Hassan Bawab ('04) was 19 when he came to UNT from Lebanon, determined to learn how to create websites. After looking into different universities, he knew UNT was the place for him.
"The campus was huge, but I was surprised to find that everyone I met was extremely helpful," Bawab says. "The International Student Office truly helped me with things like banking, grocery shopping and finding housing."
He says his favorite resources on campus were the computer labs where he spent much of his time completing projects, often staying until 2 a.m. One time, he diligently looked through the lines of code trying to debug an issue for 18 hours. Then he figured it out.
"I went through thousands of lines of code just to find out a semicolon was the issue," he says. "That's still one of my favorite memories."
After graduating with a bachelor's degree in computer science with minors in math and technical writing, he took a job as a web developer for Kinko's, now part of FedEx, to learn more about the corporate environment.
Today, he is CEO of Magic Logix, a global digital marketing agency that provides web design, marketing automation and ecommerce for mid-sized to Fortune 500 companies and government agencies. He received the Dallas Business Journal's Minority Leaders Award in 2016 and was named to its Top 40 CEOs Under 40 list in 2011.
But coding isn't the only thing Bawab is passionate about. He and a group of friends created the Arab American Cultural Society, an organization that encourages, strengthens and supports Arab American rights in the U.S. They host festivals and offer services such as legal consulting, medical clinics and Arabic language classes.
Bawab loves giving back. In addition to sharing his professional expertise through blogs, articles and speeches, he also mentors students.
"Giving them the opportunity to join Magic Logix and learn from my team before they head out into the real world is gratifying," he says. "We've had more than 15 interns, many from UNT, who have gone on to jobs at much bigger companies, and that makes me proud."