Trust the process
By Simran Parwani
During her senior year, Ivona Feldmarova was planning to apply to graduate school. However, after hearing about an opportunity with the Young Associates Programme at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris, she decided that she did not want to miss the opportunity. After multiple rounds of interviews, she received an offer for the opportunity to work with the organization on researching the social and emotional skills of students, a topic that piques Feldmarova’s interest and curiosity.
In her first semester at NYU Abu Dhabi, Feldmarova, a Social Research and Public Policy major, felt that she was floating around. She knew that she was broadly interested in education, but was not quite sure what she wanted from life beyond that. “People around me were applying for internships and I didn’t even know what I wanted to apply to. I felt like I didn’t know anything.”
Explore everything you even have a slight interest in. Trust in yourself to be able to bring all your experiences during NYUAD together when the time comes to present yourself in the future. It will all make sense, and stressing too much on focusing on one thing will make you miss out on the amazing opportunities this University has to offer.
She began her journey attempting to figure out what she wanted to do. She decided to explore a range of classes she found interesting such as Life in the Universe and Arabic while getting her Social Research and Public Policy requirements done. During her sophomore year, she studied away in Buenos Aires and took an economic policy course that sparked her interest in early childhood education and its role in reducing poverty. She began pursuing professional experiences related to research and education policy, such as working as a research assistant in her semester abroad in New York, in her home country of Slovakia, and as a student assistant at the Hilary Ballon Center for Teaching and Learning at NYUAD.
“If you were to look at my transcript, you would question the purpose of these courses,” she said as she reflected on her multidisciplinary courses. However, she believes that her seemingly unrelated experiences make sense in the big picture. For example, the acting classes she took taught her about emotional and mental well-being and she draws upon this experience when thinking about education policy. Feldmarova advises current students to take a range of classes and apply for opportunities they think they will enjoy. “Explore everything you even have a slight interest in. Trust in yourself to be able to bring all your experiences during NYUAD together when the time comes to present yourself in the future. It will all make sense, and stressing too much on focusing on one thing will make you miss out on the amazing opportunities this University has to offer.”