Name: Waad Abrahim
Major(s): Interactive Media
Division: Arts and Humanities
Home Country: United States
All of the people that Waad Abrahim met at NYU Abu Dhabi have a piece of her heart. Not only does she see them as life-long friends and insightful mentors, but also as one of the most unique sources of a global education.
The idea of learning in and outside of the classroom really holds true for Abrahim. She could be sharing a story and a friend may chime in about how a similar experience may have been interpreted differently in their country.
“There was nothing that could have prepared me for the amount I would learn just by talking to people about their experiences and sharing my experiences,” Abrahim said.
Over time, Abrahim realized that her perspective differed so much from her friends back home in the US. “I understand where they're coming from, and I know I would have been in that exact same position. But because of the experiences that I've had and the people that I've been able to speak to from so many different places, and just learning about all their lived experiences, I just have a bigger perspective on the world now,” Abrahim said.
A Different University Experience
School breaks and classes are other ways to gain new perspectives. “We have so many opportunities to just see different things,” Abrahim explained. While trying to figure out her major, Abrahim took a J-Term interactive media class. The course included a trip to Ethiopia where she and her classmates helped build creative resources that supported local communities to enhance their day-to-day lives. “I remembered the feeling and the gratification of looking at something that I did, and knowing that I made some sort of impact,” Abrahim said. It was there that the idea of effective altruism became a real thing rather than a concept, for Abrahim. The course led Abrahim to explore more about the different applications of technology that interactive media uses, and eventually declared it as her major.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Abrahim has learned to not look too far ahead into the future as things can change quickly. Reflecting on her graduation, Abrahim said, “I’m just ready to continue experiencing the world because there is no way I can know everything or figure out every single experience in life.” One thing she is certain of is her desire to continue to make connections as she journeys through life.
People will make the experience worth it, regardless of where you are.
Abrahim will join American Express in New York as a user experience designer after graduation.