2019 Incoming Grad Series: Aizhan Adilkhan

by Daina Tagavi, Professional Development Peer
Wednesday, September 25, 2019 8:00 AM

This the final installment of our 2019 Incoming Grad Series featuring backstories and fun facts on 8 students who are part of our most diverse incoming class in recent memory.

Aizhan Adilkhan ​​is moving to Santa Barbara from ​Kazakhstan. ​Aizhan studied in ​Accounting and Chemical Technology, and is excited to move to Santa Barbara to attend the Technology Management Program at UCSB and raise her two children!

Read on to learn more about ​her research and some of her plans for when she arrives in Santa Barbara.


Kazakhstan is the world's largest landlocked country, and the ninth-largest in the world by its territory. It is a transcontinental country largely located in Asia, and most western parts are in Europe. Kazakhstan has an "extreme" continental climate, with warm summers and very cold winters. Aizhan was born and lived the first 8 years of her life in a small town called Shardara on the very Southern part of Kazakhstan. She and her 3 siblings grew up in the family of a civil servant and a teacher. ​She remembers lots of rolling blackouts during her childhood. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan, like many other countries that had just obtained independence, went through an energy crisis over the years. ​Her parents barely made ends meet, raising four children. Then, her family moved to the coldest capital in the world, Nur-Sultan, which was just starting to develop. This city is a witness of very important parts of Aizhan's life. She worked in National companies as an analyst, and a quality, supply chain, and process engineer. In her last workplace, she met ​her husband. ​They decided to build a strong family and develop together professionally. At this time they are happy parents of two children.


Aizhan looked for a program that could enrich ​her experience with skills that today’s tech manager must have: strategically thinking and acting in the context of rapid changes in both the tech and business worlds, and she found that in the program at UCSB. Aizhan told us that "UC Santa Barbara’s Technology Management Program is perfect in all respects." She continues, "The curriculum is designed in response to modern and anticipated issues." She would be especially interested in learning Project Management in New Product Development and Strategy for Technology-Based Companies. Additionally, the opportunities the program offers, such as field projects and company visits, would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a young professional from a developing country. Also, the program’s length is ideal for a young mother.


Aizhan would like to investigate how Kazakh companies could have greater leverage in world markets. Overall, she wants to share her experience and knowledge with the progressive and diverse community of Kazakhstan. 



Aizhan loves to cook without recipes. She also likes singing, doing yoga, reading novels on the beach, and learning new things.

In terms of fun facts, Aizhan told us that she won her first singing contest at the age of 5. She is, unfortunately, afraid of absolutely all animals. ​Aizhan left ​her old regular high school and fled to another one for gifted children without the consent of her parents (she had to forge their signature). She also spent a month in Baoding (China) and Munich (Germany) studying the solar industry.

Welcome, Aizhan!

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