Nabbas Mughal kept running into the same problem that he was just short of solving.
Friends and family were struggling with their tax filings and because of those issues, they also weren't receiving federal stimulus payments they sorely needed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nabbas tried to help, but had limited experience of his own to rely on.
He had just graduated from University of Maryland with a degree in biology (and landed a job very quickly),but seeing his community struggle inspired him to go back to class. However, this time, with another goal. He applied to The University of Baltimore's M.S. in Accounting and Business Advisory Services program for the fall 2021 semester.
Nabbas hopes to work for a large-scale firm after he earns his CPA to build on his experience, and eventually start a consulting agency that offers pro bono help to people in need.
"I want to do this full time to make sure that people who are coming from lower class families, who really need this kind of money, can get it when they need it," he says.
It was the pandemic that made Nabbas reconsider his career choice, and it was getting his COVID-19 vaccine that helped him decide where he needed to take his next step. When he had to go to M&T Bank stadium for his shot, he noticed advertisements for UBalt. The University's motto, "Knowledge That Works," piqued his interest.
"I started looking it up," he says of UBalt. "This is actually pretty cool because everything that UBalt offers is practical knowledge and you can apply it right away."
The motto appealed to the side of Nabbas that is focused on the value of a college degree. Some people, he says, question if the financial investment is worthwhile, but he feels there's more to college than the classes you attend.
"It allows you to have structure and allows you to have you know stability," he says. "It teaches you the skills that you might not learn just by working in the field. One of the things I learned is that college allows you to network; they have direct access to companies and clients that most people wouldn't be able to just go out and communicate with, because they have special contacts with them."
The opportunity to build connections came even before his first semester at UBalt. The Merrick School of Business, which includes Nabbas' program, hosted meet-and-greet events in the summer to introduce him to his new community. After having to finish his senior year of undergraduate studies virtually at home rather than in the classroom, Nabbas has already jumped at every opportunity to meet new people.
And he's already dreaming of the live commencement ceremony he missed with his first degree.
"That's like one of the things that I'm looking forward to: just being able to sit with students and then finally being able to walk the aisle in one or two years' time."