A University of Arkansas at Little Rock student has been selected as one of the 10 nationwide winners of a $5,000 scholarship from Acxiom’s Diversity Scholarship Program.
Rehnuma Seheli, a business information systems graduate student at UA Little Rock, is finishing up her last semester and will graduate with her master’s degree in May. A native of Bangladesh, Seheli completed a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in physics before moving to the U.S. in 2015.
“I’ve always been attracted toward math and science, but my interests have moved to information science and technology since I moved to the United States,” Seheli said. “I’ve seen how developed countries stay ahead in business using advanced data techniques, and that is why I wanted to do a master’s degree. You need people who understand information technology as well as business. I think this is the most valuable degree you can do nowadays.”
This scholarship offers $5,000 to U.S.-based students from diverse backgrounds who are enrolled in a full-time post-secondary degree program such as computer science, computer information systems, management information systems, information quality, information systems, engineering, mathematics and statistics, or related areas of study.
“We congratulate our scholarship recipients on this exciting accomplishment,” Acxiom CEO Dennis Self said. “This scholarship program represents Acxiom’s continued commitment to helping the next generation of leaders pursue their dreams through computer science and information technology careers. Our goal is to provide opportunities for students to obtain future success and help foster a more diverse pool of qualified talent, which will benefit the marketing and technology industries for many years.”
This is the Acxiom Diversity Scholarship Program’s eighth year. Diversity scholarship recipients are selected based on their ability to demonstrate a combination of academic achievement, field of study aimed at information technology, and professional interest as it relates to Acxiom’s business needs.
“Acxiom believes that diversity sparks innovation and that an inclusive workplace environment encourages everyone to share their unique perspectives and skills,” said Mary Ward, chief people officer at Acxiom. “Our Diversity Scholarship Program takes Acxiom’s values into the community by supporting the goals of brilliant future leaders. We look forward to the contributions these students will make to our industry.”
Seheli is thankful for the scholarship, which is helping her break into a field she said would be difficult to enter in her native country.
“I’m grateful for the scholarship. In Bangladesh, women in the information technology industry is not common,” she said. “When I came to the U.S., my path changed completely. There are so many opportunities in the IT industry here. I want to encourage more students from Asia to come and get their degrees in information technology.”
Seheli joined UA Little Rock in 2018. She has worked as a conference services assistant and a graduate assistant in health services until December 2019, when she moved to Champaign, Illinois, with her husband and will complete her final semester online.
While at UA Little Rock, she was a member of the Association of Information Systems. Last summer, she completed an information technology and business analytics internship with Windstream that she loved and plans to look for a similar full-time position after graduation.