Kiyana Tabrizi wouldn’t change a single thing from this year. Her year of leading the student body as Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) president is drawing to a close, but as Tabrizi said, “The things I learned this year, I’ll keep with me forever.”
Tabrizi spent the year running from meetings to classes from sunrise to sunset. Graduation is now just days away and will soon propel Tabrizi and the rest of the Class of 2012 on to tackle the job market and post-graduation life.
“I’m really sad because I’ve loved my time at Cal Poly,” she said. “It’s a huge part of who I’ve become, and it’s going to be a huge part of me forever,” Tabrizi said of her experiences, the network she’s formed and the friends who have turned into family. “I’m excited though, for what life will bring.”
Tabrizi said her experience as president has given her an expertise and skill set that will help her dive confidently into her first job.
“Cal Poly students are ready to hit the ground running,” Tabrizi said. “I think this experience has gotten me to that point.”
Tabrizi will leave a piece of her heart here though, and said she’ll probably want to know everything that’s happening at Cal Poly the first few months she’s gone.
As for plans after graduation, Tabrizi is spending much needed time with her family and taking a break from her mountain of duties.
Rick Johnson, the executive director of ASI, has known every ASI president since the late ‘80s and has worked collaboratively with the presidents since 2000.
“Her work ethic is unequaled by any of her predecessors,” Johnson said. “She made the selfless decision to dedicate her entire last year of college to this endeavor. Frankly, she has no life this year outside of her role as president.”
Johnson said he feels the ASI president is rarely truly understood for the senior management role it is, and Tabrizi agreed her position has fostered new relationships, but hindered family ones.
“I really didn’t get to see a lot of them this year,” she said. “I’m excited to take some time and be with family and almost try to be a kid again with limited responsibilities.”
And after that: Tabrizi is still weighing her options. She’s in the process of deciding on a job that’s right for her before she makes her final decision.
“I’m shopping around and seeing what best fits me at this point,” she said. “What fits my goals in life and what is the best first step out of college.”
From the first month of her job, she met with President Jeffrey Armstrong and other top administrators. That challenge has paid off, she said she learned how to walk the walk, talk the talk and still stay true to her values. The job requirements of ASI president have taught her how to conduct herself when working with people who have more experience and a higher ranking.
“It has made me realize that next year is not about how much salary I make in my first year,” she said. “I’ll carry someone’s coffee and I’ll carry someone’s briefcase and run around following them — I can learn so much from observing, and it will help me when I get to that next step, more than if I got into a position where I made $10,000 or $20,000 more a year.”
As for the stress and time committed to a first job, Tabrizi is ready.
“You hear a lot about what your first job will be like, you know, 60 to 80 hour weeks,” she said. “I won’t put a number on it, but I’m definitely in that range already.”
Once Tabrizi leaves her position in ASI, Katie Morrow will take her place. Morrow said Tabrizi motivated everyone around her and made any job, even a boring meeting, fun.
“I’ll miss getting her input the most,” Morrow said. “But at the same time, I’ll probably be calling her every day. I have very, very large shoes to fill.”
Morrow won the presidency this year with 75 percent of the votes in April and Tabrizi said she is well suited for the job. Morrow worked as Tabrizi’s chief of staff this year and will get the low-down from Tabrizi before she leaves office.
“I’ll give her some scoops so she can start one step ahead of where I did,” Tabrizi said. “She’s going to be great — the students made a great choice.”
The days are being checked off and graduation is creeping closer. Tabrizi said the joke at ASI this quarter has been ‘X’ number of days until Kiyana graduates.” A few weeks ago, though, when the number of days had lessened to 35, reality hit.
“I lost it, I was actually emotional,” she said. “It’s been a great year, and I am sad. It’s done. I wish it was longer.”
But Tabrizi said there’s nothing she would do over. “Out of every year of my college experience, this has not only been the most beneficial, but the most fun.”