Khobeir Makes the Most of UM-Flint Opportunities

The best word to describe senior Alhana Khobeir would undoubtedly be radiant. She comes into the interview as a ball of energy, smiling from ear to ear the whole time, and it is certainly contagious.

You might know her as that student with the crazy funny emails, as she is the director of administrative affairs for Student Government, and is constantly appearing in your school email.

“I try to start the emails off funny, it makes students feel like I am more of a friend,” explained Khobeir.

Khobeir is currently in her fifth year, and will graduate this upcoming May with two degrees: one in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, and one Research Psychology. If that sounds like a lot, it’s because it is.

For the past two semesters, she has taken 22 credits and was required to get a petition to override the maximum amount of taking 18 credits in one semester. As if that was not enough, she currently works three jobs. She is an admissions ambassador, an orientation leader, and teaches private piano lessons to several students.

“I love music, I wanted to go to Julliard for a while,” said Khobeir.

You might have seen her perform in several of the school’s talent shows and student showcases. She also plays the drums, flute, ukulele, and is learning guitar.

Khobier did not always love UM-Flint as she currently does. Like many others attending UM-Flint, her dream in high school was to attend school at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

“Before I even applied to this university, I applied to several other universities, 11 to be exact,” said Khobier.

Out of those 11, she got accepted into 10, getting deferred into Ann Arbor until July. Post-high school, she was not quite sure where she would fit in best.

“UM-Flint was my last choice, I was like, I am not coming here,” laughed Khobier. “My older brother was here, and he convinced me to check out campus for at least a year. I figured I would transfer over [to Ann Arbor]. As soon as I came here, I fell in love.”

The reason she stayed? “All the opportunities that presented themselves to me. I quickly got involved in everything I could,” said Khobeir.

She quickly dove into campus activities, joining the chemistry club, intermural volleyball, Student Government, and Theta Phi Alpha Fraternity, which she is now an alumnus of. Khobeir also had the opportunity to study abroad in Wuppertal, Germany.

I asked her if she spoke German, she laughed. “Not one bit! But most people in Germany speak very proficient English,” said Khobeir.  

While she might not speak German, she is trilingual. In addition to English, Khobeir speaks Arabic, Neo-Aramaic, and knows conversational French. She recognizes that she is the definition of a poster child, as she is quite literally on the postcards you get in the mail.

I had to ask, if she could go to Ann Arbor, what is prompting her to stay in Flint?

“I love the opportunities this university has to offer,” said Khobeir. “I like to keep busy, and the more work I put on myself, the more motivated I am to do well.”

She credits her success to her ability to manage time well.

“Managing your time and learning how to study is your key factor in success with anything. You want to get the best out of this university,” said Khobeir. “You want to make sure you get all your stuff done, but also have some fun.”

Her advice to students who are not satisfied with their college experience is to “get out there.” She challenges students to step out of “their little box” and do something that scares them.

“Have you looked?” asked Khobeir. “Have you joined a club, have you looked at the master list of activities, have you made friends with people in your classes? You get out what you put in. As a person, you need to make the best out of every situation.”

She also wants students to reach out if they are struggling, or even just to say hello.

“I’m here for the students, that’s my job. If students are unhappy with how things are at this university, I want them to reach out to me,” said Khobeir. “I try to get the student population involved, especially because we are a commuter campus. I like to build relationships. Every relationship has a point where it helps you grow. Life grows around connections and the love of it all.”

After graduation, Khobeir hopes to attend graduate school in hopes of becoming a physician’s assistant. Traveling will also be “a priority,” and she would love to one day “live somewhere in Europe, perhaps South France.”

Wherever she goes, she plans on going above and beyond in all she does.

“I’m excited for the future,” said Khobeir. “I want to make the world a better place. And if it kills me or not, I will do so.”