Student Spotlight: Malaysia to Madison

Image of Aina Athirah Ab LatipMalaysia to Madison… Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Anchorage, and soon Honolulu! Meet Aina Athirah Ab Latip, a well-traveled Actuarial Science/Risk Management double major here in the Division of Business Services. Aina is a junior at UW-Madison and has been a part of Business Services for almost two years. As Aina heads into her last year at UW, she wanted to share a piece of her story and what she has come to appreciate about her experience in the United States.

Since she was little, Aina’s mother taught her that if you want something, you just have to work for it. And that is exactly what Aina has done. In high school Aina developed a strong work ethic and a passion for mathematics. She used these skills to apply for a corporate scholarship that allowed her to travel from Malaysia to study at UW-Madison. She joined the Disbursements team of Business Services in May of 2018. It was here she met some of her good friends and came to love the business environment. This past summer, Aina transferred to the Risk Management department so she can align her studies with her career ambitions. She mentioned how supportive the Risk Management supervisors have been in applying for internships and teaching her the information she needs.

Another source of inspiration for Aina’s work ethic came from the success of Lisa Kamal, UW-Madison’s 2019 Winter Commencement speaker, who was also a student from Malaysia on a corporate scholarship. “She’s just such an inspiration because, being her friend, I know how much she’s struggled with being far from home and family, and yet she still managed to do something big… I relate to her a lot,” Aina noted. Most would agree that living a twenty-plus hour flight away from friends and family wouldn’t be easy. But this didn’t stop Aina from embracing the true Wisconsin experience.

Apart from attending football, hockey, volleyball, and basketball games, Aina weaved herself into the community of Madison as a Committee Member for the Malaysian Student Association. It was here that she helped plan and lead events for new study abroad students. Aina thoroughly enjoyed helping all the Malaysian students savor Wisconsin. Now she is taking a page from her own book and trying to enjoy Madison as much as possible.

When asked if she could change anything about the past ten years of her life, Aina simply answered “No”. She went on to offer this advice to other students and employees here in Madison: “Take your shot, try new things, gain new experiences, make new memories, and above all, always be kind. That’s what the Midwesterners have taught me, the world could use more kindness.” Aina is a prime example of courage and sincerity. And so it is without doubt that she will continue to impress and impact the world around her. The Division of Business Services is proud to have Aina Athirah Ab Latip as a member of our community. We wish her continued prosperity.

Written By: Samuel Peterson