Featured Torero Archives
Ali AlMatrouk '07
Ali AlMatrouk came to USD from Kuwait. He graduated from the University of San Diego’s School of Engineering in 2007 with a dual BS/BA degree where he majored in Electrical Engineering. He graduated Summa Cum Laude and was the Chair of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) at the University of San Diego student branch in addition to being the president of Eta Kappa Nu. In 2012, Ali was inducted into Tau Beta Pi, the oldest (established 1885) and most prestigious of engineering national honor societies, in the University of San Diego. Ali is the co-founder and CEO of Makers Inc., a company currently focusing on bringing technology solutions in various sectors to the Kuwaiti market with a vision to become a diversified group providing high quality products and services to its valued customers.
1: What have you been up to since graduation?
After graduating from USD, I worked in a mobile telecom operator in Kuwait called Wataniya Telecom. Subsequently, I joined the biggest mobile telecom operator in Kuwait Zain where I stayed for 3.5 years as a Next Generation Network Engineer (NGN Engineer). In 2012, I left Zain to establish Makers Inc., a company currently focusing on bringing technology solutions in various sectors to the Kuwaiti market with a vision to become a diversified group providing high quality products and services to its valued customers. Currently, Makers Inc. is the official distributor of Texas Instruments Education Technology and Vernier Software & Technology in Kuwait.
2: What is your fondest memory of USD?
I’m not sure if there is a single memory that I can pin-point, rather I believe that the set of memories and experiences in San Diego and USD made my educational journey in the US a very fruitful and special one.
3. What is your favorite place on campus, why?
There are many places I like around campus, but my favorite place is The Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice. The picture of Ms. Kroc inspires me and reminds me that wherever I reach in this life, I have to give back and try to make a difference in people’s lives. Her generosity will be long remembered in the USD community. Moreover, I appreciate the architecture of the building and its clean finishes. I like the view at the back where you can see most of Mission Valley.
4. Who was your favorite USD professor or class?
There is a great number of professors that I admire and learned a lot from at USD. The professors aren’t necessarily from Engineering; I’ve had excellent math, philosophy, and physiology professors. However, two professors have had a significant impact on my life namely Dr. Susan Lord and Dr. Thomas Schubert. Dr. Lord taught us how to be more organized and detail oriented. She taught us to be as perfect as we possibly can. I remember when we submitted an Intro to engineering final project paper and by mistake I put together a table in Microsoft Word and the font was Times New Roman, then I did some calculations in Excel and I copied and pasted a cell from Excel to Word and the font was Calibri. She spotted the Calibri cell and put a red mark on it. She really tried to notify us that if you submit something, it better be perfect.
Also, she was always asking us to be organized, she has a specific way for us to get a binder and organize it in a certain manner which made us know exactly when our homework is due and where the notes are. I still use a similar method to organize my paper-work it saves a lot of time and makes you very efficient and productive.
Dr. Schubert made me realize the value of being well-rounded and up-to-date in our area of expertise. He was an Electrical Engineering PhD, an orchestra musician and he does some mechanical work on cars. The interesting thing about him is that he’s good in all of them. It was really astonishing to me to see a person with such diverse interest. Further, he was up-to-date with most electrical engineering subjects and he always related engineering concepts to the real world due to his vast industry experience. I admire these characteristics and aspire to be as well-rounded as he is.
5: How have you remained involved with USD since graduation?
Along with other alumni in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), I have established the University of San Diego Alumni Association – GCC Chapter in 2010. The chapter organizes an annual alumni reunion in the GCC countries. So far we had 3 reunions in Kuwait, 1 in Saudi Arabia and 1 in the Emirate of Dubai. Moreover, we help the admission office at USD during their visits to the GCC countries. We gather alumni to talk about their experiences to prospective students and try to promote USD in our countries.
6: If you could offer a current USD student advice, what would it be?
I would advise students to get the most out of their experience at USD. I would encourage them to be involved in extracurricular activities, join student organizations and connect with people. This is a once in a life time experience and it would have a significant influence to them as individuals so I highly encourage them to take the most out of it. Moreover, I advise them to be involved with and generous to the school after graduation and be a great ambassador to USD. As USD alumni, we are basically responsible to make our school shine.
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Sonya Sparks '05
Sonya graduated from USD in 2005 with a degree in Business Administration. Since her days in Alcala Park, she opened an art gallery in downtown San Diego representing contemporary artwork to support the local art community.