Student Profile - Riyad Samad

samadAs a motivated and strong math and science student, Riyad Samad is planning to be as successful as his older sister Aleiya ‘13, an LU chemical engineering major, while establishing himself as an individual through his own accomplishments.

“Seeing the success she had as an undergraduate as well as in her professional career, it would be foolish not to want to emulate her,” he said.

Samad is an industrial engineering major and is planning on getting his Master of Business Administration at Lamar University once he graduates in May 2014.  Before coming to college, Lamar was only an afterthought for the Nederland resident. It was not until he visited the campus that he realized it was a good fit for him.

“Lamar is like a close-knit community where students are not just nameless faces in the crowd,” he said. “Building relationships can provide invaluable employment and research opportunities. This is not readily available at much larger universities.”

The things Samad likes the most about Lamar are the low student-to-faculty ratio and the smaller class sizes that allow students to build strong personal relationships with professors, department chairs and deans.

“Attaining an engineering degree will allow me to have a multitude of diverse career opportunities,” he said. “Having a M.B.A. will open even more doors.”

According to Samad, at Lamar University there is quite a bit of crossover between some of the material covered in the fields of industrial engineering and business. Students can take advantage of that by taking M.B.A. leveling courses instead of upper level major-related electives.

“I have not decided on the specific concentration, but I am heavily leaning toward finance.” he said.

Five years from now, Samad would like to be in a leadership position at the company of his choosing, making a difference and loving what he does. Samad has been very interested in consulting, which he considers being both challenging and fulfilling as it would also allow an opportunity for problem solving and life-long learning.

Samad has received several scholarships during his college career; Phillip and Karen Drayer Scholarship, McMasters Honors Scholarship, Charles and Susan Gordon Scholarship, Earl and Louise O'Dell Scholarship, Mrs. Clyde Weiss Kyle Scholarship, Instrumentation Society of Automation Scholarship and George B. Tims, Jr. memorial Scholarship.

“I am truly grateful to each and every one of my scholarship donors for their kindness and generosity,” he said. “It speaks volumes about their character that they have the compassion to assist others, something that I hope to be able to do in the future.”

Samad is involved in many organizations at Lamar, including the LU Honors Program, the Institute of Industrial Engineers and the Lamar University Ambassadors Program. The Ambassadors are a select group of scholars representing the student body at official events and working to promote university pride among current and prospective students, alumni and friends of LU.

“It is a fantastic chance for students to network while showing alumni that their investments are being put to good use,” he said. “Being involved on campus is both beneficial and instrumental in helping students make the most of their college experience.”

Samad enjoys being with his family and friends during his free time. Originally from Queens, N.Y., Samad's family moved to Texas many years ago, seeking a nice  quiet place to raise the children, as opposed to the fast pace of city life.

“Living on campus is great since Lamar has some of the best residence halls in Texas,” he said. “But I live close enough to home to see my family and friends often. I like to think that I have the best of both worlds.”

The best advice Samad has ever received was “anything is possible through hard work and determination.”

“Simple, but I'd be hard pressed to find a truer statement,” he said. “My mother was the one who told me this, and I see it in effect everyday by viewing the achievements of my sister.”

Samad has participated in two significant research projects while studying at Lamar.

The first, 'An Exploratory Study of Lamar's Student Body', was conducted under the supervision of a former vice president of finance and operations as an independent study for the Honors Program. Samad was able to collect and analyze applicant data in order to quantify students’ collegiate lifespan and applicant merit.  Ultimately, they identified the most cost-beneficial recruitment routes and found $40,000 in potential inventory savings.

The second project, 'Cost-Optimal Scheduling for Asphalt Tanker Railcars', is to improve the current systems employed at one of the sponsor's locations by implementing new data collection and storage techniques, simulation and financial analysis. The project has been an extremely valuable learning experience in that it has allowed him to implement skills acquired throughout his undergraduate career, while allowing Samad to respond to changes that occur in the workplace.

“Ultimately, I believe that we have found a simple solution to a complex problem that will meet the expectations of both the sponsor and faculty,” he said.

Samad has been inducted into Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and Alpha Pi Mu, the Industrial Engineering honor society. He has also attained a Green Belt in both Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing through the Lamar University chapter of the Institute of Industrial Engineers.

Samad was right when he said he felt that Lamar University was the perfect place to nurture his growth both personally and professionally.