Semira Hussein “I’m getting all the good classes and some great teachers. I don’t know exactly where I’m going yet, but the picture is starting to fill out.”

Marketing and training horses—sound like a strange combination? Well, the concept is no more unique than being one of a very small number of Eritrean Swedes. “My dad’s from Eritrea and he met my mom when he moved to Sweden to study,” says Semira Hussein of her African/Scandinavian heritage. “But basically, I’m Swedish, and I have some friends from back home who went to SMC and told me how great it was. So last year, when I was traveling through California,” she continues, “I came down to check out Santa Monica. And I love it here! School has been going very, very well for me.”

Though a business career is her goal, Semira recently discovered she has a surprising affinity for psychology. “I took a class with Dave Phillips, who is an excellent teacher who conducts extremely interesting discussions,” says Semira. “And I think that studying psychology will ultimately help me a lot in business and marketing. Nothing you learn is ever wasted.”

But where do those horses come into the picture, Semira? “Oh, that,” she says with a laugh. “My sisters and I have all been riding horses since we were six. We have our own horses and go to shows and competitions every weekend. I’m actually helping a girl here train her horses now, and it’s something that I love doing. I don’t know if I can somehow turn marketing and horse training into a business,” she says. “But that would be a real dream.” Another dream of Semira’s is to “see as much as I possibly can of the States before I go home,” she says. “This is an incredible country, and I feel very lucky that I found my way here… and to SMC as well.”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.