It does not come easy to everyone. “There was a lot of uncertainty in my college past,” says ElKattan, recounting her long-term residency as an undecided student. In her first year, she was choosing between computer science and engineering. As she explored the majors by talking to students, and taking some classes, she eventually decided on computer science, in hopes that it would be a tool to open up more possibilities.
ElKattan was aware that there is a population of students on campus who know what they want to do and plan ahead, but also recognizes the benefits of taking her time to decide. “I think, as frustrating and stressful as being undecided is, it's also a privilege in its own sense, because it forces you to try different things, and you never really know what you can get out of that.”
To help her search throughout the years, ElKattan made sure to always be applying to diverse programs, funds, research, and opportunities. During her sophomore year, she applied for an internship as a UX designer at McKinsey & Company. Prepared with a set of upperclassmen’s design notes, she walked into her first day and immediately felt out of place. “I’m not entirely sure how I got the internship, but I guess it was one of those examples where you just apply to something you’re under qualified for and see what happens,” she says. To her surprise, it was that ‘under qualified for’ opportunity that provided her a full time job to start in January.
Looking back, ElKattan’s advice to students who question their decisions, is to trust the process. “There's so much pressure on finding out what you want to do forever. But in reality, the important thing is to find something that you enjoy.”