Abdi Ambari

I am able to see my work have a real-time impact on the lives of refugee communities from so many places around the world.

“I met the founder of my current workplace as a communications student assistant on a project I was leading with the Office of Community Outreach at NYUAD. We connected in-person at a volunteer event hosted by Community Outreach. We built a relationship based on a mutual desire to assist refugees to equitably access remote work opportunities. We realized there were so many aspects of my education that I could apply to her organization to build even more efficiency into her company’s processes. The founder then asked me to join her team as an intern and later as a part-time employee. I now work with her to build technology that assists us in helping the refugee talent that we train to access remote work opportunities. My role is also cross-functional as I am also involved in technical skills assessments of refugees, handling relationship-building with our partners, and leading our communications efforts.

It is a deeply rewarding professional experience, as I am able to see my work have a real-time impact on the lives of refugee communities from so many places around the world. We are currently running programs in Kenya and Ethiopia with partners like the World Bank and the Digital Opportunity Trust to support refugee talent in accessing remote work. Working to actively empower vulnerable communities in the region I am from is a dream I have had since I was a child that I am now seeing come to life, and this makes me feel so deeply blessed.

Home Region: United Republic of Tanzania
Current: Technology and Communications Lead,, Na’amal
Major: Interactive Media

A key feature of my job that I want to always make sure to highlight is how human and mindful our team is. Our productivity is led by a constant emphasis on our well-being. Our employer is supportive in all areas of our lives, often connecting us to higher education resources and even resources to further our individual pursuits. It’s a workplace structure I have never before experienced and it is challenging me to re-examine what healthy employment can look like. I am so deeply grateful to our founder for this experience.

Being fully remote has been an extraordinary experience. I am currently traveling solo through East and Southeast Asia, building community and expanding my perspectives on meaningful and intentional living, and using the daring outlook on life I adopted during my time at NYUAD to reconstruct my value systems, the feats I believe I am capable of, and to redefine what success looks like to me. It is, in so many ways, a terrifying endeavor as I have never imagined being capable of something like this, but I feel as though my time at NYUAD has enabled me to handle anything and that I am allowed to freely take up space in ways that may feel initially terrifying.

I was also fortunate enough to be accepted at UC Berkeley’s Masters of Design program and I anticipate beginning my studies there in the fall of 2024, once I hopefully figure out how to fund it. I am excited for all the ways I will be able to leverage my education at Berkeley to continue to help communities back home.