Graduate Spotlight: Zaina Khutliwala

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Zaina Khutliwala stands in front of Willet Hall
Zaina Khutliwala. Photo courtesy Zaina Khutliwala

Zaina Khutliwala, a Class of 2023 graduate from Mercer University‘s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science and Spanish.

What are your plans after graduation?

I will be working for Northrop Grumman as a software engineer on their space systems.

What is one of your favorite Mercer memories?

One of my favorite Mercer memories is traveling for the Society of Women Engineers conferences these last two years. The conferences provided me with opportunities to grow my professional network and helped me find both internships and full-time jobs. I felt empowered walking out of those conferences. They also allowed me to spend more time with the other Society of Women Engineers members and make wonderful memories together. I am grateful that I got the opportunity to be part of this amazing organization during my time at Mercer.

What was your favorite class and why?

My favorite class was Dr. Andy Digh’s artificial intelligence class. I really enjoyed the projects that we got to work on, which included creating a chatbot and coding some games that used artificial intelligence learning models. Additionally, the lectures were engaging, and I really enjoyed the debates we had about potential ethical issues in artificial intelligence.

What advice do you have for incoming students?

My advice to incoming students is do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Before college, I was nervous about trying new things, especially the idea of joining a Bollywood fusion dance team when I took a break from dance for several years. However, it provided me with close friendships and helped me get over my stage fright. As I joined more organizations on campus, I realized all the unique opportunities each has to offer, and the possibilities were endless.

What makes Mercer special to you?

I enjoy how Mercer feels like my second home because of the tight-knit community. All the people I have met are absolutely incredible! I am thankful for all my friends and professors who have supported me throughout my time here.

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