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Kareman Rawy has been charting her course toward a career in business information systems since kindergarten.
“It all started when I was five years old,” said the Oregon State University senior from Brentwood, Calif., a first-year student in the College of Business’ professional school. “My father has a Ph.D. in computer science, and he always told me as a little girl sitting on his lap, looking at the black and green screen, ‘You’re going to be like me.’ And I’d say ‘No, Dad, I want to do business. I want to be the boss of you.’ He’d laugh and say, ‘Oh, you.’”
Egyptian-born Mahmoud Rawy is no longer laughing. His studious and STEM-minded daughter, who’s fond of quoting Neil deGrasse Tyson – “Math is the language of the universe” – is thriving in the College of Business, even earning a scholarship funded by the Portland chapter of the Society for Information Management.
“It’s a perfect combination of computer science and business, and I love business a bit more,” said Kareman, who’s also pursuing an entrepreneurship option with an eye toward starting a tech company or another type of venture Tyson would surely love.
“I have an idea that’s pretty bold,” she said. “There’s a space company I want to start, asteroid mining, for minerals too, but mainly just water. There’s a shortage of fresh water. Of all the water on Earth, less than 3 percent of it is fresh.
“My inspiration to help people started from helping my younger brother as a little girl,” Kareman added. “He is one year younger than me and even though he has cerebral palsy that made him unable to talk and walk, I always read to him dinosaurs, science and astronomy books to comfort him. That's when I realized that I have a passion for science, specifically astronomy, but I also want to make an impact in the world by making a business that is known worldwide.”
Kareman, president of OSU’s SIM Club (Students of Information Management), credits strategy and entrepreneurship professor Chuck Murnieks for “resparking my interest to really do a business and give back as well” and BIS professor Rene Reitsma for his encouraging, empathetic approach to teaching.
“I didn’t know coding in my first SIM project,” she said, “and Reitsma said, ‘It’s OK, I’m right here, just ask for help. I’m here to help you – we’re here to help you.’
“Here in the College of Business, teachers really care about me,” Kareman said. “People always want to go to an Ivy League school. But you should just go to a good school where they care about you and you can learn what you need."