While maintaining his dedication to the Swimming and Diving team, Ali concludes his senior year as a member of the Most Noble Order of the Peacock, a distinction given only to the top students in the graduating class.

My name is Ali Hassan and I am an International Business student and I'm also on the swimming team. I'm from Bayonne. I lived in Egypt for 10 years before I came to Bayonne and I've been in Bayonne since 2000.

College really changed me as a person. Saint Peter's took me in as a naive high school student, and shaped me into a well-educated, highly-driven, highly-motivated force to be reckoned with. The business department, especially, they're really good at setting you up into becoming someone that recruiters are actively seeking in the job market.

My freshman year, I made a pact with a fellow student, Jamie, Jamie Lisante, and we decided that we were going to do whatever we can to get into the Most Noble Order of the Peacock, and I'm happy to say that in our senior year we both got into it. It's serving as the catalyst that's going to help me launch a successful career in the financial industry. Recruiters seem to be really enjoying the fact that I am one of the top ten students in the school, and it helps separate me from the pack.

For a student entering the business program, I would recommend that they join the honors program and do as much as they can to separate themselves from everybody else. There are countless students who join the business program all over the world in many different schools and the only way to stand out is by having an honors degree or becoming inducted into the MNOP or joining as many clubs or doing as many things as you can to set yourself apart from everybody else.

Right now it's my senior year in the honors program so I'm developing a thesis. My thesis is focusing on oil production in the Middle East, specifically in Egypt, and how it ties to different poverty rates of the oil-producing countries. I want to really show how much money the countries are making off of oil and I'm asking the question, "why aren't these profits trickling down to the poor people of the country?"

One of the main reasons I chose Saint Peter's is because of the [swimming] coach, Mohamed Abdelaal. We grew up together and it was a great fit for me on the swim team.

My most enjoyable experience was the Code Blue swim meet vs Iona. Iona is our rival team and the whole school came out and they got to see us beat them. We all swam out of our minds, we broke all our times, we really beat Iona really bad and the best part is our whole school got to see how good our swim team really is.

A student that wants to join the swim team, that's a little different. I wouldn't particularly give them advice but I would tell them what to expect. You're going to work harder, train harder, wake up earlier and practice longer than any other athlete in the school but they're still going to have more fun than everyone else. Lots of teams like to talk about being a family but you're not really a family unless you swim 800 miles a year together and the swim team is really great at keeping that connection together with everyone. We have a strong alumni base, everyone's trying to help each other, and you really create friends and family that will last with you forever.

"Waking Up (Instrumental)" by Dexter Britain (dexterbritain.co.uk)

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