Almas Khamza

MIB Student Spotlight: Almas Khamza

Almas Khamza is a current student in the Master of International Business (MIB) program. He shares about his experience in the program as an international student, his advice for incoming MIB students and what he likes to do in his downtime. 

Almas Khamza at Kennedy Space Center with a space suit.

Q: Tell us about yourself.

Khamza: “My name is Almas Khamza. I am from the capital of Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan (aka Astana). In 2020, I was awarded the presidential scholarship of the Republic of Kazakhstan “Bolashaq”. Currently, I am doing Master of Science in International Business at University of Florida. I graduated from a boarding school-Kazakh-Turkish high school for gifted boys. After finishing high school, I lived and studied for 1.5 years in Istanbul, Turkey. Afterwards, I graduated from university in Poland with bachelor’s degree in international management.

I started my career as a specialist in Kazakhstan’s leading investment attraction company, where I got a tremendous experience improving my soft skills, expertise in the field and working along high-profile professionals.”

Q: Why did you join the MIB program?

Khamza: “Overall, I’ve always had an intention to experience living and studying at the top university in the United States of America. While gaining hands on experience at the leading investment attraction company in my country and reaching a certain point in my career, I realized that I have to hone my business acumen and expand my knowledge in doing business internationally to fully accomplish myself. Thus, enrollment in Master of International Business (MIB) at University of Florida was the most relevant and timely step, which facilitated to accomplish all of those endeavors.  

To speak specifically of the MIB, the program attracted me with its international focus, top-ranked faculty and globally recognized university with well-recognized program. Classes are built with an international orientation that contributes to broaden students’ worldview and stimulate unconventional thinking. Faculty are graduates of world’s top-ranked universities including Ivy League schools with comprehensive experience from leading institutions. University of Florida and Warrington College of Business in particular is a highly selective and competitive school worldwide.”

Q: Tell us about your MIB experience as an international student. What’s the best part?

Khamza: “In my opinion, one of the best experiences I’ve had so far in the MIB program is that in most of the classes we get do the projects in teams of 4-5 people. This is a great opportunity to exchange knowledge and expertise at the given task, whether it is related to developing a new product or coming up with a unique solution to a problem. Another aspect I found quite interesting about the MIB program is that students are from diverse backgrounds with different world outlook and different experiences. For instance, there are some students that are quite experienced in their fields, who have been on different career levels and on the contrary, there are fresh graduates or senior year students. In my view, this fact brings a lot to the classroom experience and discussions, since most of the lessons are taught interactively with involving students’ in sharing their opinions on one or another matter related to the subject. I am hoping to experience more of those kinds of crucial ingredients of the program in the upcoming semesters.”

Almas Khamza in front of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

Q: What is something you wish you had known before you started the program?

Khamza: “To be honest, prior to coming to the MIB program, I wish had known how quick-paced the modules and courses are in the program. In the blink of an eye and in 6-7 weeks, modules are over. Other than that, it can be quite challenging to find summer internship in the well-reputable corporation/company, especially if you’re an international student.”

Q: Do you have any advice for incoming MIB students?

Khamza: “The University of Florida provides great variety of resources starting from personal development sessions to in-depth field knowledge materials, that not many universities can boast. Take time to benefit of those resources and try to apply them in your chosen fields. It is best to use them while you are still at school and not burdened by other obligations, since after graduation you will have less and less time.

In addition, due to the MIB program’s intensity and fast-paced nature, be prepared to have multiple projects and final exams preparations all the same week. This can be quite stressful, however if approached with the correct methods of setting priorities and time management everything is manageable.”

Q: Tell us some interesting things about you.

Khamza: “I can speak 5 languages including my mother tongue Kazakh; English, Turkish, Polish and Russian. Living in a multi-cultured environment, studying in the best schools in my hometown and abroad provided me with such great opportunities. It is well-known that knowing multiple languages makes you rich as a personality.

Moreover, I like challenging and involving myself in a various activity, which help me to grow both mentally and spiritually. My past experiences as a student include participating in science Olympiads, volunteering and working full-time in multiple organizations. For instance, one summer I even did lifeguarding at the largest waterpark of the world, which was a huge experience.

Also, I’ve always had an idea that any goal/dream is reachable given the right mindset and necessary amount of effort will be put. If you really want to achieve something in life, you should go an extra mile and sacrifice some of your time to make your wish come true.”

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

Khamza: “My leisure time I tend to spend actively, doing sports such as swimming, football (soccer) and hiking. Besides, I really like reading books, communicating with friends, exploring new places. I really keen on travelling and exploring new destinations with my family, since it helps to broaden our horizon and to be inspired by the uniqueness of nature. Overall, those are all great activities, that help you stay lively and provide unforgettable memories, especially now, since I am in the U.S.”