree, but I never felt the difference due to the engagement of professors, structured assignments with detailed information, and most importantly, the availability of the professors.”

Q: “What has been your biggest personal or professional success since completing your degree?”

A: “My biggest professional success since getting my degree is my current job. Before starting the degree, I was working as a geotechnical engineer trying to become a Structural Engineer. Due to my two years of experience in geotechnical engineering, the transition to becoming a structural engineer was a challenge. After getting my master’s degree in civil engineering with a concentration in structural engineering, doors became open. I have my current job only due to the degree I received from Norwich University, for which I am very thankful.”

Q: “Please tell us about a time(s) in which you could put your knowledge gained in the classroom to work immediately at your job.”

A: “The knowledge I gained from Norwich’s courses is used almost every day for work. I draw bending and moment diagrams, find materials’ properties, and use those properties in statics and dynamics calculations. I learned all of these concepts during my time at Norwich University.”

Q: “What is one piece of advice you would give to future students enrolling into one of Norwich’s online programs?”

A: “My advice to future students enrolling into one of Norwich’s online programs is to not get scared of online colleges, especially Norwich University. Norwich made everything so effortless that I never felt I was getting my degree online. The way my program was structured with details and the fact that my professors were only a phone call away made my getting online degree much easier.”